Disney Debuts English-Language Ponyo

Hayao Miyazaki’s most-recent animated movie Ponyo finally arrives in American cinemas, complete with a star-studded English-language cast courtesy of Disney.

Disney is distributing the film, which will open in some 800 theaters across the country. The English-language version of the movie features the voices of Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.

Released in Japan last summer, the film has grossed $183 million in international releases, with the vast bulk of that earned in Japan. The film has earned overwhelmingly positive reviews so far.

But there’s some competition this weekend from District 9, a sci-fi movie with some gory visual effects. Produced by Peter Jackson, it has gained some serious buzz and is tracking almost as well with critics as Ponyo. Released by Sony, the film will play in some 2,900 theaters, making it the weekend’s largest opening.

Also new this weekend are Summit Entertainment’s comedy Bandslam, opening in more than 2,000 theaters; the Paramount Vantage comedy The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard in 1,500 cinemas; and the Warner Bros. romance The Time Traveler’s Wife, starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, in more than 2,700 theaters.