FIRST LOOK: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Japan only theaters: Oct 16

Here’s another first for our FIRST LOOK: a film we’re looking at exclusive released in another country with no official release date in the United States announced. There is hope, though, so keep reading.

It’s currently the #1 film in Japan’s theaters.

Domestic box office sales for a film, prior to the pandemic, used to be a good indicator of performance. Studios and even movie theater chains base their results at least in strong part by domestic sales.

Since the market in the US has been severely handicapped by a wide variety of factors — theaters closing, uncertainty from moviegoers about returning, local government restrictions, etc — box office performance internationally is dramatically outperforming success in the United States.

Case in point, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. A movie that’s made over $100 million in its Japan only debut so far this month.

Currently, Demon Slayer has the biggest opening day and opening weekend at the [Japan’s] box office. The movie is already the highest-grossing flick of 2020 and even managed to top the global box office upon its opening. Now, fans are wondering if Demon Slayer can overtake Spirited Away and Your Name to become the highest-grossing anime movie to date.

Demon Slayer Movie Retains Number One Spot at Box Office

This release strategy is puzzling to me given our current times. I realize movies traditionally are released in foreign markets all the time and never appear in the United States. The thinking is that it won’t appear to a wide enough viewing audience in America. We’re a melting pot of moviegoers here, however. Yes, it might not be a large audience that’s pays to see films like these in America, but there are definitely interested moviegoers. Yes, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

Bring Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. to US theaters and other international markets ASAP. Bring all new foreign movies to American theaters, even if its only for a brief screening cycle.

I mean, seriously, we’re in a drought of new films in theaters — according to the theaters themselves — and the #1 theater chain in the world, AMC, isn’t showing this film everywhere that it can globally?

(I get it, they can’t .. it’s not been made available yet — and that’s dumb)

Official trailer:

Over 9.2 million views for the official trailer on YouTube — and yes, this is subtitled

Given it’s just the trailer, but this looks good. I’m a fan of anime, having covered some of it here at this site and interested in expanding that coverage. I’m not deeply immersed in the genre, but more than a casual fan and interested in watching more and digging deeper into the genre. Fortunately, some of this is being made available on streaming channels.

Kara might not be as interested in seeing this, but I’d reserve a ticket to watch this right now, if only it was playing in theaters.

A little digging around revealed this:

Aniplex of America and Funimation revealed at the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Panel at New York Comic Con 2020 that the highly anticipated Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is headed to U.S. and Canadian theaters early 2021!

Demon Slayer – Mugen Train website

Can somebody please take a minute or two and explain the logic of delaying release in the US in the comments? (Artificial scarcity, maybe?) I get that this is based on a popular anime TV series in Japan and the film will obviously be met with the most familiarity and likely sell the best there, but why nor share that success worldwide immediately? Or at least within a few weeks or month of the exclusive release? Share it!

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is available in Japan theaters only as of October 16, 2020 and scheduled for release in the United States and Canada in early 2021.

2 thoughts on “FIRST LOOK: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

  1. UFotable’s really delivering with the stellar animation. I have to say that they’ve easily become the best animation company. The movie looks like it’s really going to do the arc justice and the series continues to stay on track here. I’m looking forward to them adapting the rest of the series after this although I wonder if they’ll stick to movie format or go back to a show version

    Liked by 1 person

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