• Kyodo

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An animated movie based on the blockbuster “Demon Slayer” manga series has become the third-highest grossing film in Japan, 39 days after opening, its distributors Aniplex Inc. and Toho Co. said Tuesday.

The sequel to an anime television series that aired in Japan last year had racked up ¥25.91 billion ($248 million) and drawn more than 19 million viewers across Japan as of Monday, overtaking “Frozen” from Walt Disney Animation Studios, which had raked in ¥25.5 billion.

“Demon Slayer — Kimetsu no Yaiba — The Movie: Mugen Train,” directed by Haruo Sotozaki, was already the first film in Japan to earn over ¥10 billion within 10 days of opening.

Director Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 animated movie “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi” (“Spirited Away”), which chalked up ¥30.8 billion, is the highest grossing film in Japan.

The tale of “Demon Slayer” — which is set in Japan around 100 years ago and revolves around an adolescent boy fighting human-eating demons after his family is slaughtered and his younger sister Nezuko is turned into a demon — is based on a manga series by Koyoharu Gotoge that was published between 2016 and earlier this year.

The manga series, now a global hit, has been translated into 14 languages and is available in 33 countries and regions, according to publisher Shueisha Inc.

The movie centers on the hero Tanjiro Kamado’s efforts to save the lives of passengers aboard the “Mugen Train,” named after the Japanese word for “infinity,” on which countless people have gone missing.

Its English-dubbed and subtitled versions are slated to hit movie theaters in North America in early 2021, following a similar launch in Taiwan on Oct. 30, according to Aniplex.

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