Revisiting the highest-grossing anime films that managed to redefine animated cinema.
Revisiting the highest-grossing anime films that managed to redefine animated cinema. ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

Big names such as “Avatar” and “Avengers: Endgame” have dominated the Box Office scene for the longest time. And rightfully so, considering the work, effort, and talent that went into them. On the B-side, we have anime films that are considerably famous and have broken plenty of box office records. But what makes these anime films stand out from Hollywood films is the fact that most of them are 2-dimensional, Japan-originated films with very low budgets that have managed to break geographical boundaries and top box offices worldwide.

That just shows how good these films really are. In this guide, we are counting down the top 5 highest-grossing anime films that have broken records all around the world.

1. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train

The first one on this list isn’t even a standalone movie. “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” is the sequel to the hit anime and manga, “Demon Slayer” produced by Ufotable. The movie was released on October 16, 2020, and had an astonishing $507.1 million in box office revenue against a meager budget of $15 million.

“Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” took the spot of “Spirited Away” as the highest-grossing anime film after 17 years. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, it had remarkable global success that just consolidated its popularity.

It continues the story of Tanjiro Kamado and his friends as they are tasked with the mission of defeating a demon, who seems to have taken up residence in a public train.

2. Spirited Away

Although “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” has overtaken all anime films in terms of box office success, “Spirited Away” is the one film with a legacy that cannot be overthrown. It is the only anime movie that has won an Academy Award. The movie earned $395.8 million globally against a very small $19.5 million budget and brought Studio Ghibli to new heights of success.

Spirited Away” is about a young girl, Chihiro, who has to go through different trials in order to free her parents from the curse of the evil witch, Yubaba.

3. Your Name

“Your Name” is a romantic fantasy anime film that is famous for its gorgeous art and its compelling storyline. It’s Makoto Shinkai‘s first big global hit film that launched him to the top of anime directing, alongside big names like Hayao Miyazaki. With a very small budget of only $5 million, the film has grossed about $382.2 million worldwide.

The plot centers on two teenagers who discover that, on specific days, they can swap bodies. It follows them as they try to adjust to their new and unexpected routine. Things take a turn when they decide to meet up.

4. Suzume

“Suzume” is the second Makoto Shinkai film on this list and is a testament to his brilliant filmmaking. It was released on November 11, 2022, and has managed to accumulate a total box office revenue of $323.3 million worldwide.

Like all of Shinkai’s films, “Suzume” is renowned for its striking animation and its compelling storyline. But it’s also widely known for its viral soundtrack, particularly the song Suzume, which many of us may have encountered on a reel or TikTok.

“Suzume” follows a girl, Suzume, as she tries to save her country from destruction by using her supernatural powers.

5. The First Slam Dunk

“The First Slam Dunk” is a weird one on this list, but it’s remarkable how well it comes together. With its box office success, we can’t really argue. It was released in 2022 and managed to pull in $263 million at the global box office.

“The First Slam Dunk” revolves around a group of high school students as they try to win the final match of their Inter-High School National Basketball Championships against the previous year’s champion team.

While the movies on this list may or may not be everyone’s favorite, their box office success cannot be denied. This goes to show how far anime films have come and how widely they are celebrated.

Note: Box office numbers are based on estimates and various sources. Numbers have not been independently verified by Koimoi.

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