Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know all about Studio Ghibli. In Japan, the studio is often compared to Disney for it’s cute characters and fantastic storytelling. They’ve been creating beloved cartoons for over two decades, and smashed Japanese box office records for years.
Despite this success, it’s been no secret that the studio has been struggling financially for a couple of years now, with their recent movies failing to make a decent profit for the studio. One particular movie released in 2013 grossed over 2.3 billion yen (roughly £13.3 Million) however it was still considered a failure due to the high production costs (close to 5 billion yen! Owch!)
Last year, Hayao Miyazaki, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, retired and handed responsibilities over to Toshio Suzuki. Suzuki became Studio Ghibli’s general manager, however gave up producing films at the same time.
However this is where things become complicated. Toshio Suzuki recently took to Japanese television to announce the studio’s closure. While he said that one option would be to shut down the production department, the key focus was that Studio Ghibli is looking into streamlining the company.
This means that the studio will make cuts, but will it close? Absolutely not. They will focus on managing trademarks and copyrights to secure a steady income. This also means that options are there for the company to branch out into freelance and work on any viable projects.
However, this is bad news for the production team. As the studio has no plans to produce it’s own films, they will undoubtedly be let go.
A lot of the articles you will see on the Internet are casting a very dark gloomy shadow over the future of the company, but let’s keep an eye on the fact that no major Japanese outlet has run a “Studio Ghibli Shuts Down!” story. So until that time, things seem a little cloudy, but just sit tight!