Studio Ghibli's 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya' Tops Japanese Box Office

4:47 AM PST 11/25/2013 by Gavin J. Blair
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Hayao Miyazaki

The anime studio's first release since co-founder Hayao Miyazaki's retirement opens in the top spot, but director Isao Takahata fails to match the drawing power of his partner.

TOKYO – The latest Studio Ghibli production, The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-hime no Monogatari), directed by Isao Takahata, opened atop the weekend box office with a $2.8 million (¥284 million) two-day take from 456 screens.

The first film in 14 years from Takahata, 78, and the first release since the retirement of Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, 72, assumed the anime hit factory's usual spot on the box-office charts. Takahata has been working on the production at least since 2008, when he first announced the project.

The opening performance couldn't compete with Miyazaki's The Wind Rises though, which opened with a $9.6 million (¥960 million) weekend take in July.

STORY: Hayao Miyazaki's Retirement Pushes 'The Wind Rises' Toward $100 Million in Japan

Based on the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a 10th century tale that is credited with being one of the earliest pieces of Japanese fiction, Kaguya tells the story of a baby who has come from the moon.

Koki Mikitani's The Kiyosu Conference (Kiyosu Kaigi), the samurai comedy which closed the Tokyo International Film Festival last month, fell to second place after two chart-topping weeks. Local police drama SPEC – Close (Gekijouban SPEC Close Zen no Hen) fell to third during its fourth weekend on the Japanese box-office charts. It has now taken $20.6 million (¥2.1 billion).

Meanwhile, The Counselor dropped to the fifth spot after bowing in third last week with an underwhelming $1.56 million.                                                           

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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