“Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train,” a Japanese action/adventure anime, was the best performing film in the world this weekend.
Given an unusual Friday release, on 403 screens, by distributors Aniplex and Toho, the film earned $12 million on its opening day. Over the three-day period it totaled $44 million, from 3.42 million admissions.
This compares with the three-day take of $30 million for “Frozen 2,” which went on to finish with $121 million in Japan in 2019, and the $15.6 million for “Weathering with You,” the Shinkai Makoto anime that made $134 million.
This three-day figure also exceeds the $36 million made by “Confidence Man JP: Princess,” the third-highest earning Japanese film of 2020, in its entire run.
The score comes despite pandemic safety measures. These include spaced seating that limits admissions to about half of normal capacity.
Produced by Aniplex, Shueisha and Ufotable, the film has been boosted locally by its source material, a Gotoge Koyoharu comic about a boy who turns demon slayer after his family is killed and his sister kidnapped by demons. First appearing in February 2016, the comic currently has nearly 100 million copies circulating in paperback editions and digital formats.
The comic also inspired a TV anime that ran from April to September 2019. Aniplex, which is wholly owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan, has been distributing this series on the Netflix, Amazon and Hulu platforms.
“Demon Slayer” is set for a North American release in early 2021, with Aniplex of America and Funimation distributing. Among overseas territories, however, Taiwan will get the film first, on Oct. 30, with others to follow.