Box office revenue for the Japanese animation film "Suzume" in mainland China has exceeded that of Japan, local media reported Monday, raking in some 752 million yuan (¥14.66 billion) less than a month after its release, in March, despite tense bilateral relations.

As of Sunday, box office sales of director Makoto Shinkai's latest work totaled about ¥14.48 billion in Japan, by comparison, according to a movie ranking reported by Kogyo Tsushinsha. The film was released in Japan last November.

The development comes after Suzume's film hit a new box office record, becoming the highest-grossing Japanese animation film ever released in China and surpassing the success of Shinkai's previous work "Your name." released in 2016.

The fantasy movie's official account on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, expressed gratitude to "every audience," saying, "It is your support and love that created today's miracle."

Shinkai also thanked overseas audiences in a tweet, saying it is "the first time ever" that a box office hit that has created over ¥10 billion worth of revenue in Japan has had that figure surpassed in a foreign country.

The film follows the adventures of a 17-year-old girl and a mysterious young man as they work together to prevent disasters across Japan.

Suzume has seen widespread success after its release in Japan, becoming the first Japanese animated film in over 20 years to be nominated for the top award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

After China fully withdrew its stringent "zero-COVID" policy earlier this year, consumption, including spending in the leisure and entertainment industries, has been rapidly recovering.