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Spirited Away Set for 800 Theatre Rerelease 296

Robotech_Master writes "According to the website of Jerry Beck, a 20-year-animation industry veteran and one of the co-founders of Streamline Animation, when Spirited Away won the Oscar, it also "won the right to be re-released to 800 theatres this Friday. Disney will be announcing plans to re-release the Japanese masterpiece in theatres later today." When I emailed Beck to ask him his source, he said it was someone within the Disney publicity department and it would be made public sometime today. According to Spirited Away's numbers page at Rotten Tomatoes, it peaked during its first run at 151 screens. Wonder how it'll do this time around?"
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Spirited Away Set for 800 Theatre Rerelease

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  • I see a lesson to be learned here... this is a great idea... make sure there is an audience for it before wasting money...

    Perhaps they should have waited for Star Trek Nemesis to win something BEFORE releasing it to theaters...
  • more by Miyazaki (Score:5, Informative)

    by Smallpond ( 221300 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:14PM (#5594133) Homepage Journal
    Also Kiki's Delivery Service [amazon.com] will be out April 15.

  • won the right to be re-released to 800 theatres this Friday. Disney will be announcing plans to re-release the Japanese masterpiece in theatres later today

    Are they saying that it would been illegal for the movie to show in any theatres if it hadn't won an Oscar? Or is this just a deal they had with the 800 theatres? Or an internal Disney thing?

    If it's the former, then that industry is more red-taped than I had thought.
    • by p3d0 ( 42270 )
      Take a deep breath. Relax.

      It was just a little poetic license on the part of the submitter.

    • Re:huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:28PM (#5594282)
      Disney is in the unenviable position of submarining their own works here. In one corner, you have 'Lilo and Stitch', the film, depending on who you beleive, Disney was lobbying to win 'Best Animated Picture' vs. 'Spirited Away'.

      Disney has typically treated its Miyazaki/Ghibli licenses just like every other kind non-in-house animation they acquire (Many DIC titles. First season Sailor Moon is a notable example). They'll sell it, but they will not spend adequate resources on it or promote it in any way that will compete with their own films.

      They spent considerable effort creating excellent dubbs on Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, but simply will not promote those films in any way like they will their own releases. (I have yet to get a Kiki action figure at Burger King.)

      'Spirited Away/Sen to Chihiro' is a true work of art. Disney knows it. Miyazaki knows it. The people who've seen it know it. It *deserved* to win BAP. By winning, however, it takes away from 'Lilo and Stitch'. By rereleasing 'Spirited Away', Disney is effectively submarining a possible 'Lilo and Stitch' rerelease. They're also forced to tacitly admit that Miyazaki and Studio Ghibi produces better stuff than they do.

      By not re-releasing 'Spirited Away', Disney is in the even more awkward position of trying to explain why they're submarining a film that's won BAP simply because it's not their own work.

      Congratulations Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli! I will be taking everyone I know and can get to go to the rerelease.
      • Re:huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:48PM (#5594463) Homepage Journal
        They spent considerable effort creating excellent dubbs on Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, but simply will not promote those films in any way like they will their own releases. (I have yet to get a Kiki action figure at Burger King.)
        You just answered your own question, oddly enough. Disney stupidly didn't get merchandising rights to the Ghibli films when they got distribution rights. They don't know how to promote an animated feature unless they can tie it in to Happy Meals. Merchandising is where they make most of their money from animation, anyway.

        I was lucky enough to get a private showing during the first run. Well, not really private, but there was no one else in the theatre. No one in town knew the movie was there. The print was so clean I think they had not even been turning the projector on. No, it wasn't an 'art house' theatre, but a real multiplex. Off course, there were no lobby cards, newspaper ads, or any other type of promotion.

      • (I have yet to get a Kiki action figure at Burger King.) Of course, if Disney *did* start selling Kiki figures at Burger King, there would be an even bigger stink over the perceived cheapening of a timeless work of art...
      • Why did Miyazaki join forces with Disney? Isn't this something like Mandrake joining with Microsoft? It really doesn't make any sense, much less business sense.
        • Miyazaki and Ghibli don't really care too much about the rest of the world - they are quite content to let Disney distribute it as little or as much as they want, as long as Ghibli maintains full and complete and utter editorial control.

          Miyazaki's artistic integrity and lack of greed is, in general, awe-inspiring, as are the values that inform his work. He's one of a dying breed.

      • > (I have yet to get a Kiki action figure at Burger King.)

        I'd rather have a Gigi action figure, anyway. Okay, so I'd also like a Kiki one, as long as she's on her broom...

        I wonder, though, if the lack of merchandising efforts by Disney on such films reflects who would get the profits from said merchandising? It might be a contractual issue. Though I wouldn't count on it.
    • It's a figure of speech. A few weeks back, Disney let on (bottom of third paragraph) [animenewsnetwork.com] that they were prepared to rerelease SA if it did well at the Oscars. It did. This is that rerelease.
  • The DVD... (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldimo ( 140734 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:15PM (#5594142)
    The DVD will be out in three weeks [amazon.com]. So for the price of two tickets, you can actually own it!
    • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:21PM (#5594204) Homepage
      So for the price of two tickets, you can actually own it!

      Sure, but you can't go out to the movies, buy hot movie popcorn with artificial butter and a bucket of soda and have your ticket torn. You can't sit in the dark in those movie seats playing "guess the number of trailers" with your friends. You don't get that thrill of anticipation when the lights go down, you don't get the surprise of which movies are coming up, and you don't get to see it on the Big Screen, your bladder screaming as you try to last that last fifteen minutes with a gallon of Coke cut with Sprees sloshing around your system.

      Sorry, I really love going to the movies. The DVD is never the same.

    • "for the price of two tickets"

      Add the heavily overpriced popcorn and sugar water with bubbles and you easily get a better deal by buying it.
    • I've had the dvd for a few months... in Japanese of course... which is the way it was meant to be. I've also seen the English version and they are both great. I prefer the Japanese version however due to it being a Japanese film. I think it adds something to it... even if I have to read what they are saying.
    • The DVD will be out in three weeks

      Did they ever fix that "red tint" problem?
    • But if you just buy the DVD, then Disney will claim that the expanded theater distribution was a waste and use it as an excuse for no other theatrical releases.

      After all, they used their bad profits from Princess Mononoke as the reason for not initially releasing any further films. Why should this be any different?

      Take a friend, go twice if you can, etc., do everything to make sure that this time around it's well worth it for Disney, so it will be well worth it for future Miyazaki releases. Well, some of
    • And for the price of 5 tickets you can get the Miyazaki three pack with Spirited Away, Laputa and Kiki - each with an extra DVD of extras. I'm just waiting for the 1st to preorder since the current discount coupons for amazon expire on the 31st :-}
    • Dear gods, movie tickets are $$11.50 where you live? I can't see why anybody'd go to the movies for that price. It's closer to $5 here, maybe it's because I live in the figurative boondocks -- and for $5, being able to see it on the big screen is definitely worth it.
  • by wikthemighty ( 524325 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:16PM (#5594148)
    I for one am more than happy to see that Spirited Away will be in theaters again, but will the fact that it's coming out on DVD in the states in April hurt ticket sales?
  • by Kagato ( 116051 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:16PM (#5594151)
    There's not a whole lot of kids stuff out now. You've got spring break everywhere. They should release it in 3000 theaters.

    The mouse has a love hate relationship with the movie. They want the money it will make, but they don't want it to overshadow the in house animation.
    • 3000 is quite a lot of theatres for any movie. Of the top five films from last weekend, only one is over 3000 theatres (although they were all pretty close). Check the figures [boxofficemojo.com]. I've heard this 800 number thrown about, notably in the LA Times [latimes.com] and the link provided in the story. I believe that Disney has simply stated that it will recieve a "wide theatrical release". Generally wide releases are considered 1000+ theatres, according to Anime News Network [animenewsnetwork.com] (not that they're really experts).

      Also, I've been s
  • by dmuth ( 14143 )
    Yes, but will it be coming to IMAX screens? :-)
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:17PM (#5594159) Homepage Journal
    Here's the press release [yahoo.com] from Disney...
  • Dubbed or subbed? The subbed version was only out at a few 'artsy' theatres in the area.
  • So I've heard this version is dubbed from the original. I've only seen a subtitled version of the original, and I wonder what people thought of the dubbed version. Japanese speech is kind of an interesting sound and it fits well with anime, so I just wonder if anything gets lost this way.

    If there are good voice actors, it could be great I suppose. I would welcome comments!

    • I only saw Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi) dubbed in the states, and I still consider it one of the best animated pieces I have ever seen. I went to see it 3 times while it was in the theaters, so I would have to say that the dub is quite excellent, comparatively.

      I can't wait for the DVD so I can get the Japanese audio track.
  • Is there any news on an internation release or prehaps a DVD I could import? I've only heard about this on the grape vine but never had a change to even see a clip :(

  • by krugdm ( 322700 ) <slashdot AT ikrug DOT com> on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:22PM (#5594209) Homepage Journal

    Further down the page was news that made my day! A live-action Jetsons! Whoopie!


    • What a great idea! Especially since the live action "Rocky and Bullwinkle" made so much money, not to mention the live action "Scooby-Doo" and "Flintstones".

      Of course, "The Flintstones" had a sequel, so what do I know? What's left of my childhood to rape?
  • by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @05:27PM (#5594270) Homepage Journal
    I think that having more theaters is nice... but they need to sell the movie first... to some audience. The Oscar is nice and all but I doubt there will be too much a correlation between it and increased sales unless it had won for Best Picture.

    But the more important problem is the audience. Who is this for? Under 13? Teenagers? Adults? Are they going to show commercials during Saturday mornings between Pokemon and Digimon? Or is this after-school fare?

    I still think the biggest problem is that Disney doesn't know what to do with these films. They don't fit into their standard G rating pipeline so the films end up showing on 100 screens and getting attended to by the film heads only. Too bad.
  • 800 theaters is a joke. They spend insane millions making and marketing the craptastic Treasure Planet, they release it in 4x as many theaters, and it tanks. And now Spirited Away earns the highest American movie award, in addition to mountains of international acclaim, and their answer is 800 theaters?

    What the fuck, Eisner? Do you need me to draw you a diagram?
    • Uh.

      How about the time it takes to CREATE all those prints and distribute them to the theaters.

      Give it time. The run will expand based upon the success of the 800, and those 800 WILL be succesful.
  • Here at [japantimes.co.jp]
    The Japan Times
  • Does anyone have any figures for how Princess Mononoke did? I imagine that it would be the best indicator for what this will do.

    I know Mononoke's theatrical release was lackluster, but that's largely because there were only 8 prints of the movie, and so it slowly wound its way through the country instead of having a real "release" per se. But how were the sales/rentals on the Mononoke DVD?

  • As sent via IM from one of my friends:

    SPUNKYMORT: the movies plot is that all the japanese god's go to this hidden island for vacations
    SPUNKYMORT: and this girl winds up there
    SPUNKYMORT: but this horrid big headed woman takes your name and you're her slave
    SPUNKYMORT: and now the girl has to work there
    SPUNKYMORT: but there's this black ghost thing that follows her around'
    SPUNKYMORT: and he seems friendly at first
    SPUNKYMORT: but then he starts eating everybody
    SPUNKYMORT: the girls parents eat this foo

  • dub vs. sub (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I am almost always in favor of seeing a foreign film subtitled rather than dubbed. But I make an exception for anime for two reasons:

    The first is that there are very often small details in the image that I miss if I'm distracted by subtitles. This is especially true with Miyazaki, I think.

    The second is that it's much harder to follow a language like Japanese if you don't have a background in it. I grew up speaking English and studied some French. So it's easy to follow films in French, Spanish and I

    • Re:dub vs. sub (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cens0r ( 655208 )
      I agree. You see an animation film is dubbed whether it's in it's japanese or english. Unlike a live action movie where the actor is combining facial expresions, movements, and their voice to convey meaning; in animation the actor only supplies the voice and the rest is already their for them. A japanese voice actor has just as hard of time dubbing their original vocal track as an english voice actor would. As long as they get people of good quality, there's no reason not to watch dubbed animation. Now
    • Big-budget anime films are made the same way as any big-budget animation: actors are recorded first, then the characters are animated from the recorded track. By dubbing over the original track, much nuance is lost.

      Having seen Spirited Away in the theatres in both subtitled and dubbed versions, I have to say that I first of all find the voice acting better in original vocal track, and second, find the voices "fit" the characters and their expressions much better.

      Of course, this isn't always true - I actua
      • Actually, there are some exceptions (and for all I know, Miyazaki may be one of them), but most animated films are made the opposite way: it's animated first, then the voice actors match their voices to the movements.
  • movietickets.com (Score:4, Informative)

    by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @06:02PM (#5594579) Journal
    Movietickets.com, which I got to by going to AMCtheatres.com has times for it already listed on March 28th, and at my local theatre too! Tickets are available to buy right NOW. I'll be there this Friday.
    • You're luckier than I am...I usually live in Michigan, but am temporarily living in Austin Texas for the next month. There are no theatres within 40 miles with this near Austin. There are 7 within 40 miles of where I live in Michigan!!

      I really doubt it will still be out when I get back...too bad, 800 theatres is just not enough.

  • by EvilBuu ( 145749 ) <EvilBuu&yifan,net> on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @06:29PM (#5594788) Homepage
    I don't mean to offend anyone's tastes but I really didn't see the big deal with Spirited Away; nor did the two anime fans I saw it in the theater with (some new but empty place near White Plains...). The voice acting was passable and it was a nice little fantasy setting and all but the pacing seemed horribly off. This was one of the few movies I've seen in recent times where I actually checked my watch hoping there wouldn't be much more to go.

    First of all, the main character seemed to be a whiny little girl for far too long, and seemed fairly well-adapted to being enslaved as a bath wench. The main goal she had was to free her parents, but she doesn't actually embark on doing so until at least 2/3 of the way through the film. The bulk of the movie seemed to be clever and well-directed bits that didn't really relate to each other or the main storyline enough to warrant their length or involvement.

    Admittedly, I'm usually more drawn to the more action-oriented but intelligent anime (Bebop, NGE, etc) or goofy stuff (FLCL, Excel Saga, w00t!), but I dig the brainy bits of Eva too, as well as Lain, Akira, and even Mononoke, although I hated the way that ended. Am I still just too Western? The only people I know that really enjoyed Spirited Away were either the die-hard anime fans that /.ers are warned about, or those that only ever enjoy the really esoteric and sort of isolationist-intellectual-film-nut anime. Anyhow, is there anyone else here that didn't really like it so much?
    • No, you're not alone, that's what most people think. Movies for movie watchers, and anime for anime watchers. The rest of us could really care less about what makes people in these two narrow interest fields excited.
    • Spirited Away did not follow the standard formula that we usually see here in the West in pop film. Perhaps you are not yet done with your own exploration of this aspect of culture. No problem there, I suppose. Spirited Away was certainly not a piece of formula movie making!

      Interestingly, children seemed to respond very well to the film, despite its length. I think this might be because the film was effective on a level kids could understand, and because young children have not yet been fully programme

    • First of all, the main character seemed to be a whiny little girl for far too long, and seemed fairly well-adapted to being enslaved as a bath wench. The main goal she had was to free her parents, but she doesn't actually embark on doing so until at least 2/3 of the way through the film.

      Well, if you're going to criticize it based on logic and plot holes, you're going to miss the entire point. In that case, let's talk about gun battles on the outside hull of a spacehip with projectile weapons in Cowboy
    • by NeuroKoan ( 12458 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @10:55PM (#5595645) Homepage Journal
      Well, I wouldn't call myself a die hard anime fan (I can count the number of anime series/movies that I've enjoyed on my hands, with a few fingers to spare) and I really enjoyed Spirited Away.

      People seem to confuse anime as a genre when it is really nothing more then a medium. I think that catches a few people off guard, in this movie and in other movies. As for this one, its not an "intelligent" anime, nor is it "goofy" anime. Its a cartoon (made in Japan so people call it an anime) made for children. Its supposed to be a magical fantasy, not a mind blowing epic.

      If you went into this movie expecting to watch an anime (as a genre) then you wholly missed the point and I'm not suprised that you didn't like it. The film is animated and from Japan, but that in no way means you should lump it with such pieces as Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, etc.
  • "Hi, I'm geekwench, and I'm an animation addict..."
    Silly, but true; I love the illusions created by well-done blobs of ink and paint (or well-done CGI.) Spirited Away was a beautifully made film, and I shuddered when I found out that Disney was handling the US distribution, because I knew that there was no way in hell that they would give it the marketing that it deserved.
    Fast-forward past Oscar night: Spirited Away walks away with the gold. I find it absolutely hilarious that Disney in general (and Eisn
  • And maybe even give us whisper of the heart sometime in the next century!

    I encourage everybody to go watch it, simply because by showing Disney that anime can be profitable, you could increase the amount sent over here.

  • Actually, the theatrical rerelease of Spirited Away has been in the works for a while now. Thing is, Disney didn't want to take as much of a risk as they did with Princess Mononoke and did the smart thing: a small, art-house release, allowing Spirited Away to rack up the well-deserved accolades (the Oscar being the cream of the critical crop). I have a feeling that many at Disney knew Miyazaki's film had the best chance of winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and you can bet that Disney's theatrical
  • Is there a list of theaters yet anywhere? I really want to go see it, (I was kicking myself for missing it the first time). The problem is now I can't find the theaters that have it. I live in Denver and I'm sure there's a theater in denver or boulder with it, it's just a matter of finding it.

    Incidentally, if anyone knows a theater in Denver or Boulder showing it, Please tell me!

  • OK. I am fan of beautiful movies. I especially like beautiful Japanese movies, and, especially, ones done by Kurosawa. Nothing beats the way Kurosawa could paint the whole world with a few horses, a rainy day and a long focal length shot. As geographer, I personally think Derzu Uzala (yes, technically a Russian film) is the best landscape cinemaphotography ever. John Ford's stuff is a hard second -- very hard.

    That being said, I just don't understand anime. Admittedly, I haven't watched much. Mononoke is th
    • Personally, I love the whole package that anime tends to give a viewer.

      Some of the best anime movies and series develop characters, tell a compelling story, provide a fantastic or realistic setting, have terrific artwork, entice so many feelings... Many of the best anime out there provide all of these.

      Anime isn't, to me, a "genre," per se. It's almost like a microcosm of the whole film and television industries, but done entirely in semi-traditional animation instead of live-action. There are action an
    • What is so great about it as a genre?

      Well, there is your problem. Anime is not a genre, its a medium.

      I agree that most people are too enamored with anything if its animated and from Japan, but thats why we have a dimunitive term for them (otaku, or my favorite 'wasians' -- kinda like wiggers, but ... you get my point). In my Japanese language classes there would be those boys who would end their sentences in 'ne' and even the professors would make fun of them. Priceless.

      Anime as a medium, though, can
    • It comes down to the power of iconography and the way the brain works.

      I'll try to sum this up quickly.

      See, in the West, people program their brains from an early age in the art of drawing. Everybody does this in primary school, learning how to push a pencil through all the 26 letters of the alphabet. And that's where it ends. Once we learn the basic alpha-numeric symbols, we never need learn how to draw another new picture again.

      By contrast, in Japan and other Asian nations, (as I am sure you are awar
  • ...Not when it was the least-viewed Oscars in history, according to Neilsen.

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