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Japanese Animation Hit ‘Your Name’ Sells to FUNimation for U.S.

FUNimation Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to “Your Name,” the animation sensation that is currently riding high at the Japanese box office.

The film has topped the Japanese chart for nine consecutive weekends and now stands on a cumulative total of $157 million. That makes it the fifth highest grossing film of all time at the Japan box office – including local titles and imports. Analysts expect it to reach $200 million. It is distributed locally and in international sales markets by Toho.

The film about a teen boy and girl who swap sexes in their dreams is directed by Makoto Shinkai. It has touched audiences not only through the contemporary story but also through the film’s finely detailed portrayal of the Japanese urban landscape. Those strengths have quickly earned Shinkai the popular label of successor to the partially retired Hayao Miyazaki.

FUNimation plans to release “Your Name” at Los Angeles’ Laemmle Music Hall for a one-week Oscar qualifying run from Dec. 2-8, with a wider theatrical release planned for the first quarter of 2017. The film world premiered as part of a Shinkai retrospective at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles in July, and has since launched a successful international festival run, beginning with San Sebastian in September.

Founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga, FUNimation operates in-house anime studios along with technology and distribution partnerships. It recently struck a major content sharing agreement in North America with the Otter Media-owned digital platform Crunchyroll.

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