BEIJING – Japan’s smash hit “Your Name.” hit Chinese theaters on Friday, raking in millions in ticket sales despite decades of tense political relations between the two nations.
Directed by Makoto Shinkai, the film, which took Japan by storm, will be shown at as many as 7,000 theaters across China, the world’s second-largest movie market.
According to Maoyan.com, a popular Chinese film ticket website, box-office sales topped 70 million yuan (about $10 million) at around 8:30 p.m. on its first day.
China limits the number of foreign movies theaters can show each year and keeps tight control over which get distributed.
Permission to screen Shinkai’s blockbuster, first released in Japan in late August, came extremely quickly, industry sources said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top officials have said the two nations should expand the positive aspects in their relationship, while acknowledging more needs to be done to manage differences over territorial and wartime issues.
The highly detailed film is a body-swapping fantasy involving two teenagers: a girl living in the countryside and a boy from Tokyo.
Shinkai, who is being touted as a successor to internationally acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, came to Beijing last month to promote his latest work. The attention lavished on him and his blockbuster by China’s media has only grown.
Already a big hit in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand, the film is slated to be distributed in 89 countries and regions.