Disney, which distributes Ghibli pictures in North America, had Ponyo (2008) open on about 900 screens. Also in comparison, Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) opened on 750 screens.
“I just want to do everything I can to help make sure people can go see them because they’re just magnificent films that are very different than any other animated films these days,” Pixar’s John Lasseter said in an interview.
Japan’s Studio Ghibli has released animated films that have met with huge success in foreign markets. But in spite of critical plaudits and strong marketing assistance from the Walt Disney Company and Lasseter, these have met with only modest receipts at the American box office.
Released in 2010, Karigurashi No Arietti (The Secret World of Arrietty, The Borrower Arrietty) is based on The Borrowers, Mary Norton’s beloved children’s book about tiny people who live under the floorboards of a house. The movie already has grossed over $126 million abroad.