Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Secret World of Arrietty,” based on Mary Norton’s famous children’s novel The Borrowers, opened in ninth place in limited North American release, taking $6.6 million this past weekend.
It’s estimated that Arrietty will earn $8 million over the four-day President’s Day weekend, which ends Monday.
Playing on fewer screens than bigger-earning films this weekend, it made an average of $4,189 at 1,522 venues.
For over a decade, Disney has been distributing Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films in North America. Arrietty had a much better opening than any previous anime film distributed by Disney. Ponyo, Disney’s last wide-release anime film, opened at $3.6 million and eventually garnered $15.1 million in 2009.
The Secret World of Arrietty had the fifth-best anime opening in United States box office history, behind three Pokémon flicks and a Yu-Gi-Oh! movie.
The biggest hit in its native country in 2010, Arrietty grossed over $110 million in Japan alone. It’s received an “A-” CinemaScore grade from North American moviegoers.
About tiny people living under the floorboards of a country home, the film features a voice cast including Carol Burnett, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett.
Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds’ Safe House led narrowly with $24 million between Friday to Sunday, according to Sunday’s studio estimates. Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum’s The Vow was a close second with $23.6 million.
Studios will report final numbers for the long holiday weekend on Tuesday