It looks like it was a good weekend for the Box Office, as it was a tight race between Warner Bros. Mortal Kombat reboot and Japan’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train. After Godzilla vs. Kong seemed to revive cinemas after a long pandemic-induced hiatus, there was a lot of hope that the next films would continue that momentum. Luckily, it seems that hope wasn’t misplaced, as Mortal Kombat opened to a sizeable $22.5M. It had some tough competition, as with little more than half the cinemas, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train garnered an impressive $19.5M. With it, the Anime has earned the biggest domestic debut of all time for a foreign-language film.
What makes these numbers even more impressive is that both projects are R-rated. So, we aren’t just talking about the usual PG-13 fair. BoxOffice Pro’s Shawn Robbins offered a comparison to Wonder Woman 1984 to highlight how far we’ve come:
To really get a sense of how far pandemic-era moviegoing has progressed, we just have to look at the fact that two R-rated films with some crossover audience appeal are combining to nearly triple the opening weekend of Wonder Woman 1984 just four months ago. People are increasingly comfortable and ready to get back to the movies
We also need to consider that the latest adaptation of Mortal Kombat was also released simultaneously on HBO Max. Even so, it managed a respectable $50.1M internationally. These projects had a strong male viewership and were able to dominate the April marquee, which normally is flooded by larger Hollywood projects. In a way, the consequences of the pandemic may have helped some of the smaller projects that might’ve otherwise struggled. Godzilla vs. Kong held on to the third title making $86.6M domestically.
It also may be a sign that Anime films, which are normally targeting a niche group, have a much stronger chance in the US market. Demon Slayer‘s first film released in Japan last year and was the countries’ top-grossing film. It now stands at a very impressive $400 million.
Source: Hollywood Reporter