Last year was an annus horribilis for much of the Japanese film industry, except for companies lucky enough to partake in the bonanza that is “Demon Slayer.” The animated film set a new all-time box-office record in 2020 and is still going strong with total earnings of ¥34.6 billion as of Jan. 4.

Whether 2021 will see a similar mega-hit is not yet clear, but given the lack of Hollywood fare on current distributor lineups, it looks as though Toho and other domestic studios will have the field much to themselves, just as they did last year, when releases of most major Hollywood titles were set back indefinitely. That situation is unlikely to change through at least the Golden Week holiday period, normally a peak movie season.

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