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‘Demon Slayer’ Anime Tops ‘Mortal Kombat’ at the Box Office as Both Drop Over 70 Percent

This weekend saw major releases debut with "Without Remorse" and "The Mitchells vs the Machines," but both premiered on streaming platforms.

“Demon Slayer: Mugen Train”

This weekend saw the debut of two appealing studio titles, neither of which will be in theaters. “Without Remorse,” Paramount’s relaunch of their Tom Clancy franchise and “The Mitchells vs the Machines,” from Sony Animation, launched on Amazon Prime and Netflix, respectively, free to subscribers. On the Netflix chart, “Mitchells” immediately placed at #1.

The cinemas could have used their momentum. Last weekend, “Mortal Kombat” and “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” surpassed expectations with openings over $20 million. This weekend, the only new release was horror film “Separation,” which earned $1.8 million. “Mortal” and “Demon.” each fell over 70 percent.

It isn’t unusual for big openers to drop half or more in their second weeks, but new competition opening is usually a contributing factor. It also appears that the titles’ audiences showed less crossover interest. Total business for the weekend will be around $24 million, about 60 percent less than last week.

"Mortal Kombat"

“Mortal Kombat”

Warner Bros.

Exhibitors hoped for momentum, but so far we see recovery in one sector: younger, male audiences that turn out on opening weekend. One is certainly better than none; in 10 days, “Mortal Kombat” and “Demon Slayer” each grossed $34 million domestic. However, it still leaves the market scanning the horizon in hopes that more help is on the way.

Further down the chart, holdovers like “Nobody” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” dropped 23 percent or more. In recent weeks, holdover percentages have been much lower and sometimes increased week to week thanks to more theater openings. And for the first time in weeks, a reissue sneaked into the top 10 with the 10th anniversary of  Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the Machine” in 152 theaters. It’s #8 with a per-theater average of $4,737.

Post-Oscars, “The Father” earned $147,000 in 713 theaters and “Minari” took in $80,000 in 501. Top winner “Nomadland” did not report.


Among new releases, Focus’ well-reviewed “Limbo” (a Cannes 2020 title that premiered in Toronto last year) went to 208 theaters for $90,000. The film likely goes Premium VOD in three weeks, and theatrical exposure should aid awareness.

Doing better is Rodrigo Garcia’s 2020 Sundance title “Four Good Days” starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis as a mother and daughter dealing with drug addiction. It ended up at #11 with $303,000 in 298 theaters and goes to VOD May 21. Lionsgate released day-and-date “The Virtuoso,” a crime thriller with Anthony Hopkins among the leads. It managed around $65,000 in 110 theaters. “Walking with Herb,” a faith-based drama with Edward James Olmos, earned about $100,000 in 404 theaters as a Fathom event.


The Top 10

1. Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train (FUNimation) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$6,422,000 (-70%) in 1,905 theaters (+305); PTA: $3,371; Cumulative: $34,100,000

2. Mortal Kombat (Warner Bros.) Week 2; Last weekend #1; also on HBO Max

$6,235,000 (-73%) in 3,114 theaters (+41); PTA: $2,002; Cumulative: $34,087,000

3. Godzilla vs. Kong (Warner Bros.) Week 5; Last weekend #3; also on HBO Max (through May 2)

$2,753,000 (-29%) in 2,753 theaters (-103); PTA: $995; Cumulative: $90,310,000

4. Separation (Open Road) NEW

$1,831,000 in 1,751 theaters; PTA: $1,047; Cumulative: $1,831,000

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney) Week 9; Last weekend #5; also on Premium VOD

$1,335,000 (-23%) in 1,810 theaters (-9); PTA: $738; Cumulative: $41,581,000

6. Nobody (Universal) Week 6; Last weekend #4; also on Premium VOD

$1,260,000 (-28%) in 2,056 theaters (-156); PTA: $613; Cumulative: $23,360,000

7. Unholy (Sony) Week 5; Last weekend #6

$1,065,000 (-27%) in 1,538 theaters (-297); PTA: $692; Cumulative: $13,130,000

8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Universal) (reissue)

$720,000 in 152 theaters; PTA: $4,737; Cumulative: $(adjusted) 38,070,000

9. Tom & Jerry (Warner Bros.) Week 10; Last weekend #7; also on Premium VOD

$515,000 (-29%) in 1,209 theaters (-727); PTA: $426; Cumulative: $44,203,000

10. Together Together (Bleecker Street) Week 2; Last weekend #8

$313,051 (-41%) in 659 theaters (-6); PTA: $475; Cumulative: $1,018,000

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