Last month, when I last made a post on this site, I wrote about an experiment I partook where I tried to see if it was better to watch a newly released movie at home or at the cinema. The result of this experiment was my preference to watch newly released films at the cinema. You can read more about it here.
Last weekend, a good friend and I went to check out Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train. Though I only watched clips and pieces of the first season of the anime adaptation of Koyoharu Gotouge's manga (which ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2016 to 2020), I enjoyed the movie so much that I decided to watch the first season.
In recent news, the film became the first anime film to hit number one at the box office since 1999's Pokemon: the First Movie, and within its second weekend in theaters, it has beaten Mortal Kombat. Some are probably wondering: "How did this happen?"
It's common knowledge that Mortal Kombat was released in both cinemas and on HBO Max, but, unlike the video game adaptation, Demon Slayer was exclusively released to theaters (both in subtitled and dubbed versions). Despite its numbers dipped during its second weekend, Demon Slayer has shown that it could top a big budget Hollywood movie without having it be shown in both theaters and on a streaming service. In this case, Mortal Kombat's fatality at the box office was the fact that it could be streamed on HBO Max the same time it was screened at theaters.
What can I say that I am happy for Demon Slayer for this feat.
Now, there could be other factors with this such as Mortal Kombat having low critical ratings, or the film just being divisive. However, it seems that the video game adaptation couldn't hold long against an anime film that didn't just get favorable reviews from both fans and critics alike, but also took home the Japan Academy Film Prize for Animation of the Year and Outstanding Score two months prior to its North American release.