10 highest-grossing anime movies of all time (2023)
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is a massive hit in its first week at the box office, so it's worth looking at the highest-grossing anime movies of all time. It's worth mentioning that this list will only account for data up to August 25, 2022.
The current rankings are unlikely to change anytime soon, although it is too early to tell how Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will finally fare. Some of these films are easy to guess, while others might surprise some readers.
The 10 highest-grossing anime movies
Here are some of the highest-earning anime movies of all time, which everyone should consider watching.
10) Princess Mononoke
Total revenue: $169,785,704
Hayao Miyazaki is widely regarded as one of the best directors. His movies are generally impeccable and entertaining. Princess Mononoke received widespread critical acclaim and delighted the fanbase too.
Although the story may be cliched in some parts, its execution is marvelous and features some darker themes. It's also worth mentioning that it was the highest-grossing Japanese movie in 1997, regardless of the genre. This masterpiece is also the oldest film on this list.
9) Pokemon: The First Movie
Total revenue: $172,744,662
The initial Pokemon craze was blinding. This series blasted across several media platforms in the late 90s, so naturally, it proved to be a huge hit. It featured all well-known characters, from Ash and Pikachu to the first Legendary Pokemon of the series, Mewtwo.
Technically, there are two parts of this movie. The first one is Pikachu's Vacation, but it's the second one that most fans will likely remember, Mewtwo Strikes Back. The film wasn't as well-received as the previous one on this list, but the sheer popularity of Pokemon made it an astounding success nonetheless.
8) Stand by Me, Doraemon
Total revenue: $183,442,714
It's easy for people to underestimate the Doraemon series' popularity, especially since it's mainly famous in Japan. To give a clear indication of its success, Stand by Me Doraemon was number one in Japan for five weeks in a row.
Doraemon's character is considered a Japanese icon, and readers should know that his series has made over $6.2 billion.
7) Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Total revenue: $190,165,506
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is the most recent movie on this list, released in 2021. Most modern fans are perhaps aware of Jujutsu Kaisen, but it's worth noting that this anime movie is a prequel to the series.
The original Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was a short manga series that began and ended in 2017, with the iconic sequel beginning a year later. The beloved anime only began in 2020, so a prequel anime movie reaching this level of success is indeed surprising but well-deserved.
6) Weathering With You
Total revenue: $193,715,360
This romantic anime movie was a huge hit back in 2019. It was released in 140 countries, and it was immediately compared to the insanely popular 2016 title, Your Name. It is worth noting that Weathering With You made notably less money by comparison but received excellent reviews. It is a perfect example of a sweet romantic film that viewers will enjoy.
Total revenue: $204,826,668
This film is considered one of Miyazaki's more underrated movies, even though it's one of the highest-grossing anime movies of all time. Besides that, it's a prime example of a film designed with kids in mind. However, that does not stop the movie from entertaining adults too.
4) Howl's Moving Castle
Total revenue: $236,214,446
Another Hayao Miyazaki anime movie on this list is Howl's Moving Castle. It takes some inspiration from the eponymous novel by Diana Wynne Jones. The plotline explores various themes tied to feminism and aging. This particular film was even described by Miyazaki as his favorite when asked about his own films.
3) Your Name
Total revenue: $380,140,500
Your Name was referenced earlier in this article, and its total revenue exceeds the previous anime movies on this list. This romantic movie involves a boy and a girl swapping bodies and living the other person's life. It's an unusual plot, but Your Name makes it work and isn't as strange as the initial premise might indicate.
The music also received much praise, with many fans loving the Zenzenzense song.
2) Spirited Away
Total revenue: $395,580,000
The final Hayao Miyazaki anime movie on this list is, unsurprisingly, Spirited Away. It's widely regarded as his best film by fans and critics alike. It is also the only hand-drawn Japanese film to get an Academy Award (specifically the Best Animated Feature). Spirited Away won numerous awards upon its debut, which isn't surprising for anybody who has watched it.
The fairy tale aspects coupled with Japanese mythology are incredibly entertaining, imaginative and include Miyazaki's classic quirky style.
1) Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train
Total revenue: $504,334,511
Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train has a massive lead over every other anime movie in terms of being the highest-grossing anime movie. It's unlikely to be replaced from this position anytime soon.
For those who don't know, this film is a part of the extremely popular Demon Slayer series. Its success wasn't just limited to animations, either. Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train was the highest-grossing film in 2020.
With Suzume no Tojimari and Demon Slayer - Road to the Swordsmith Village still in running the theaters, the list might soon be changed.