Otaku USA Magazine
“Otaking” Toshio Okada Charts Studio Ghibli Box Office Successes, Failures

Studio Ghibli: the legendary studio is known for creating some of the best and most financially successful anime films of all time, but it’s also had its share of failures.

Ever wondered how much Studio Ghibli’s movies cost to make, and how much the studio ended up recouping? Gainax co-founder Toshio Okada is here to help.

Okada hosts a weekly show on streaming site niconico on which he reviews recent anime and talks about the state of the industry. This week the Otaking dropped a fascinating bit of knowledge: comparing the budget and box office figures for (almost) every Ghibli film and his personal assessment of whether they were a success for the studio or not.

First Okada shared his formula for assessing how much money the studio itself took in from every theatrical release, essentially dividing the total box office by four (the rest of the money going to theaters, distributors, etc.).

And now, the numbers:

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Budget: ¥0.4 billion
Studio income: ¥1.5 billion
Okada says: out!

Castle in the Sky

Budget: ¥0.8 billion
Studio income: ¥1.2 billion
Okada says: out!

My Neighbor Totoro + Grave of the Fireflies (released on a double bill)
Budget: ¥1.2 billion
Studio income: ¥1.2 billion
Okada says: out!

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Budget: ¥0.4 billion
Studio income: ¥3.7 billion
Okada says: great!

Porco Rosso

Budget: ¥0.9 billion
Studio income: ¥5.4 billion
Okada says: great!

Princess Mononoke

Budget: ¥2.1 billion
Studio income: ¥19.3 billion
Okada says: great!!

Spirited Away

Budget: ¥2 billion
Studio income: ¥30.4 billion
Okada says: amazing!!!

Howl’s Moving Castle

Budget: ¥2.4 billion
Studio income: ¥19.6 billion
Okada says: great

Tales from Earthsea

Budget: ¥2.2 billion
Studio income: ¥7.7 billion
Okada says: out!

Ponyo
Budget: ¥3.4 billion
Studio income: ¥15.5 billion
Okada says: clear!

From Up On Poppy Hill

Budget: ¥2.2 billion
Studio income: ¥4.5 billion
Okada says: out!

The Wind Rises

Budget: ¥3 billion
Studio income: ¥12 billion
Okada says: safe?

Princess Kaguya

Budget: ¥5.2 billion
Studio income: ¥2.5 billion
Okada says: hell!!!!!

When Marnie Was There

Budget: ¥1.2 billion
Studio income: ¥3.5 billion
Okada says: out!

Some points that stood out for us: first, that Princess Kaguya was by far Ghibli’s most expensive film, with over double the budget of films like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. That owes something, no doubt, to the film’s long production history.

Secondly, Tales from Earthsea made more money than I had assumed, considering how often it’s referred to as a bomb. Still, as Okada points out, it didn’t make enough to considered a hit.

Finally: it took Ghibli four films and five years before they were able to make a hit film. That’s a study in perseverance.

Did anything on this list surprise you?

Source: Yaraon

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