Everyone assumes Sony is doing well because the PS5 is sold out everywhere, and that’s certainly true. But it’s not the only thing popping off in Sony’s portfolio. The Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train, also written as Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – the Movie: Mugen Train, has reached Marvel-like levels.
While there was a lot of detail around the PlayStation 5 and its success — and manufacturing costs — Sony also highlighted the success of Demon Slayer the Movie. Demon Slayer is a massive franchise: it was one of the top anime locally on Animelab, the dedicated anime streaming service.
But what you might have missed is that Demon Slayer the Movie isn’t just a hit: it’s actually the most successful movie in Japan’s history. Here’s Demon Slayer basically carrying Sony’s music/entertainment division, year on year:
“Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – the Movie: Mugen Train, which the Sony Group company Aniplex Inc. co-produced and co-distributed, has become the highest grossing movie in history in Japan with box office revenue of 36.8 billion yen as of January 31,” Sony said.
That’s a staggering $458.8 million dollarydoos, by the way, or almost four times what Avatar grossed in Australia. If you want a more apples-to-apples comparison, however, here’s the current list of top 10 grossing films in Japan:
- Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – the Movie: Mugen Train (2020) — 36.88 billion yen / $458.8 million
- Spirited Away (2001) — 31.68 billion yen / $394.8 million
- Titanic (1997) — 26.20 billion yen / $326.5 million
- Frozen (2014) — 25.48 billion yen / $317.5 million
- Your Name (2016) — 25.03 billion yen / $311.9 million
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) — 20.30 billion yen / $253 million
- Princess Mononoke (1997) — 20.18 billion yen / $251.5 million
- Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) — 19.60 billion yen / $244.2 million
- Bayside Shakedown 2 (2003) — 17.35 billion yen / $216.1 million
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) — 17.30 billion yen / $215.5 million
Studio Ghibli films obviously tend to do pretty well in Japan, although over two-thirds of the highest grossing films in Japan are actually Western films. (Harry Potter is the second highest and most successful grossing Western franchise, with 96.03 billion yen, behind Doraemon which has generated 137.29 billion yen across the past four decades.)
Still, nothing is really even close to Demon Slayer right now. It’s still popping off at the box office, so there’s a good chance it could surpass 40 billion yen or $500 million before long. And Australians will get a taste of it real soon: Funimation announced this week that tickets for the Demon Slayer movie will go on sale from Monday, February 8, with the first screenings in Australia and New Zealand beginning on February 25.
Only New Zealand cinemas are listed on the official website right now, with Australian cinemas to be announced next week. The site also says that “English Dub screenings will be confirmed at a later date”, so if you don’t want to see the subtitled version straight away, there’ll be more opportunities later this year.