It took 19 years, but Japan has a new highest grossing movie ever: the animated Demon Slayer the Movie: Infinite Train.
Over the weekend, the film from Toho and Aniplex reached 32.48 billion Yen earned in the country, equivalent to approximately $313.0 million USD. This surpasses 2001’s (also animated) Spirited Away, which had held the record for almost two decades with 31.68 billion Yen, equivalent to approximately $305.2 million USD.
Distributed in Japan by Toho and Aniplex, Infinite Train is adapted from a popular manga comic book series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotōge, and adapted into a 2019 anime television series. Set in 1910s Japan, the teenage protagonist embarks on a mission to avenge his family’s death by — as the title suggests — slaying demons. The movie follows that lead character, Tanjiro Kamado, as he investigates a series of mysterious and supernatural disappearances on a train.
Opening on October 16 in Japan, the film opened with the equivalent of $43.8 million, more than doubling the country’s previous top opening weekend: 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded with $20.8 million. Since then, Infinite Train has spent all its 11 weekends atop the Japanese box office. This past weekend, its 11th, the film more than tripled the box office of the frame’s runner-up film, Pokemon: Coco.
In fact, Infinite Train‘s Japanese earnings are so high that despite earning about 98 percent of its total to date in that one single market, globally Infinite Train is currently the fifth-highest grossing film released in 2020. (The remaining 2 percent of its box office so far has come from Hong Kong.)
Could domestic grosses lift the film’s total further still? FUNimation Films plans to release Infinite Train in the U.S. with an English dub in early 2021, though an exact release date has not yet been confirmed.
Rounding out Japan’s top six films of all time are:
3.) 1997’s Titanic with 26.20 billion Yen, equivalent to approximately $252.4 million, and still the top non-Japanese film of all time in the market 23 years later.
4.) Disney’s Frozen with 25.50 billion Yen, equivalent to approximately $245.7 million. Released in November 2013 domestically, the title came out in Japan a few months later in March 2014.
5.) Local animated title Your Name. with 25.03 billion Yen, equivalent to approximately $241.1 million.
6.) 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with 20.30 billion Yen, equivalent to approximately $195.6 million.
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