Sony’s anime specialty label Crunchyroll has snatched up global distribution and marketing rights, excluding Asia, to anime maestro Makoto Shinkai’s next feature, Suzume no Tojimari (working title).
Rights to the film are handled worldwide by Japanese studio Toho (excluding South Korea and India). The deal was finalized in Cannes and negotiated by Crunchyroll’s chief content officer Asa Suehira, Wild Bunch International’s CEO Vincent Maraval and Toho’s Akihiro Takeda.
Suzume no Tojimari is set to debut in Japan on Nov. 11 and will be distributed in all major territories beginning in early 2023. In North America, Crunchyroll is the sole distributor. In Latin America, Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East and portions of Europe, the film will be distributed by Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures Entertainment. In French- and German-speaking Europe, the film will be co-distributed by Crunchyroll, Sony Pictures and Wild Bunch International.
A light fantasy youth anime, Suzume no Tojimari tells the coming-of-age story of the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close doors causing devastation.
“It’s with humility and honor that CoMix Wave Films, Makoto Shinkai and Toho have decided to partner with Crunchyroll on the next masterpiece,” said Rahul Purini, president of Crunchyroll. “It’s also an incredible opportunity to work with our partners at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Wild Bunch International to co-distribute this film across a wide swatch of territories. We know both animation fans and general audiences will fall in love with this prestigious film, and we can’t wait to see the world’s reaction and reception to it in cinemas, festivals and for awards consideration.”
“We are excited to work with Makoto Shinkai, CoMix Wave Films, Toho and Crunchyroll,” said Vincent Maraval, president of Wild Bunch International. “We consider Makoto Shinkai as a major artist with whom we wanted to work for a long time. He is a talented director that we welcome in our family of cinema masters, and we feel proud to be able to bring his vision to the cinema world all around the globe.”
Shinkai has been an influential figure in the Japanese animation world for decades and came to global recognition with his 2016 feature Your Name, which became a global blockbuster, earning $358 million. His follow-up, Weathering With You, then grossed $193 million in 2019.