The new film from Studio Ghibli, "My Neighbors, the Yamadas," opened in Japan this weekend, and while it was expected to be a huge success, the new film, based on a newspaper comic strip and made mostly of short jokes rather than a long story, has failed to even surpass Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in the Japanese box office, currently in the number one position.
"Yamadas", which ran behind schedule due to its inclusion of digital coloring techniques that mimicked watercolor, and ran over-budget as well. Meanwhile, ANN has yet to hear one report about any showing being sold out, or even somewhat full. Still, the film opened in the number two position, according to various industry figures.
On another note, Houichi Newspaper reports that Mr. Tokuma, president of Tokuma Shoten (Ghibli's parent company) announced at the premiere of "Yamadas" that Evangelion director Hideaki Anno will be making a movie with the studio. However, the validity of this information cannot be determined.
Miramax completed a test screening last week in New York City for the new English dub of Princess Mononoke. Fans lined up for two hours before the show began in hopes of getting in, which was taken as a good sign by fans. The end of the film was met with applause, the little spirits known as "Kodamas" were greeted with laughter, and so were some extremely violent scenes! One person commented that most of the actors were great, but Billy Bob Thornton's part needed some work. It is possible that any flaws pointed out by the test audience with the dub will be fixed for the final release version. Another purpose of test screenings is to aid with marketing efforts, which are beginning, as some theaters have already received trailers for the film.
Bosnian extremists are getting a lesson in humanity and family values... through anime! Japanese aid workers have provided to the newly created Indepenent Media Network the television programs Future Boy Conan and Flone on the Marvelous Island. Both are being shown to bosnian orphans (airing started in February), but were also aimed at adults.