Earlier this autumn, when it was announced that Demon Slayer was getting a dreaded R-rating in the US, there was concern that this could impact the movie’s performance. Those concerns, it seems, were wrong.
According to AFP, Demon Slayer earned $US19.5 ($25) million in the United States and Canada during its opening weekend, which is the biggest opening weekend for a foreign-language film ever. That’s impressive for an R-rated anime feature film during a pandemic!
Heck, it’s impressive for any foreign-language feature.
Previously, the top spot was held by Zhang Yimou’s epic Hero, which raked in $US17.8 ($23) million during its opening weekend in 2004.
The Motion Picture Association gave Demon Slayer for “violence and bloody images.” The anime is, make no mistake, violent.
In comparison, the movie is PG-12 in Japan (the country’s version of PG-13), where it has also broken numerous box office records. It’s not uncommon to see children in Japan wearing Demon Slayer t-shirts or, due to the pandemic, wearing masks with a green checkered pattern à la hero Tanjiro Kamado.