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Hollywood Reporter: Demon Slayer Earns Biggest U.S. Opening Ever for Foreign-Language Film

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Film earned US$19.5 million in opening weekend

Entertainment news source The Hollywood Reporter posted on Sunday that the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train anime's US$19,542,227 estimated opening weekend gross in the United States is the highest opening weekend earnings ever for a foreign-language film in the United States. Funimation and Aniplex of America screened the film in Japanese with English subtitles, as well as with an English dub.

According to Box Office Mojo, the previous foreign-language film with the biggest U.S. opening weekend was Zhang Yimou's Hero, which opened with English subtitles in the United States with US$17.8 million in 2004.

Pokémon: The First Movie earned US$31,036,678 in its 1999 opening with an English dub in the United States. Box Office Mojo also reports that Pokémon 2000 - The Movie earned US$19,575,608, meaning Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train has the third-ever highest opening in the U.S. for an anime film. (Demon Slayer's current box office totals are estimates, and these comparisons do not account for inflation.)

Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train ranked at #2 in its opening weekend in the U.S., behind the new Mortal Kombat film (US$22,515,000 in 3,073 theaters).

Funimation and Aniplex of America began screening Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train in theaters in North America on April 23, and will release the film digitally on June 22.

Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train began screening in Japan on October 16. The film had the highest opening weekend globally for the October 16-18 weekend. The film sold 3,424,930 tickets and earned 4,623,117,450 yen (about US$43.85 million) in Japan in its first three days. The film sold 910,507 tickets and earned over 1,268,724,700 yen (about US$12.03 million) on its opening day alone, making it the highest weekday opening day in Japan ever.

After 12 consecutive weeks at #1 in the box office in Japan, the film dropped to #2 during the January 9-10 weekend, its 13th weekend. The film had ranked in the top three spots weekly in Japan since then, until its 22nd weekend.

The film has surpassed Hayao Miyazaki's 2002 Spirited Away, its last rival for all-time highest earnings in Japanese box office history. (Spirited Away earned 30.8 billion yen in its original run, but has since earned a total of 31.68 billion yen after last summer's revival screenings.) The film has also surpassed Spirited Away as the #1 highest-earning Japanese film of all time worldwide.

Thanks to enurtsol for the news tip.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Pamela McClintock)

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