After breaking records all around the world, it was finally time for North America to get on the Mugen Train over the last weekend with Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train opening in the region on April 23 and becoming the best opening for an anime film this century, and second for the weekend after Mortal Kombat.
Not counting The Passion of the Christ (as it was a US production), it was also the biggest opening weekend for a foreign-language film ever in North America, though the English dubbed version and Japanese subbed versions aren’t separated in the report from The Hollywood Reporter.
Demon Slayer: Mugen Train grossed an estimated US$19.5 million over the three-day weekend at 1,605 theaters, making a tidy US$12,188 per screen. This makes Mugen Train the best opening for an anime film this century and the third best ever, behind Pokémon: The First Movie in 1999 at US$31 million, and Pokémon The Movie 2000: The Power of One in 2000 at US$19.6 million. Note that Demon Slayer’s taking at the moment is currently only an estimation and a conservative one at that.
This also brings Demon Slayer: Mugen Train to the 5th spot of highest-grossing anime films in North America, pushing Digimon: The Movie out of the top 10.
Mugen Train takes the 5th spot from Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty at US$19,202,743, and comes in below Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light’s at 4th place with US$19,765,868, Dragon Ball Super: Broly’s 3rd place at US$30,712,119, Pokemon: The Movie 2000’s 2nd place at US$43,758,684, and finally Pokémon: The First Movie at 1st place with US$85,744,662.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train opened in Japanese cinemas on October 16 and had the best opening weekend in Japanese cinema history, becoming the highest-grossing film in Japanese theaters ever, and currently the second highest-grossing anime film and Japanese film worldwide. You can read our review of the film here. In North America, Mugen Train made its stop in theaters on April 23 both dubbed and subbed formats, with a digital release of the film on June 22.
The Ufotable-produced anime film continues to adapt the manga series by Koyoharu Gotouge, which saw a TV anime series adaptation in 2019. The Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba TV anime series streamed on Crunchyroll as it aired. The second season of the TV anime series, subtitled “Entertainment District arc”, will premiere sometime in 2021 on Japanese TV.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.