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Arts

'Your Name' teleports to No. 3 at box office for Japanese films

Body-switching yarn trails only 'Spirited Away,' 'Howl's Moving Castle'

The blockbuster centers on a boy and a girl who switch bodies as their lives are intertwined by an approaching comet.

TOKYO -- Animated science fiction movie "Kimi no Na wa" ("Your Name") rang up sales of 19.4 billion yen ($172 million) over its three-month run at Japanese theaters, production company Toho said Monday, beating out "Princess Mononoke" to rank third among homegrown titles.

Buoyed by its extraordinary popularity, the film is nearly certain to climb past 20 billion yen. The top two Japanese movies by box-office sales here are Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" in first place and "Howl's Moving Castle" in second. "Your Name" made sixth place in a ranking that also includes non-Japanese titles.

More than 14.9 million people went to see "Your Name," which opened in Japan on Aug. 28 and completed its run here Nov. 27. And 349 screens were still showing the film three months after release -- more than when it started playing.

Audiences were captivated by the beauty of the landscapes depicted, with many finding it unbelievable that the movie was animated. They were also drawn to a complex storyline transcending time and space, centering on a boy and a girl who switch bodies. Word of mouth helped draw not only the young, but also older moviegoers.

The film was developed so that "viewers can enjoy the movie at least four times," Director Makoto Shinkai said.

"Your Name" is also drawing interest abroad and will be screened in 92 markets, including the U.K. and China. It already tops the box-office charts in Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Japanese-language titles have enjoyed success in 2016. "Shin Godzilla," a Toho production released in July, recorded box-office sales of more than 8 billion yen.

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