The first numbers for the opening weekend of Studio Ghibli’s first full CG feature film, Earwig and the Witch, have been made public. Box Office Mojo’s listing of the film ranked it at number 11 in the United States last weekend. Goro Miyazaki’s anime adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ novel of the same name earned a total of $132,768 USD.
The distribution companies GKIDS and Fathom Events began large-scale screenings in the US on February 3rd, bringing the film to 430 theaters up and down the United States. The screenings available are Japanese with English subtitles and an English dub. The film also began streaming on the HBO Max service on February 5th in the US. The release of the film makes it eligible for the upcoming Oscars and has been submitted for consideration.
Son of Hayao Miyazaki, Goro Miyazaki is directing the anime as the studio’s first full 3D CG feature. Goro himself is an accomplished director, most notably directing 2011’s From Up on Poppy Hill. His father and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is credited for the movie’s planning and development. Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki is producing the film. The film is being distributed internationally by French-based distributor Wild Bunch International.
Further production crew members include Keiko Niwa, Emi Gunji, Miho Sataki, and Katsuya Kondo. Keiko Niwa (known for work on Ocean Waves, Tales from Earthsea, The Secret World of Arrietty, From Up On Poppy Hill, and When Marnie Was There) and Emi Gunji (known as being the assistant director for From Up on Poppy Hill) are both tackling the screenplay. Miho Satake (known for Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit and Kiki’s Delivery Service, and for having illustrated the original book in the novel’s Japanese edition) is heading the original character and setting designs. Katsuya Kondo (best known for Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, and From Up on Poppy Hill) is the lead character designer for adapting the characters for animation.
There are many other talented additions to the crew as well. Yukinori Nakamura is head of supervising the CGI (known for his work on Ghibli Museum’s Boro the Caterpillar and Expelled from Paradise). Tan Seri is serving as animation director. Yuhki Takeuchi is in charge of the film’s backgrounds. Satoshi Takebe is composing the film’s music (known for From Up On Poppy Hill and Ronja the Robber’s Daughter). Koji Kasamatsu is in charge of directing the movie’s sound design. Eriko Kimura is directing the dialogue recording. Kentarō Morishita is producing the animation. And lastly, Isao Yoshikuni, Keisuke Tsuchihashi, and Koji Hoshino are production managers for the film.
Have you seen Earwig and the Witch yet? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.