Demon Slayer Anime Film Wins Fujimoto Award

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Japan’s Eiga Engeki Bunka Kyōkai (Film Theater Culture Association) announced the winners of its 40th annual Fujimoto Awards on Wednesday. The staff of the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train anime film – including Aniplex president and producer Atsuhiro Iwakami, ufotable founder and president Hikaru Kondo, and Shueisha‘s Makoto Ooyoshi – received this year’s general award.

The Fujimoto Awards, named after Shachō and Wakadaishō series producer Sanezumi Fujimoto, recognize the achievements of film producers who have worked on popular and entertaining films. This year’s awards recognized films that opened between April 2020 and March 2021.

Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train began screening in Japan on October 16. After 12 consecutive weeks at #1 in the box office in Japan, it dropped to #2 during the January 9-10 weekend, its 13th weekend. The film had ranked in the top three spots weekly in Japan since then, until its 22nd weekend.

The film sold a total of 28,966,806 tickets for 40,016,942,050 yen (about US$367.6 million) in Japan as of Sunday — and became the first film ever to pass the 40 billion yen milestone.

In 45 countries and territories worldwide, Mugen Train has sold a total of 41.35 million tickets to earn the equivalent of 51.7 billion yen (about US$475 million). The film was the highest-earning film worldwide from 2020. It is the first non-Hollywood or non-American film to top the yearly box office worldwide since the beginning of cinema over a century ago.

In the United States alone, the film has sold 3.51 million tickets to earn US$43,956,487 (about 4.78 billion yen). The film is now the #2 highest-earning anime film ever at the U.S. box office.

Mugen Train has surpassed Hayao Miyazaki‘s 2002 Spirited Away, its last rival for all-time highest earnings in Japanese box office history. (Spirited Away earned 30.8 billion yen in its original run, but has since earned a total of 31.68 billion yen after last summer’s revival screenings.) The film has also surpassed Spirited Away as the #1 highest-earning Japanese film of all time worldwide.

The film had the highest opening weekend globally for the October 16-18 weekend. The film sold 3,424,930 tickets and earned 4,623,117,450 yen (about US$43.85 million) in Japan in its first three days. The film sold 910,507 tickets and earned over 1,268,724,700 yen (about US$12.03 million) on its opening day alone, making it the highest weekday opening day in Japan ever.

The main staff members of the previous television anime returned for the sequel film. TOHO and Aniplex are handling the film’s distribution in Japan. Funimation and Aniplex of America will release the film digitally on June 22.

Sources: Eiga Engeki Bunka Kyōkai website, CinemaToday

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