Demon Slayer: Mugen Train Breaks Japanese Box Office Records Despite COVID-19 Restrictions

The new anime film is posting extremely high attendance rates in Japanese cinemas.


A new movie in the Demon Slayer anime series, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, released in Japan on October 16, and it's been huge. Crunchyroll is reporting that the film is heading towards an enormous weekend gross, and that it should comfortably have the best opening ever for a film in Japan.

The film saw 1.9 million admissions across October 16-17, and is estimated to have earned over $20 million from those two days. However, full figures for the weekend are yet to come in, and Deadline reports that the final number could exceed $40 million.

According to Crunchyroll, the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time in Japan previously was The Matrix Reloaded, which opened to ¥2.2 billion (US$20.8 million). However, Japanese opening weekends are more difficult to track than US weekends--Spirited Away is the highest grossing film in Japan's history, bringing in over ¥30 billion ($250 million) across its run, but there's no firm record of its opening.

As Deadline notes, COVID-19 restrictions were eased somewhat ahead of the film's release, but precautions are still being taken at many cinemas to promote social distancing and stop the spread. It seems that fans of the anime were willing to travel to the cinema, despite cases continuing to appear across the country.

A trailer for the final Evangelion film, Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time, debuted ahead of the film. It also revealed a new release date for the film in Japanese cinemas: January 23, 2021.

In the US over this weekend, the top-grossing film was Liam Neeson vehicle Honest Thief, which earned $3.7 million.

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