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The Boy and the Heron leads North America box office

“The Boy and the Heron,” the latest movie by celebrated Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, topped the North American box office this weekend with an estimated take of $12.8 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

That marked “the highest opening weekend for a Studio Ghibli film,” Exhibitor Relations said in a statement.

The Boy and the Heron depicts the life of an 11-year-old boy, Mahito, who leaves Tokyo after the death of his mother in a fire to live with his father in the countryside.

Mahito then meets a gray heron who becomes his guide in an epic where the mysteries of life — a hallmark of Miyazaki’s tales, which include classics such as “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle” — unfold one after the other.

Read: ‘Spirited Away’: Ghibli theme park prepares for visitors

In another universe, “Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” continued its run on the podium for a fourth consecutive weekend.

The prequel to the dystopian saga of the same name, taken from the series of novels by Suzanne Collins, recounts the youth of Coriolanus Snow, the future dictator of the saga. It raked in an estimated $9.4 million between Friday and Sunday.

Another Japanese movie, “Godzilla Minus One,” directed by Takashi Yamazaki and produced by Toho Studios, came in third place for the second weekend in a row, with $8.3 million dollars, followed by “Trolls 3” ($6.2 million), and the latest film from Disney Studios, “Wish,” which closed the top five with $5.3 million.

Here is the rest of the top 10:

6. “Renaissance: A film by Beyonce” ($5 million)

7. “Napoleon” ($4.2 million)

8. “Waitress” ($3.2 million)

9. “Animal” ($2.3 million)

10. “The Shift” ($2.1 million)


‘Spirited Away’: Ghibli theme park prepares for visitors

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