Porco Rosso to Air After Miyazaki Speaks on Retiring, as Ghibli Sales Rise

posted on by Egan Loo

NTV suddenly replaced its Friday evening airing of X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Porco Rosso, with less than a week's notice. The switch comes after Studio Ghibli announced on Sunday that studio founder and Porco Rosso director Hayao Miyazaki is retiring from making feature films. Miyazaki himself will hold a press conference on Friday to explain his reasons for retiring. NTV producer Toshiharu Tanio noted that both Porco Rosso and Miyazaki's last feature film, The Wind Rises, depict characters who are passionate about airplanes in the 1920s.

NHK reported on the fans who have been renting Miyazaki's works since his surprise announcement, particularly in one store in Tokyo's Shibuya ward. Miyazaki's works have already been popular in rental stores; the nationwide chain of that Shibuya store reported that it rented out his works over 22.55 million times in the 30 years between 1983 and August of this year — making Miyazaki the most popular director in rentals.

The Wind Rises just completed its seventh straight weekend at the top of the Japanese box office. According to its distributor TOHO, it sold 7,148,485 tickets for 8,848,006,850 yen (about US$88.78 million) from July 20 to this past Sunday. This past weekend's box office receipts were 5.5% higher than the previous weekend's. While Sports Hochi reports that the film was already certain to surpass the 10-billion-yen (US$100 million) box office take of 2010's Toy Story 3, it is possible that it will top 15 billion yen (US$150 million) like Miyazaki's last film, Ponyo.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web, NHK, Sports Hochi

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