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Old 2010-09-21, 18:27   Link #21
Nosauz
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
Reading the linked article, I am very confused. Why is Studio Ghibli going out of business? Ponyo, to use the most recent film, made well over 200 million dollars worldwide, and it only cost 30-60 million to make and market. Tales from Earthsea was a failure (costing around 60 million and only making about 68 million dollars), but with the success of Ponyo, that failure was more than made up for. So where are they losing money from?
I'm assuming after overhead, they can no longer internally fund their next projects without box office success to secure financing.
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Old 2010-09-21, 18:34   Link #22
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Originally Posted by Nosauz View Post
I'm assuming after overhead, they can no longer internally fund their next projects without box office success to secure financing.
What have they been wasting their money on that they would already be far enough in the Red that there next movie (which looks extraordinarily stupid) is their make or break moment?
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Old 2010-09-21, 19:25   Link #23
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The "magic" of Hollywood accounting leads me to believe that Ghibli studio saw very little of those proceeds. All Hollywood films "lose money/fail" when it comes time to pay the actual creative forces.
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Old 2010-09-21, 20:07   Link #24
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
Reading the linked article, I am very confused
You're not the only one. This felt more like reading a collection of bullet points that relate to each other than a complete article.
Quote:
In an interview with the Japanese publication Cut magazine, Miyazaki said it is possible Studio Ghibli may never make another movie again.

Whether or not that actually happens all depends on the success of Ghibli's newest movie, The Borrower Arrietty, which is loosely based on Mary Norton's fantasy novel, The Borrowers.

The film has already been released to high praise in Japan, but it remains to be seen how well the film will fare at the American box office. And, therein lies the problem.

As popular as Miyazaki has become in the United States, Studio Ghibli has yet to see its films released in mainstream theaters.
Reading this, I noticed that there are key things missing. Why did Miyazaki say that Ghibli might not make another movie again? Is it because of financial problems relating to the studio? Why does their new film need to be successful in the US in the first place? Also, if the problem lies in that these films don't get released in more theaters, doesn't that mean that Ghibli's fate lies more with the corporate executives decisions?
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Old 2010-09-21, 20:13   Link #25
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The "magic" of Hollywood accounting leads me to believe that Ghibli studio saw very little of those proceeds. All Hollywood films "lose money/fail" when it comes time to pay the actual creative forces.
But that doesn't really affect the Studio; it's just a way of screwing over the writers and actors, leaving all the money to the studio's execs and the smarter producers.
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Old 2010-09-21, 20:29   Link #26
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Rest in peace, Studio Ghibli.

However you don't deserve a decent eulogy.
Many of the posters already have pointed out the reasons why.
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Old 2010-09-21, 22:32   Link #27
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
Reading the linked article, I am very confused. Why is Studio Ghibli going out of business? Ponyo, to use the most recent film, made well over 200 million dollars worldwide, and it only cost 30-60 million to make and market.
I don't think money has much of anything to do with it. Not only was Ponyo a box-office hit, it was the number one selling DVD in Japan in 2009. Over 800,000 copies of Ponyo were sold, fully seven times as many as the number two title, Resident Evil: Degeneration. Ponyo's success created a new surge of interest in Miyazaki's other films as well. Totoro ranked fourth in overall DVD sales during 2009; all told, seven of the top-fifty DVD titles in 2009 were Miyazaki/Ghibli films. They continue to sell well in 2010.

I suspect this story has much more to do with the fact that Hayao's getting along in years. Sadly, from what I've heard about Earthsea, Goro's talents don't match up very well with his father's. While Ghibli may have been a collaborative in its early years, nowadays it's pretty much synonymous with the Miyazaki name. Better to go out when you're on top than slouch into mediocrity.
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Old 2010-09-22, 00:16   Link #28
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I think Ghibli going out of business has more to do with Hayao's attittude rather than finance problems. I'm willing to bet that Hayao's thinking that if it's not successful in the US, that can only mean that people are more interested in the poor anime TV series people often "incorrectly" compare his work to even though it's on a much higher plane of existence. If people keep doing that, then there's no point in him making movies i.e. it has more to do with Hayao's attittude problems and the fact he looks down on the anime industry in general.
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Old 2010-09-22, 00:24   Link #29
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Ghibli is pretty much the last anime studio I would imagine being in financial trouble. As far as I'm concerned every single family in Japan owns their full collection
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Old 2010-09-22, 09:00   Link #30
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Judging from sites on corporate information there is no indication that Studio Ghibli inc. is in any financial trouble. They even opened a new studio recently and they are still hiring staff. Not really the behavior of a firm in financial trouble. Also, since 2005, Ghibli has become an independent firm, unlike before where mother company Takuma Shoten Publishing leached of it's profits.

There are known problems in the HR department, as replacing aging directors Miyazaki and Takahata has proven difficult. This has been mentioned well before the Cut Magazine article so I guess Miyazaki's comments can be read along those lines. If Ghibli can't produce quality works according to their own standards anymore it's not worth it to continue the studio. Though it would help if we see the actual wording of the article instead of just translated quotes.
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Old 2010-09-22, 09:13   Link #31
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I just have to ask if this is all those speculative economics thingies I hear a lot about. As much as I continue to prostrate myself to Miyazaki he's essentially over the hill not just in age, and Grave was the only Takahata directed movie I think I ever really loved. The last news item I heard was that they've been cutting staff a lot, but not outright folding because given the nature of their releases I can hardly think, without financial data, that they're out of money.

What they really should have done in the last 10 or so years was get more creative talent it while they were still properly in the black. Relying solely on the skills of Miyazaki could have only gotten them so far. It worked in the 80s, 90s and the early 21st, but it seems it just isn't working anymore now.

Perhaps the new viewership of this generation can no longer click with the studio's style and approach, for (controversial?) reasons I won't dare go into, but it might not be so far to assume that in reality, Ghibli has lost most if not all relevance with the current generation and what they want in anime.

Which, for me, might be a rather sad thing in retrospect.
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Old 2010-09-22, 11:03   Link #32
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
I just have to ask if this is all those speculative economics thingies I hear a lot about. As much as I continue to prostrate myself to Miyazaki he's essentially over the hill not just in age, and Grave was the only Takahata directed movie I think I ever really loved. The last news item I heard was that they've been cutting staff a lot, but not outright folding because given the nature of their releases I can hardly think, without financial data, that they're out of money.
According to Ghibli's own website business in 2010 was booming and they welcomed 32 new staff from their Toyota training center this September (http://www.ghibli.jp/15diary/) . Curious where the news of shedding staff comes from?

Quote:
What they really should have done in the last 10 or so years was get more creative talent it while they were still properly in the black. Relying solely on the skills of Miyazaki could have only gotten them so far. It worked in the 80s, 90s and the early 21st, but it seems it just isn't working anymore now.
They have their own training programs for creative staff. Ghibli has several directors on their employment list, but it seems they have not been able to be as successful as Miyazaki and Takahata. Also the company branched out in other areas like music production, merchandising, commercials, instruction videos and event management to reduce risk.

Quote:
Perhaps the new viewership of this generation can no longer click with the studio's style and approach, for (controversial?) reasons I won't dare go into, but it might not be so far to assume that in reality, Ghibli has lost most if not all relevance with the current generation and what they want in anime.
Ghibli produces animation for family audiences/all ages. Whether or not fans of late night TV anime appreciate their movies is of little importance.
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Old 2010-09-22, 11:23   Link #33
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Originally Posted by Bri View Post
According to Ghibli's own website business in 2010 was booming and they welcomed 32 new staff from their Toyota training center this September (http://www.ghibli.jp/15diary/) . Curious where the news of shedding staff comes from?



They have their own training programs for creative staff. Ghibli has several directors on their employment list, but it seems they have not been able to be as successful as Miyazaki and Takahata. Also the company branched out in other areas like music production, merchandising, commercials, instruction videos and event management to reduce risk.



Ghibli produces animation for family audiences/all ages. Whether or not fans of late night TV anime appreciate their movies is of little importance.
I distinctively recall a news item from Anime News Network of Ghibli cutting down the creative team to almost merely 5 members. Of course that was merely the idea factory, it didn't say whether the actual grunts of the production team got cut and by how much.

It actually makes me wonder more if Miyazaki's fame is a double edged sword: it brings a lot of "star" appeal for the studio, but likewise puts a lot of pressure and hype for the rest of the team to perform. If his son's work on Earthsea and it's lukewarm acceptance was any indication, the rest of the potential candidates for leading the next generation of the studio haven't been performing to expectations. It could simply be because the expectations for them are much too high. Again, likely the effect of Miyazaki's and Takahata's status.

As for the target demographics... well I would assume that in this day and age in the 21st century, the purchasing power in anime might have really shifted more to the Otaku demographics as opposed to the family ones. Although to me, it's probably not simply a matter of economics as perception of the medium in general. I cannot claim to speak for the midnight crowd since I don't (mostly) belong to that category. I spoke of relevance because, as opposed to my youth back in the 80s and 90s at least, the shifts in what the viewing public wants has gone more towards the genres and methods that Ghibli does not go for. Perhaps it's more correct to say that their target demographic has become a smaller piece of the pie as compared to the past.
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Old 2010-09-22, 11:26   Link #34
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Originally Posted by Bri View Post
According to Ghibli's own website business in 2010 was booming and they welcomed 32 new staff from their Toyota training center this September (http://www.ghibli.jp/15diary/) . Curious where the news of shedding staff comes from?
Anime News Network reported an aborted decision to shed staff about a month ago, citing interviews with Miyazaki and Suzuki by Cut magazine.

As can be seen, the bigger news at the time was that Miyazaki was apparently planning a sequel to Porco Rosso.

It would seem that any decision to "close" Ghibli will not be prompted by lack of funds, but rather by the lack worthwhile future projects. If that turns out to be the case, the founders apparently intend to downsize to a smaller studio that would "not make any more films, and just handle the copyrights for the studio's existing works".
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Old 2010-09-22, 11:46   Link #35
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
As for the target demographics... well I would assume that in this day and age in the 21st century, the purchasing power in anime might have really shifted more to the Otaku demographics as opposed to the family ones.
I haven't done the arithmetic, but the figures for 2009 suggest you're wrong. I'd bet if you added up the sales for all the animated television shows in that list, you'd still be way short of Ponyo's 840,000 figure.

Moreover most of those come from just a few shows - Gundam, Kara no Kyoukai, Hetalia, Gintama, Haruhi, and Code Geass. The vast array of television series that appear on the upcoming anime lists each season are nowhere to be found. It does appear that the otaku crowd has been a mainstay of Blu-ray sales though, with good numbers for the Evangelion remake, Bakemonogatari, Macross Frontier, and K-On!. Still it's a pretty small list of shows with sales that are dwarfed by the Miyazaki films.
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Old 2010-09-22, 13:47   Link #36
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I haven't done the arithmetic, but the figures for 2009 suggest you're wrong. I'd bet if you added up the sales for all the animated television shows in that list, you'd still be way short of Ponyo's 840,000 figure.

Moreover most of those come from just a few shows - Gundam, Kara no Kyoukai, Hetalia, Gintama, Haruhi, and Code Geass. The vast array of television series that appear on the upcoming anime lists each season are nowhere to be found. It does appear that the otaku crowd has been a mainstay of Blu-ray sales though, with good numbers for the Evangelion remake, Bakemonogatari, Macross Frontier, and K-On!. Still it's a pretty small list of shows with sales that are dwarfed by the Miyazaki films.
Evangelion 2.0's combined DVD and Bluray sales are over 800,000 now, which makes me suspect there's a significantly higher number of casual anime fans than hardcore collectors. Hence why you get the recent trend towards theatrical releases of major franchises: movies are a better way to tap the pocketbooks of the casual fans than TV series.

I do wonder if companies making theatrical anime of said franchises realize that the casual fan probably isn't a bottomless money supply though. We might get another saturated market like we did in TV anime a few years back, with lots of stuff being made but very little getting good sales.
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Old 2010-09-22, 13:55   Link #37
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Evangelion 2.0's combined DVD and Bluray sales are over 800,000 now, which makes me suspect there's a significantly higher number of casual anime fans than hardcore collectors. Hence why you get the recent trend towards theatrical releases of major franchises: movies are a better way to tap the pocketbooks of the casual fans than TV series.

I do wonder if companies making theatrical anime of said franchises realize that the casual fan probably isn't a bottomless money supply though. We might get another saturated market like we did in TV anime a few years back, with lots of stuff being made but very little getting good sales.
theatrical films cost more to make then a 26eps series. So you can't just slap together some moe crap and hope it sells. If the anime industry does produce more theatrical films, even if not every film is good, the overall qualify should be higher then tv.
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Old 2010-09-22, 16:04   Link #38
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I can't believe anybody would think they're in financial trouble.
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Old 2010-09-22, 17:34   Link #39
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
It actually makes me wonder more if Miyazaki's fame is a double edged sword: it brings a lot of "star" appeal for the studio, but likewise puts a lot of pressure and hype for the rest of the team to perform. If his son's work on Earthsea and it's lukewarm acceptance was any indication, the rest of the potential candidates for leading the next generation of the studio haven't been performing to expectations. It could simply be because the expectations for them are much too high. Again, likely the effect of Miyazaki's and Takahata's status.
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It would seem that any decision to "close" Ghibli will not be prompted by lack of funds, but rather by the lack worthwhile future projects. If that turns out to be the case, the founders apparently intend to downsize to a smaller studio that would "not make any more films, and just handle the copyrights for the studio's existing works".
Agreed with both, seems to be the most likely explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Evangelion 2.0's combined DVD and Bluray sales are over 800,000 now, which makes me suspect there's a significantly higher number of casual anime fans than hardcore collectors. Hence why you get the recent trend towards theatrical releases of major franchises: movies are a better way to tap the pocketbooks of the casual fans than TV series.

I do wonder if companies making theatrical anime of said franchises realize that the casual fan probably isn't a bottomless money supply though. We might get another saturated market like we did in TV anime a few years back, with lots of stuff being made but very little getting good sales.
The people who buy the Evangelion2.0 discs are not necessarily anime fans. See kj1980's post below:
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Originally Posted by kj1980 View Post
Social Phenomena

Or in Japanese, they are called "shakai genshou." These are anime that start out otaku-ish, but its popularity reaches to the masses through mass media reviews, word of mouth, and interest.

Not many anime have reached the pinnacle of a social phenomena status. In the past thirty years, we've only had three: "Uchuu Senkan Yamato," "Kidou Senshi Gundam," and "Neon Genesis Evangelion."

The factors of becoming a social phenomena are very difficult to say. For one, it must not be confined to just the average otaku fanbase, it must reach out the masses. Secondly, it needs to be a title that no one knew about before its airing. As I have said before, normal Japanese do not watch anime (yes, I still get gasps and surprises when I explain this to foreigners!) Hence, it is a VERY BIG DEAL when an anime that no one knew about explodes into popularity that becomes a social phenomena.

Example:

Some claim that "Suzumiya Haruhi" might've become a social phenomena given the right time of episodes. I tend to disagree. Sure, while the sales of the original light novels skyrocketed after the initial airing, it was still confined to the otaku populace.
On the trend of anime movies: Shoji Kawamori said in an interview about Aquarion just before starting on Macross Frontier that he considered a movie a reward for both the fans and the production staff of a popular show. Making a movie gives a production team time to wind down after a stressful TV season where strict deadlines need to be met. It also prevents the studio from having to disband the team between series as a lot of smaller studios can only offer employment on project basis. Ghibli for example is one of the few studios that employ production staff permanently.
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Old 2010-09-22, 23:12   Link #40
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@Bri: I'm sure this plays a fairly big role as well. After all, most anime movies don't sell 800,000 copies.

Still, I wouldn't be surprised if fans who would never buy an anime TV series on DVD or Bluray might buy an anime movie on DVD or bluray. It's just a matter of price structures: yeah, anime movies are hugely expensive too, but at least you're not shelling out month after month like you do collecting a series. Hence why I say movies are a better way to reach into the pocketbooks of casual anime fans - semi-otaku if you prefer.
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