An already terrible year for Hollywood elites just went from bad to worse.
Not only did Hollywood studios suffer a terrible year at the box office — now they’re losing out on awards as well.
On Sunday, amidst an incredibly successful box-office run ($137 million worldwide as of Monday), “The Boy and the Heron,” an anime film by Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Animated.
Studio Ghibli’s win marked many historical firsts. It is the first anime film, the first foreign language film and the first Studio Ghibli film to win the award.
The film, directed by legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, beat out Disney’s “Wish,” Disney-Pixar’s “Elemental,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” the second highest-grossing film of 2023.
In a letter released Sunday night, Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki expressed his gratitude on behalf of the company.
A message from Toshio Suzuki. pic.twitter.com/5DymACfxHo
— Studio Ghibli (@GhibliUSA) January 8, 2024
“I am very happy to hear the news that The Boy and the Heron has received an award a the historic Golden Globe Awards,” Suzuki wrote.
“Since the beginning of this year, Japan has been hit by a series of tragic earthquakes and accidents… In such a situation, I hope the bright news of winning an award can bring a smile to everyone’s face, even if only a little.”
The film’s win perfectly represents the changing of the guard that appears to be happening at the U.S. box office.
While many major U.S. studios suffered numerous flops with bloated budgets, many independent and/or outsider studios continue to gain ground in what was once a virtual Hollywood monopoly.
Smaller-budget projects produced by non-Hollywood studios thrived unlike they ever have before.
Some even managed to outperform films with ten times their budget.
“The Boy and the Heron” for example — a thought-provoking fantasy anime about a young man on a journey to save his mother from an otherworldly dimension (which some fans have speculated is actually a message from Miyazaki to his son to stop producing films) — held the number one spot at the U.S. box office from Dec. 8 to 14.
Coincidentally, during the same period, another Japanese film managed to hold a top three U.S. box office spot as well — Toho Studios’s “Godzilla Minus One.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise success of the year, Angel Studios’s “Sound of Freedom,” came out of nowhere to take in a whopping $184.2 million on a measly $15 million budget, per The Hollywood Reporter.
2024 may see even more success for outsider studios.
According to Forbes, experts predict the 2024 box office will perform even worse than last year.
There’s never been a better time for smaller studios to get in on the action.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.