Demon Slayer: Mugen Train Lays Down Historic Tracks to Become Highest-Grossing Film of 2020 as It Crosses 40 Billion Yen in Japan
No other Japanese films have ever reached these milestones
Image via Demon Slayer: Mugen Train official website
As Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train continues its worldwide rollout this week, the anime film has overtaken Chinese film The Eight Hundred to become the highest-grossing film of 2020. In the film's domestic home, Mugen Train finally surpassed 40 billion yen at the Japanese box office, marking the first film ever to do so, continuing to certify it as a worldwide phenomenon.
Earlier today, Aniplex sent out a press release confirming that Demon Slayer: Mugen Train had grossed 40,016,942,050 yen (US$367.7 million) in Japan on the back of 28.96 million tickets sold. This is the first time a film in the Japanese market has grossed over 40 billion yen (and 35 billion yen, which Demon Slayer did a few months back). Over the past week, Mugen Train brought in around 47 million yen (US$431k), which is about the same as the week before.
The second highest-grossing film in the region, Spirited Away, currently sits at 31.68 billion yen, which may mean that by the time Demon Slayer finishes its run in Japan, it’ll be over 10 billion yen more than the second-highest-grossing film.
Image via Demon Slayer: Mugen Train Official website
This small jump in takings in Japan, as well as bringing in a respectable near US$2 million in North America over the last weekend (for a total of US$43,956,487, making it the second-highest-grossing anime film in the region behind Pokémon: The First Movie), and the newly reported box office earnings around the world have signaled that Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is the highest-grossing film of 2020. Demon Slayer’s worldwide gross of US$472,924,894 (52 billion yen) overtakes the highest reportable box office gross of Chinese film The Eight Hundred, which stands at US$472 million.
The historic feat means that Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is not only the first anime and Japanese film to top the worldwide box office charts for a year, but is the first non-Hollywood film to do so in modern times. While this feat should not be understated, if Demon Slayer wasn’t top The Eight Hundred would be, which would also be the first time a non-Hollywood film was the top of the list. The fact that the top three are not Hollywood-made films should also not be understated. Aniplex announced that ticket sales around the world have reached 41.35 million.
Though in a normal year without COVID-19, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train wouldn’t even be in the top 10. The last time a film grossed less than Demon Slayer and still made it on the top 10 worldwide box office chart was The Hangover in 2009.
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, the highest-grossing anime and Japanese film worldwide, and the second-highest-grossing film of 2020. 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, becoming the first anime film to top the US box office since Pokémon: The First Movie in 1999.
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.
Sources: Press Release, The Numbers, KoreaFilm
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.