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Animated Hit ‘Demon Slayer’ Takes Top Spot in Weekend Box Office

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 5/2/2021 Vildana Hajric
a screen shot of a man: Japan’s Biggest Movie in Years 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba' © Bloomberg Japan’s Biggest Movie in Years 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba'

(Bloomberg) -- Japanese animated film “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” dominated the box office this weekend, ending “Mortal Kombat”’s reign atop.

The movie took in more than $6.4 million in its second week, bringing its total across North America to $34.1 million. The film, based on a television series, follows a set of main characters as they investigate the disappearance of more than 40 people aboard the Mugen train. It booked a record-setting opening in Japan in October.

Warner Bros.’s “Mortal Kombat” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” came in second and third for the week, raking in $6.2 million and $2.7 million, respectively. The two films had surprised analysts in recent weeks -- “Godzilla vs. Kong” notched $32 million in domestic ticket sales in its debut weekend, while “Mortal Kombat,” an action film based on a 1992 video game, took in $22.5 million, exceeding Boxoffice Pro’s $19 million estimate.

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Studios and Hollywood executives are growing more confident about the entertainment industry as vaccination rollouts unfold and businesses continue to open up. About 60% of North American theaters have reopened, the highest threshold this year, according to researcher Comscore.

This weekend represents “another solid step” toward a return to box-office normalcy, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. The industry will now likely turn its attention to the highly-anticipated “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Cruella,” both of which are slated for end-of-May releases.

“The strong interest these films are expected to generate will bring the point home that people indeed want to go back to the movie theater,” he said.

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