At the Japanese Film festival held in New Delhi recently, director Makoto Shinkai made an appearance to mark the opening of the festival as well as the release of Weathering With You. Weathering With You aka Tenki No Ko has been a massive success in Japan since its release in July 2019, collecting close to 13 billion Yen in the short time that it has been out. So far, the budget of this film has been a closely guarded secret with no official word from either the director or the studio.
It turns out that after the opening ceremony of the film festival, in a Q&A session with the audience, Mr Shinkai let this information slip. How much of it was a slip and how much of it he was officially allowed to say is something we will never know. After an elderly lady, probably quite innocently, bluntly asked Mr Shinkai how much money he spent on making the film, a visibly awkward Mr Shinkai said he couldn’t reveal numbers and went on to mention other things about the movie for a few minutes.
At the end of that, however, he let slip the fact that 1.2 billion Yen had been spent on Tenki No Ko. 1.2 Billion Yen rough translates to about 11.1 million US dollars.
Makoto Shinkai is most well known for his seminal work Kimi no na wa or Your Name from 2016. Both Your Name and Weathering With You have enjoyed massive international success having collected close to 130 million US dollars worldwide since its release in July. It has broken Hayao Miyazaki’s record of 114 million US dollars collected for his film The Wind Rises in 2013. In fact, Weathering With You has been chosen as Japan’s official entry to the Oscars marking the first time since 1998 that an anime film has been chosen as the official entry since Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke in 1998.
Makoto Shinkai has been hailed as the next Hayao Miyazaki, and having him present for a Q&A in New Delhi was a treat for anime fans in the country. He was surprised at the number of anime fans in India and multiple screenings of the film were held simultaneously to completely packed cinemas with hundreds reportedly turned away at the gates of the cinema. Toho officials apparently kept a close eye on Mr Shinkai and did not let him sign autographs much to the dismay of fans other than one who put him in an awkward position during the Q&A and managed to get him to sign a piece of artwork.
P.S the audience was reportedly asked not to reveal the budget figures of the film at the end of the Q&A since the studio had not officially approved the information so… don’t tell anyone!