Japan's Toho Forecasts Record Profits Boosted by Anime Hit 'Your Name' and 'Godzilla'

The Hollywood Reporter

Japan's biggest studio and distributor Toho is forecasting record profits of ¥33 billion ($318 million) on sales of ¥217 billion ($2.1 billion) in its financial year ending February 2017, on the back of smash hits Godzilla Resurgence (Shin Godzilla) and current anime chart-topper Your Name.

The company issued a profit upgrade forecast on Monday, reversing a previous prediction of a 14 percent drop in profits for the period to a 28 percent jump. That would mark the fifth straight year of record profits for Toho.

The Makoto Shinkai-directed surprise anime hit Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) just spent its eighth weekend on top of the charts and has already pulled in around ¥15.4 billion ($150 million).

"Shinkai's last anime only did ¥150 million ($1.5 million), and we thought no matter how hard we tried we could only do a maximum of 10 times that, so the budget and marketing expenses for Your Name were kept pretty low," Genki Kawmura, the film's producer, told The Hollywood Reporter. "We never imagined we could do 100 times that and hit ¥15 billion."

The film, about a pair of body-swapping teenagers, is set to overtake Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo (2008) this week and become the fifth highest-grossing Japanese film of all time.

Godzilla Resurgence had already boosted Toho's March to August profit by 5 percent to ¥6.5 billion ($63 million), after taking ¥7.7 billion ($74 million) at the domestic box office. The reboot of the classic monster franchise finally fell out of the top 10 rankings this weekend after spending 11 weeks on the charts and is set for a global release.

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