Ex-Studio Ghibli director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty, When Marnie Was There)’s new anime feature film Mary to Mahou no Hana/Mary and The Witch’s Flower was released in 365 theaters (458 screens) across Japan on July 8, then finished #2 at the weekend box office with 428 million yen on 324,000 admissions.
The opening weekend gross was about half of that of Yonebayashi’s first film Kari-gurashi no Arrietty/The Secret World of Arrietty made in July 2010 (900 million yen with 680,000 ticket sales), but was a little bit better than his second film Omoide no Marnie/When Marnie Was There did in July 2014 (379 million yen with 285,200 tickets). After the commercial failure of Marnie that earned only one-third of Arriety from its total domestic run, Yonebayashi left Ghibli by the end of 2014.
The anime film is based on British novelist Mary Stewart’s children novel The Little Broomstick published
in 1971, and is the first film animated by Studio Ponoc. The studio was established by ex-Ghibli producer
Yoshiaki Nishimura on April 15, 2015. Nishimura, who served as the producer for Isao Takahata’s The
Tale of the Princess Kaguya and Yonebayashi’s Marnie, also left Ghibli at the same time with Yonebayashi.
Many of ex-Ghibli animators and staff have reportedly joined the studio for production of the film.
Weekend box office in Japan (July 8-9, 2017)
1 (1). “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”
2 (new). “Mary and The Witch’s Flower”
3 (2). “Shinobi no Kuni”
4 (3). “Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu”
5 (4). “Nijyuninenme no Kokuhaku – Watashi ga Satsujinhandesu”
6 (new). “John Wick: Chapter 2”
7 (7). “Soreike! Anpanman: Buruburu no Takarasagashi Daibouken”
8 (6). “Hirugao”
9 (5). “Beauty and the Beast”
10 (new). “Life”
“Mary and The Witch’s Flower” trailer
(C)2017 “Mary and The Witch’s Flower” Production Committee, NTV, Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group