Mononoke aftermath

Mark Schilling schill
Sun Jan 23 20:53:03 EST 2000

A couple late additions to the Princess Mononoke post mortem --

Having been involved, however peripherally, in the US release of Princess
Mononoke, my own read is that Miramax had no desire to "sabotage" the film.
In fact, they spent long months in negotiations for the voice cast -- one
prime target being Leonardo DiCaprio for the role of Ashitaka -- and
otherwise agonized over every detail of the release. The endless futzing
about, I think, was a major reason why the film failed to break as widely
as everyone had hoped. By the time it finally hit the theaters, it had
passed its sell-by date for much of its target audience. 

The BO total of $2.2 million may not have approached the total of Shall We
Dance?, but very few foreign or even US indie films do. If Leonardo's name
had appeared on the ads and posters, that total might have been much higher
-- but we'll never know now, will we?

I personally have no complaints. The Miramax marketing machine briefly
boosted the Studio Ghibli book on PM that I translated and wrote the
introduction for  -- The Princess Mononoke : The Art and Making of Japan's
Most Popular Film 
of All Time -- past several Stephen King titles on the Amazon ranking list
-- an accomplishment I'll be telling my grandchildren about!

Mark Schilling

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