‘Demon Slayer’ Shows Anime’s Quirky – and Reliable – Strength at the Box Office

The latest Crunchyroll release opened with $10.1 million even alongside the boffo debut of Michael B. Jordan’s Japanese animation-influenced ”Creed III“

Anime scored again at the box office last weekend, and that’s not just counting the anime-influenced “Creed III.” Crunchyroll’s “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba — To the Swordsmith Village” earned $10.1 million in its domestic debut. Its initial success is another example of how anime has become a reliable and bankable genre in times of theatrical feast and multiplex famine.  

In pre-COVID times, such specialty films commanding relatively modest box office would be curiosities alongside tentpoles and conventional studio programmers, with a mere appearance in the weekend top 10 becoming noteworthy in and of itself. But now, out-of-the-ordinary big-screen experiences are finding favor with audiences, with exhibitors gratefully turning to anything with a loyal fan base they can count on to show up at theaters.

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Scott Mendelson

Before joining The Wrap, Scott Mendelson got his industry start in 2008 with a self-piloted film blog titled "Mendelson's Memos." In 2013, he was recruited to write for Forbes.com where he wrote almost exclusively for nearly a decade. In that time he published copious in-depth analytical and editorialized entertainment industry articles specializing in (but not exclusively focused upon) theatrical box office. A well-known industry pundit, Mendelson has appeared on numerous podcasts and been featured as a talking head on NPR, CNN, Fox and BBC.