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Demon Slayer overtakes Mortal Kombat at the US box office

CNET logo CNET 5/3/2021 Mark Serrels
background pattern: Demon Slayer has quietly become the most popular anime in the world. Weekly Shonen Jump © Provided by CNET Demon Slayer has quietly become the most popular anime in the world. Weekly Shonen Jump

Last week Mortal Kombat sat atop the US domestic box office but this week, after the movie saw a 70% drop, it has been overtaken by... an anime?

But Demon Slayer is no normal anime. 

After becoming one of the most popular anime shows on the planet, Demon Slayer rode its mainstream popularity all the way to an astonishing $21 million opening weekend for its movie Demon Slayer: Mugen Train at the US domestic box office. That's the highest ever for an animeMortal Kombat narrowly beat Demon Slayer with $23 million on its opening weekend. Many insiders believe the success of both movies are reflective of a cinema market focused on serving niche audiences. Regardless, those are huge numbers.

background pattern: Demon Slayer has quietly become the most popular anime in the world. © Weekly Shonen Jump

Demon Slayer has quietly become the most popular anime in the world.

Both dropped heavily in the following weekend. Demon Slayer took in $6.4 million, while Mortal Kombat drew $6.2, making for a 73% and 70% drop respectively. 

Demon Slayer follows the story of a boy and his demon sister, and features spectacularly animated battles. It follows in the footsteps of other Weekly Shonen Jump success stories like Naruto, One Piece and Dragonball -- but neither of those spectacularly popular properties had a movie opening like this in the US.

As of December 2020, Demon Slayer is reported to have generated a ludicrous US$2.6 billion in revenue. The success of this movie, you suspect, could send the series into overdrive, at least in western markets like the US


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