Anime fans on the other side of the world seem to have banded together last weekend to bring popular anime film Demon Slayer: Mugen Train to the top spot in the U.S. box office, beating out the previous weekend’s champion Mortal Kombat.
The Japanese film finished the weekend off with $6.4 million in sales, with Mortal Kombat trailing closely behind at $6.2 million. In two weeks, the Demon Slayer movie made a total of $34.1 million and has become the third highest-grossing anime film in the U.S.
In Japan, the film was already crowned the highest-grossing film of all time, beating out other famous works like the Harry Potter series and Hayao Miyazaki’s animated classics.
Demon Slayer’s success has come as a surprise to many, especially in the U.S. where anime films aren’t particularly the norm. Moviegoers, however, have cited its superb animation and intense action scenes as one of the series’ many charms.
Demon Slayer: Mugen Train picks up where the first season of the anime series left off, with main characters Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke joining the Flame Hashira Rengoku in the hunt for a dangerous demon.
The film serves as a precursor to the series’ second season, set to release later this summer in 2021.
In the wake of Demon Slayer’s success lies Mortal Kombat, the film adaptation of the legendary martial arts-centered video game. While Demon Slayer performed better at the box office in the second week since its release, it’s been noted that Mortal Kombat’s simultaneous release on HBO Max may have hindered ticket sales.
While the overall weekend gross for both films was low in pre-pandemic terms, they fared well in theaters and gave the cinema scene a boost in the eve of post-pandemic life. Hopefully, this keeps up and vaccinated moviegoers will get the chance to revive theaters and movie life soon.