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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 10:53 GMT
Animation charms Japan box office
Howl's Moving Castle
Almost a third of Japan's population is expected to see the film
Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki's latest film has set a new Japanese box office record, with 1.5bn yen ($14.3m) in two days, according to reports.

Howl's Moving Castle is the follow-up to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, which won best animation at last year's Oscars.

It is based on the children's book by English writer Diana Wynne Jones.

It has registered the highest opening weekend takings of any Japanese film in the country, according to trade publication Screen Daily.

Festival award

The film is about an 18-year-old girl who is trapped in an old woman's body after being put under a spell by a witch.

Its two-day takings represented 1.1 million cinema admissions, Screen Daily said.

The film's distributor Toho expects 40 million people to see it in total - almost one third of the country's population - it added.

The film won the Golden Osella for outstanding technical contribution at this year's Venice Film Festival.

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