The Japanese animated mega-hit Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train continues to topple box office records on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film release in that country’s box office history.
Demon Slayer is estimated to have grossed ¥25.95 billion ($248.6 million) through today, which is a public holiday in Japan. The figure exceeds the ¥25.50 billion that Disney’s Frozen grossed in 2014, leaving only Titanic (¥26.20 billion) and Spirited Away (¥30.80 billion) ahead of it on the all-time list. Demon Slayer is expected to leap ahead of both films by the end of its theatrical run.
Besides its record-setting run in Japan, Demon Slayer’s global box office stands at over $20 million, thanks to powerful performances in territories like Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Taiwan, where it was released on October 30, the film has already earned over $15 million, making it the biggest release of the year, the territory’s top-grossing Japanese film of all-time, and the highest-grossing animation release of all-time.
Demon Slayer has also surpassed China’s Jiang Ziya to become the highest-grossing animated feature of 2020. As far back as we can remember, an American title has always come top, but for the first time, it appears that the top-grossing animated film of the year (as well as the second-highest grossing film) will be an Asian release.
Mugen Train is based on Koyoharu Gotoge’s manga Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba, which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump between February 2016 and May 2020; it is one of the best-selling manga series of all time, with more than 80 million copies in circulation. It has inspired numerous spin-offs, including anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
The film is directed by Haruo Sotozaki and produced by the Tokyo-based Ufotable; both also worked on the tv series. The Sony-owned divisions Funimation and Aniplex of America are partnering to release the film in North America early next year.