As it neared $250M, Japan’s runaway smash, Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train, continued its reign at the top of the local charts this weekend. Demon Slayer’s cumulative over 39 days is 25.9B yen ($248M) inclusive of Monday’s Labor Thanksgiving Day holiday in Japan. Frozen (25.5B yen) has now been overtaken by the anime adaptation to become the No. 3 biggest film on the market ever. Titanic, followed by Japan’s No. 1 film ever, Spirited Away (30.8B yen), is the next one to beat.
According to Deadline, Demon Slayer sold nearly 19.4 million tickets through Monday in terms of admissions, putting it on the market as the 4th most-attended film of all time. The figure will keep on rising. The coming weekend will see giveaways of illustration cards to draw moviegoers back to the cinemas, a tactic that a few weeks ago proved popular for the cultural phenomenon.
Demon Slayer is also estimated to be launched in markets such as Hong Kong and Taiwan at about $20M. But even with the Japan max, at the international box office, the Toho/Aniplex/Ufotable title is the No. 3 film of 2020, and No. 5 worldwide. It also has several offshore releases to come, including early next year via Funimation in the U.S.
Demon Slayer, however, was not the lead film at this meeting at the international box office. Those props go to the crime drama Trapped In Time, which snatched $31 million in its Chinese debut, starring Daniel Wu.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Tops your name., Frozen to Become #3 All-Time Film in Japan Anime Sunrise pic.twitter.com/dpHzH2iaGN
— Anime Sunrise (@animesunrise_st) November 24, 2020
STX’s Greenland, which was locally published by CFG and JL Vision, was also new to China. Behind Trapped In Time and The Sacrifice, the Gerard Butler thriller opened (the latter having passed RMB 1B this week to take its cume to $161.5M over Sunday).
On more than 14K screens, Greenland collected $3.2 million in China, performing better than some other recent Hollywood entries, but still lower than could have been hoped, particularly as Butler excels in the market. Greenland has just 5.7 on the Douban review site and 7.9 on Maoyan, and piracy is possibly a factor here. It also faced Paw Patrol’s competition: Mighty Pups, now in its second frame with $9.6M.
In 25 offshore markets, Universal/Freaky Blumhouse’s added $1.04M for a 57 percent decline from last weekend’s opening. Today, the overseas cume is $3.63 million, taking the global total to $9.3 million. The newly reopened Netherlands was the leading new game out of 96 screens at $174K. After a strong debut last session, with $784K through Sunday, Australia is still top overall for the Vince Vaughn-starrer, down 40 percent compared to the previous frame. Korea is on deck this weekend while, amid the complexity of reopenings, the European majors are TBC.
Still, while cinemas throughout much of Europe remain closed, parts of Spain are open — Catalonia now has a greenlight to resume operations from November 23 — and the Netherlands reopened on November 19 at a 30-person per auditorium capacity. There is hope that the next few weeks will see a lifting of restrictions in other parts of the continent. Italy is due back on December 3, Germany has a tentative December 1 restart date, Poland returns November 29, and we’ll know more about France once President Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation on Tuesday this week. The UK could also return on December 2.
However, although cinemas remain closed throughout most of Europe, parts of Spain are open, Catalonia now has a green light to resume operations from November 23, and the Netherlands reopened on November 19 at a rate of 30 people per auditorium. There is hope that there will be a relaxation of sanctions in other areas of the continent in the next few weeks. Italy is due back on December 3, Germany has a provisional reset date of December 1, Poland returns on November 29, and once President Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation on Tuesday this week, we’ll know more about France. On December 2, the UK may also return.
Next weekend will likely be led again by China which sees the releases of Zhang Yimou’s One Second and DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s The Croods: A New Age. The pictures are currently Nos. 1 and 2 in presales for Friday November 27. The weekend after that will bring Constantin’s Monster Hunter to the Middle Kingdom, followed two weeks later by Wonder Woman 1984. Disney/Pixar’s Soul is due there on December 25.