An animated movie dependent on the blockbuster “Demon Slayer” manga series has become the highest-grossing film in Japanese box-office history, its distributors said Monday, finishing the reign of Hayao Miyazaki’s “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi” (“Spirited Away”) from 2001.
Not so much as a pandemic has had the option to stop an animated movie set a century prior from becoming Japan’s highest-grossing film ever, astounding sales from Hollywood blockbusters, the Harry Potter series, and even crafted by the revered Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
Because of the best-selling manga series of a similar name, the movie required only 45 days to become the second-highest-grossing movie ever in Japan, squeezing past Titanic in late November before guaranteeing the top spot from Spirited Away – Studio Ghibli’s 2001 hit anime directed by Hayao Miyazaki – on Monday.
The film, a story of an adolescent boy battling human-eating demons, amassed as of Sunday ¥32.47 billion and drew over 24 million to theaters since its opening on Oct. 16, as per co-distributors Aniplex Inc. and Toho Co. Since its release in mid-October, Demon Slayer has produced ticket sales of ¥32.47bn [$313m], as per figures released on Monday by its distributors.
Notwithstanding the Covid pandemic restricting cinema audiences, the film had rounded up ¥32.12 billion as of Saturday, outperforming Oscar-winning director Miyazaki’s film, which chalked up ¥31.68 billion in box-office sales.
Miyazaki’s film required 253 days to eclipse the ¥30 billion mark in box-office sales, however, “DDemon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train — The Movie: Mugen Train” did so in 59 days.
The film, directed by Haruo Sotozaki and the sequel of an anime TV series circulated in Japan a year ago, became the first movie in the nation to procure over ¥10 billion within 10 days of its debut.
It overtook “Titanic,” the smash-hit 1997 American film about a romance on board the ill-fated cruise liner of a similar name, as the second-highest-grossing film ever in Japan on Nov. 30.
Part of Demon Slayer’s success lies in its compelling storyline – an old-fashioned story of good against evil that follows Tanjiro, an adolescent kid who joins a band of demon contenders to avenge the slaughter of the vast majority of his family and to save his sister, who herself is transformed into a demon.
Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train – to give it its full, and to some degree inconvenient, English title, may have likewise profited by an absence of competition as the spread of Covid-19 across the globe constrained studios to end shooting and defer new releases.
In mid-December, as the “Demon Slayer” film was on track to beat the record of “Spirited Away,” Toho revised the sales of Miyazaki’s film from ¥30.8 billion to ¥31.68 billion by film incomes when screened again in summer.
“Demon Slayer,” which is set in Japan around 100 years back, is the story of a boy compelled to battle demons after his family is slaughtered and his more youthful sister Nezuko is transformed into one. It depends on the manga series by Koyoharu Gotoge that was published between 2016 and earlier this year.
The manga series, presently a global hit, has been translated into 14 languages and is accessible in 33 nations and regions, as per publisher Shueisha Inc.
The film centers on the efforts of hero Tanjiro Kamado, alongside his sister and fellow demon slayers, to save the lives of travelers onboard the “Mugen Train,” named after the Japanese word for infinity, on which countless individuals have disappeared.
Its English-dubbed and subtitled versions will hit cinemas in North America in mid-2021, as indicated by Aniplex. The film appeared in Taiwan on Oct. 30 and earlier this month in Thailand.
The “Demon Slayer” boom has produced an economic effect of around ¥270 billion, because of an estimate by Toshihiro Nagahama, chief economist at the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute, earlier this month.
In another lift to the “Demon Slayer” boom, the last volume of its manga series in book form went on sale earlier this month. Shueisha said 3.95 million copies were published as the first edition of the 23rd volume, with the combined number for all volumes including digital sales topping 120 million copies.
All things considered, the achievement of the Haruo Sotozaki-directed film is even more wonderful decisively because it has come during the most exceedingly terrible period of the flare-up in Japan.
A novel version of the story was the current year’s best-seller in a ranking compiled by information provider Oricon Inc., while the series’ opening theme song, sung by LiSA, stays a top seller.
Organizations have likewise taken advantage of the prominence of “Demon Slayer” through toys and other merchandise, while the series title was additionally picked as one of Japan’s trendy expressions during the current year.
The film, set during the Taisho period (1912-26), showed up in 2016 as a manga series in the famous comic magazine Shonen Jump and saw its popularity rise when it was adapted for TV.
The TV series, which is accessible on Netflix and other streaming services, aroused curiosity in the film, which takes up the story the 26-episode TV version left off.
While the film failed to break the record by Christmas – as some had anticipated – Demon Slayer fever has proceeded all through the new surge in infections, even as record daily caseloads prompted the government to encourage individuals to stay away from unnecessary trips.
Fans formed long queues outside shops earlier this month to snap up the 23rd and final volume in the manga series, which has sold over 120 million copies and been translated into 14 languages.
The Demon Slayer impact has likewise been a bright spot in a generally troublesome year for Japan’s economy, creating an expected economic effect of in any event ¥270bn (USD 2.6 billion), as indicated by the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.
The film is in films in Thailand and Taiwan, with dubbed and subtitled versions due for release in the US and Canada early next year.
A few fans, in any case, advised against making too strong a connection between an animated film and a deadly virus. Kei, a 25-year-old who saw the film with his sister, partly put its prosperity down to individuals having all the more free time during the pandemic, however added: “It’s a big hit because the animation is unique and beautiful. It’s very creative.”