Crunchyroll, Sony Pictures and Wild Bunch Int’l To Team Up on Global Distribution for Award-Winning Japanese Director Makoto Shinkai’s New Film “Suzume No Tojimari”
From the Press Release:
Crunchyroll today announced it has acquired the global distribution and marketing rights (excluding Asia) from TOHO, for Makoto Shinkai’s upcoming film, “Suzume no Tojimari” (working title). The deal was finalized at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and was negotiated by Crunchyroll’s Chief Content Officer Asa Suehira, Wild Bunch International’s CEO Vincent Maraval and TOHO’s Akihiro Takeda. Rights are handled worldwide by TOHO (excluding South Korea and India).
“Suzume no Tojimari” will debut in Japan on November 11 this year, 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.
“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, LLC. “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.”
Award-winning creator, writer and director Makoto Shinkai has been a visionary in the animation space for decades, with the most recent films “Your Name.” (2016) and “Weathering With You” (2019), both of which have catapulted him a leading animation auteur with international viewers. “Weathering With You” was selected as Japan’s entry for the best international feature film category of the 2020 Academy Awards and nominated in four categories in the 47th annual Annie Awards including best animated independent feature.
On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—
“Suzume no Tojimari” is a coming-of-age story for the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation.
Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.
—The stars, then sunset, and the morning sky.
Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky…
Never-before-seen scenery, encounters and farewells… A myriad of challenges await her on her journey. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Suzume’s adventure shines a ray of hope upon our own struggles against the toughest roads of anxiety and constraints that make up everyday life. This story of closing doors that connect our past to the present and future will leave a lasting impression upon all of our hearts.
Drawn in by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.
Crunchyroll, LLC is an independently operated joint venture between US-based Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., both subsidiaries of Tokyo-based Sony Group.
Films distributed and marketed by Crunchyroll – domestically and internationally – have a proven track record of both box office and critical success. Crunchyroll’s theatrical team has been behind 9 of the Top 20 best-performing anime films in U.S. box office history, including “JUJUTSU KAISEN 0”. Not only have Crunchyroll films seen box office success, but have also been recognized with numerous awards accolades and been accepted and screened at international film festivals around the globe.
About Wild Bunch International
Based in Paris, Wild Bunch International (“WBI”), is a world-renowned independent film sales company that secures distribution for over 30 films per year. Led by veteran film executive Vincent Maraval, WBI pioneered the independent foreign sales model as it exists today, cultivating relationships with the highest caliber of filmmakers and a brand that is recognized for critical and commercial success alike. Characterized by its diverse and innovative slate of films from all over the world, WBI’s strength for the past decade has been investing not only in European local language box office hits such as The Artist, but also in English and foreign language films which have won countless awards – Spirited Away, Blue is the Warmest Color,The Wrestler, Shoplifters, Titane and Happening to name a few. In 2021, WBI partnered with Gebeka, a French distribution company, to create a specialty division dedicated to animation, Gebeka International.
ABOUT CoMix Wave Films Inc.
CoMix Wave Films (CWF), a Japanese animation studio, and the production company for all of the Makoto Shinkai films. CWF began in creative contracting and currently engages in animated movie production, distribution, and package sales as well as overseas sales. The company staffs each position with a small number of highly skilled people, hoping to create works that both fully display its creators’ abilities and stand the test of time – its mission: to work with imaginative artists and deliver heartfelt works to the world
About STORY inc.
STORY inc. is a film production company founded by Yoshihiro Furusawa and
Genki Kawamura, the producers of the animated feature “Your Name.”.
STORY inc. develops and produces films with compelling story in association with Makoto Shinkai and CoMix Wave Films Inc., respectively the director and the production company of “Your Name.”, and other talented creators/productions. In addition to “Suzume no Tojimari,” STORY inc. is currently producing the Netflix series drama called “The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House” (Original title: “Maiko-sanchi no Makanai-san“) with director Hirokazu Kore-eda.
About TOHO Co., Ltd.
Toho Company, Limited, is a Japanese entertainment studio focused on the development, production, exhibition, and distribution of powerful content for motion pictures, television, and theater. Founded in 1932, it remains a prominent force in bringing brands and original storytelling with versatile talents to audiences worldwide. Its subsidiaries include Toho Cinemas, the highest grossing exhibition company in Japan.