The film opened in Japan on July 16
Anime director Mamoru Hosoda announced at a stage event today for BELLE that his latest anime film has become his highest-grossing film ever, beating the lifetime gross of Boy and the Beast. Hosoda thanked filmgoers and said that "even though the film opened during the State of Emergency declaration against COVID, I'm so happy everyone was able to see the film."
The event announced that BELLE has grossed 5.87 billion yen (US$54.44 million) as of its 57th day in theaters in Japan, making it Hosoda's highest-grossing work inside the country yet. His second highest-grossing film in Japan is now Boy and the Beast at 5.85 billion yen, which held the top title for the acclaimed filmmaker for six years.
According to Box Office Mojo, during Boy and the Beast's 2015/2016 worldwide run, it grossed US$49.76 million, so thanks to currency fluctuations and a strong yen compared to the US dollar at the moment, BELLE has overtaken Boy and the Beast's worldwide total to become Hosoda's highest-grossing film worldwide. And this is only from inside Japan, the film is yet to open anywhere else in the world.
BELLE was be released in Japanese theaters on July 16, with GKIDS bringing the film stateside sometime in Winter 2021. GKIDS describes the film as such:
Suzu, a 17-year-old schoolgirl, lives with her father in a village surrounded by nature in Kochi prefecture after her mother died in an accident when she was a little girl. Suzu used to love singing with her mother more than anything else, but after her death, she has not been able to sing.
Writing songs is the only thing that gives Suzu any comfort until one day she is invited by her best friend to enter a virtual community in the Internet called U with over 5 billion members worldwide. In U, she can live another life as an AS, which is what avatars are called there. Although Suzu can’t sing in real life, singing comes natural to her in U as an AS known as Belle. Belle quickly captures the attention of U’s citizens with her songs and becomes a worldwide superstar diva.
The day of Belle’s huge concert viewed by millions of AS around the world— A mysterious presence known as the Dragon suddenly bursts into the concert hall. Her concert is ruined by the violent, arrogant Dragon. Belle, who wants to know why the Dragon suffers so much pain, approaches him. Dragon, on the other hand, slowly opens his heart to Belle’s gentle singing voice.
Soon, the search for the Dragon’s identity (unveiling) starts around the world.
A group of AS who claim to be the protectors of justice start their relentless pursuit of the Dragon who they believe disrupts order in U. The Dragon becomes the target of trolling and abuse both in U and the real world. The more people persecute him in both worlds, the more Belle feels stronger to find him and heal his heart.
Will Suzu’s voice from a remote corner in the real world reach this single, unknown individual in a world of billions? A miracle occurs when the two worlds merge into one.
Another reality. Another you. You’re not alone anymore.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.