When it comes to the world of cinema, the financial success of a movie holds a significant place. Movie grossing has become a crucial measure of a film's popularity, impact, and commercial success. In recent years, the Japanese film industry has witnessed a spike in box office success, producing a remarkable array of films that have captivated domestic and international audiences. These cinematic gems have not only showcased the incredible talent and creativity of Japanese filmmakers but have also shattered numerous records to become the highest-grossing Japanese movies of all time. Here is the list of the Top 10 Highest-Grossing Japanese Movies.
1. Kimi Yo Fundo No Kawa O Watare
Released in 1976, Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare means "You Must Cross the River of Wrath." It is a crime thriller film based on the novel of the same name. It is a story of a man named Morioka who is wrongly accused of a crime and sets out to find the real criminal. Although the film faced an initial lack of success in Japan, it became an overseas blockbuster. It is said to have a box office collection of more than 334 million.
2. Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train
Released in 2020, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is a dark fantasy action film. The movie is a direct sequel to the first season of the anime Demon Slayer. Released during the Pandemic, the movie grossed over $507 million at the worldwide box office. It went on to become the highest-grossing film of 2020.
3. Spirited Away
Released in 2001, Spirited Away is a Studio Ghibli fantasy film. The movie tells the enchanting tale of a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro Ogino, who is trapped in a spirit world after her parents are transformed into pigs. Despite an initial modest performance at the Japanese box office, the film's captivating story, breathtaking animation, and imaginative world gradually garnered international attention and acclaim. The movie had a worldwide box office collection of $395.8 million and is regarded as one of the greatest films ever.
Written and Directed by Makoto Shinkai, Suzume is a 2022 animated romance fantasy adventure film. In the movie, a 17-year-old high school student named Suzume Iwato and Souta Munakata joins forces to prevent a sequence of calamities from unfolding across Japan. The film was praised by critics for its animation, well-developed characters, profound emotional depth, and captivating music. The movie has a box office collection of $322.7 million worldwide. It is the fourth highest-grossing Japanese film ever.
5. The First Slam Dunk
Released in the year 2022, The First Slam Dunk is a Japanese animated sports film. The film follows the story of the protagonist Ryota Miyagi, the point guard of Shohoku High School's basketball team. With an older brother named Sota, who ignited his passion for basketball, Ryota's love for the sport grew. Ryota, alongside his teammates, embarks on a bold endeavor. Together, they bravely confront the reigning inter-high basketball champions, the formidable Sannoh School. The film had a worldwide gross of $261 million and became the fifth highest-grossing anime film of all time.
6. One Piece Film: Red
Released in 2022, One Piece Film: Red is a Japanese animated musical fantasy action-adventure film. It is the 15th One Piece movie. Taking place on the "Island of Music" Elegia, the narrative unfolds as Uta, hailed as the world's most exceptional diva, graces the stage for her highly anticipated debut live concert, unveiling her true self to the audience. However, the event begins with the shocking revelation that Uta is the daughter of Shanks. The film has grossed over US$246.5 million worldwide.
7. Howl's Moving Castle
Released in 2004, Howl's Moving Castle is an animated fantasy film. It is a Studio Ghibli animation. The story revolves around Sophie, a hatmaker who falls victim to a witch's curse, transforming her into an aged woman. In her newfound form, she crosses paths with Howl, a skilled wizard, and becomes entangled in his defiance against the king's call for battle. The worldwide box office collection of the movie was US$236 million.
Another Studio Ghibli animation. Released in 2008, Ponyo is an animated fantasy film. The story follows a young fish named Ponyo, who yearns to become a human. She forms a unique bond with a 5-year-old boy named Sosuke, and together they embark on an enchanting adventure. Filled with whimsy, stunning visuals, and a touching tale of friendship, "Ponyo" is a delightful exploration of the magic and wonders of childhood imagination. The film received a positive response from the critics and had a box office collection of $204.8 million.
9. Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is an animated dark fantasy movie. It is based on the manga series of the same name and is a prequel to Jujutsu Kaisen. The story follows Yuta Okkotsu, a young student who transforms into a sorcerer. His journey takes him to Jujutsu High, where he joins forces with a group of talented sorcerers-in-training. Among their challenges is harnessing control over the Cursed Spirit that inhabits Yuta's childhood friend, Rika Orimoto. Together, they navigate the complexities of their newfound abilities, facing both external threats and internal struggles. The film had a box office collection of $196.2 million worldwide.
10. Weathering With You
Released in 2019, Weathering with You is a romantic fantasy film. It is Written and Directed by Makoto Shinkai. The narrative centers around Hodaka Morishima, a 16-year-old who escapes from his rural hometown and finds himself in Tokyo. There, he forms an unexpected friendship with Hina Amano, an orphan with the extraordinary power to control the weather. Together, they navigate the complexities of life in the city while discovering the true extent of Hina's unique abilities. The film received generally positive reviews. It received gross earnings of US$193.8 million.