Miyazaki Hayao Ghibli Studio sells controlling stake to NTV – Variety

Miyazaki Hayao Ghibli Studio sells controlling stake to NTV – Variety

Studio Ghibli, the iconic Japanese animation company behind Miyazaki Hayao’s “The Boy and the Heron,” has decided to sell a controlling stake to Japanese broadcaster Nippon Television (NTV). Studio Ghibli will become a “subsidiary,” the companies said.

Nippon Television will purchase shares in Studio Ghibli and become its largest shareholder with 42.3% of voting rights. Executives from NTV are expected to join the management of Studio Ghibli, the duo said on Thursday. The terms of the deal, including its valuation and timeline, were not disclosed.

“At Studio Ghibli, director Miyazaki Hayao is now 82 years old, and producer Suzuki Toshio is also 75 years old, and the issue of succession has been an issue for a long time,” Studio Ghibli said in a statement. “Miyazaki Goro, the eldest son of founder Miyazaki Hayao and an anime film director himself, has been mentioned several times as a successor to Studio Ghibli. However, Miyazaki Goro himself strongly declined, believing that it would be difficult to carry Ghibli alone, and that it would be better to leave the future of the company to others.

The two companies have known each other and worked together in a manner described as respectful for nearly three decades.

NTV was the Japanese broadcaster of Miyazaki Hayao’s “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” in 1985. It continues to broadcast the works of Studio Ghibli through its film program “Friday Road Show.” NTV was also an investor in another film directed by Miyazaki, 1989’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, and supported the construction of the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan, which opened in 2001.

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Moves to fix the succession issue began in earnest last year with a meeting between Studio Ghibli producer Suzuki and Nippon Television Chairman Sugiyama Mikuni at the hot springs resort.

At the time, Suzuki asked: “For Ghibli to continue to focus on making films, would you be willing to help Nippon Television manage it?” In response, Sugiyama promised to look at this positively, saying: “If it means continuing “In supporting Ghibli’s business and protecting the environment in which Ghibli can continue to produce films.”

“Because Nippon Television has maintained a long-term relationship with Studio Ghibli while respecting its values, we were confident in our ability to permanently protect the manufacturing value and brand of Studio Ghibli,” the companies said.

Studio Ghibli also thanked viewers who tuned in for The Boy and the Heron, previously titled How Do You Live.

The film went straight to commercial release in Japan on July 14, with almost no publicity effort or press screenings, and Suzuki seems to have taken the position that the release of Miyazaki’s final film would be event enough to attract audiences. This tactic was a qualified success. The film received less than rave reviews and grossed $57.4 million (¥8.16 billion) generated from 5.46 million ticket sales.

This places it at a modest 79th place on Japan’s all-time box office chart, including domestic and overseas titles. Three other Studio Ghibli titles remain in the all-time top ten: “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke,” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.” To move up the Studio Ghibli rankings, “The Boy and the Heron” would have to surpass 59th-place “Arietty” with ¥9.25 billion.

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The film has just begun its international run. It was recently set to be the opening film of the Toronto International Film Festival and will next be screened at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Other scheduled festival stops include New York, Chicago and BFI London events. It is scheduled to be released commercially in the United States through Gkids on December 8.

Miyazaki received an honorary award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors’ Awards in 2014. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum paid tribute to his artwork with a special exhibition when the museum opens in September 2021.

Last year, Studio Ghibli opened a theme park based on Miyazaki’s work, which features rides and attractions inspired by films such as “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Princess Mononoke.” The play “My Neighbor Totoro”, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, also opened in London, United Kingdom

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