The movie version of “Kimetsu no Yaiba” infinite train edition, which finally started screening in North America on April 23, last month.
In the first week of its release, it became the number one in the weekly box office revenue ranking in North America, and the big response in the field became a hot topic in Japan.
To the best of my knowledge, this is probably the first time that the movie version of a Japanese, late-night anime work has become so popular in North America.
Where was the cause? What kind of potential does this bring to the North American expansion of Japanese animated films?
Let’s take a look back at the response of the movie “Kimetsu no Yaiba” infinite train edition in North America for a month after its release.
A feeling of the scale of a hit in North America
According to Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro, an online service that reports box office results both inside and outside North America, this work recorded the number one box office revenue in the North American daily ranking on April 23, the first day of its release.
This is a suppression of “Mortal Kombat” that was released on the same day. Although this work is mentioned in various places, it achieved this result even though it was screened at about 1500 theaters compared to “Mortal Kombat” which started screening at more than 3000 theaters.
In recent years, 2020 in North America published ” My Hero Academia THE MOVIE Heroes: Rising ” is, also became a topic won the North American box office the 1-position of the premiere in of about 1200 museum exhibition scale, but the present The box office revenue of the work is more than 3.5 times that at that time.
In response to such a great response, the screening halls were temporarily expanded to more than 2000 halls, and this work has won the top spot in the weekly ranking of the first week of its release and the weekend ranking from the end of April.
However, after that, it gradually began to calm down, and although the screenings are still continuing in various places, as of the end of May, it seems that the days outside the daily ranking range are continuing. (Still 4th in the monthly ranking in May )
In this way, you may think that the excitement has settled too quickly compared to Japan, which is still setting the highest box office record in history.
But “at the box office by the current state already North America Spirited Away are over”, at that time became a huge hit wonder in North America, ” Strikes Back of the theater version Pokemon Mewtwo even compared to”, box office revenues in the half It is a high enough grade to reach.
Even if it is not a hit on the same scale as Japan, the fact that Japanese anime movies, which are still considered to be a niche in North America, showed such a good advance, despite the irregular situation of Corona, is quite amazing. I think it’s an event.
External factors of great response
As a background to this kind of response, this TV series was well received in North America, and it was a long-awaited movie version release for local fans, and this work that was actually screened fully satisfied such fans. You can see from SNS and various review sites that it was something that made you want to do it.
So what were the factors other than the evaluation of the content of the work?
The first thing to think about is that this work was often featured by the local media before it was released in North America (around the time it was released in Japan).
Perhaps the reason why it began to attract attention was not so much the hits and evaluations of the works in Japan, but the fact that the movie version hits were born even with this corona sword, and the box office of the world-famous “Spirited Away”. I think it was more than my income.
However, the fact that this work was often taken up in a medium that caught the attention of the general public in the North American region, where the title of the work is still unknown to anyone other than anime fans compared to Japan, may have become more or less well-known, and when it was released in North America, it might have been a stepping stone to attracting attention from the local media again.
For almost two decades, "Spirited Away" was Japan’s highest-grossing movie. That changed when "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train" grossed a record-setting $313 million. The figure at the franchise’s heart? Koyoharu Gotouge #TIME100Next https://t.co/UxRB6y6bo2
— TIME (@TIME) February 18, 2021
Another possibility is that local distributors Aniplex USA and Funimation will be putting a lot of effort into developing theatrical anime in North America.
Currently, in North America, many of Japan’s new TV animations can now be enjoyed online without time difference, but the time to release, the number of theaters, the number of days to release, etc. are still quite limited for the screening of the movie version animation. .. (Although digital distribution is also widespread by that amount)
It is possible that the cause is that the name of the work is still low in the field and it is difficult to secure a theater, but in view of such a situation, regarding this work, talks with voice actors of “Kimetsu” of each country and wrapping train There was an active PR that was rarely seen before, such as the operation of the theater.
Spotted in Los Angeles… 👀 #MugenTrain
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is in theaters now! 🚂
— Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (English) (@DemonSlayerUSA) April 24, 2021
As for screening theaters, the number of theaters in North America is probably higher than that of this movie, which is about 300 more than the aforementioned “My Hero Academia THE MOVIE Heroes: Rising” (also locally distributed by Funimation), which is a major movie. Although it is still less than Hollywood movies, it can be seen that efforts are being made to expand the screening scale.
In addition to the enthusiasm of the fans who have been waiting for the locals, external factors such as the attention from the general public and the aggressive development of the movie version animation by the local distribution company have also generated such a reaction. I think it was a boost.
In response to this response.
Although the number of enthusiastic local fans is increasing as new works can be enjoyed in large numbers without any time difference, Japanese theatrical animation is still not a major movie from the perspective of North America as a whole.
However, the big response to this work that occurred in such a situation is surely exposed to the eyes of the general public other than anime fans by being taken up by the local media and being actively promoted. I think I have increased the opportunities.
In that respect, the response to the movie version of “Kimetsu no Yaiba” infinite train edition is not a mega-hit in Japan, but in the future Japanese movie, version animation will further expand its development in North America. It can be said that it has become one of the clues for this.
Not to mention how far this work will improve the box office performance in the field after this, in response to this response, the movie version of the work that is also popular in North America “My Hero Academia THE MOVIE World Heroes Mission” and “Theatrical version” It seems that attention will be focused on what kind of reaction “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” will produce locally in the future.
May 24, 2021, 14:33 Revised from “No. 1 in North American weekly box office revenue ranking in the second week of publication” to “No. 1 in North America weekly box office revenue ranking in the first week of publication”. excuse me.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Limited Edition Blu-ray Vol. 1 is available now!
— Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (English) (@DemonSlayerUSA) July 10, 2020