• Kyodo

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A blockbuster animated movie based on the popular “Demon Slayer” manga series became the first movie in Japan to top ¥40 billion in box-office revenue, reaching ¥40.01 billion, its distributors said Monday.

“Demon Slayer — Kimetsu No Yaiba — The Movie: Mugen Train” became the highest grossing film in Japan’s box-office history on Dec. 26, 72 days after it was released in October, raking in ¥32.12 billion and surpassing Oscar-winning anime creator Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away,” which earned ¥31.68 billion.

It has also been slaying box-office records in the wider Asia-Pacific region and continuing its record-breaking streak in the U.S. market with a $21.14 million opening in April, the biggest debut by a foreign-language film in that country’s box-office history, according to U.S. distributors of the film.

The global hit manga series on which the movie is based is set in Japan around 100 years ago and tells the story of an adolescent boy fighting human-eating demons as he searches for a cure for his sister, who has become a demon. It has been translated into several languages.

The film centers on the efforts of hero Tanjiro Kamado, along with his sister and fellow demon slayers, to save the lives of passengers aboard a train. In all, it has earned ¥51.7 billion worldwide so far, according to Aniplex Inc., which distributes the movie with Toho Co.

Amassing over ¥10 billion in its first 10 days in Japanese cinemas, the most ever, “Demon Slayer” also drew record weekend audiences for 14 weeks in total and still sat within the top 10 as of Sunday, according to the movie ranking reported by Kogyo Tsushinsha.

The movie, directed by Haruo Sotozaki, is based on the manga series by Koyoharu Gotoge that was published in the Weekly Shonen Jump between 2016 and 2020.

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