Aniplex and Crunchyroll of America’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village grossed $10.1 million this weekend in 1,780 theaters. That’s a fourth place finish at the domestic box office but still half the opening of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train which opened to a smash $21 million U.S. in April of 2021, going head to head with Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat.
It’s not apples to apples. The previous film was an original feature, this weekend’s is a mashup of episodes — specifically, Episodes 10 and 11 of the popular anime series’ ‘Entertainment District Arc’ as well as an extended Episode 1 of the anticipated ‘Swordsmith Village Arc’ combined into feature length and remastered in 4K.
The franchise is based on the serialized Japanese manga written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge and published between 2016 and 2020. After his family is viciously murdered, a kind-hearted boy named Tanjiro Kamado resolves to become a Demon Slayer in hopes of turning his younger sister back from demon to human. Together with two comrades and top-ranking members of the Demon Slayer Corps, he embarks on a mission in the Entertainment District, clashing with high-ranking demons, Daki and Gyutaro.
Among other new specialty openings, Nha Ba Nu / The House of No Man opened in 59 locations to a debut of $440.7k for a per theater average of $7.5k, according to Comscore. In Vietnam’s highest-grossing film ever, by director Tran Thanh, a domineering matriarch runs her household the same way she runs her crab noodle soup stall, strictly, and sparks start to fly with three generations living together under one roof.
A number of specialty debuts, as per usual, won’t report grosses until Monday.
Holdovers: Super LTD said Oscar Best International Feature nominee The Quiet Girl grossed an estimated $72k through Sunday in week two on 18 screens for a PTA of $4k and a cume of circa $149k.
Bleecker Street’s Emily, on Emily Brontë, grossed an estimated $194k in week at 565 locations in week three for a cume of $887.5.
Sony Pictures Classics’ Return To Seoul grossed $91.9k on 38 screens (11 last week), for a a per screen average of $2.4k in week three and a cume of $212.4k.
The 2023 Oscar Nominated Short Films from ShortsTV is looking at an estimated $370k weekend, also in week three, on 250 screens for a cume of $2.27 million. The selection of live action, animated and documentary-nominated shorts is on target to exceed last year’s total box office by the end of the week.
Variance Films in partnership with Sarigama Cinemas said the re-release of S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR grossed another $191k on 283 screens. This is the 40th weekend of its rerelease “celebRRRation” for a total cume of $590.5k.
The coin is from only one or two showtimes per day or per weekend for the three-hour film. It played in big chains and arthouses with top engagements including Alamo Drafthouse in LA, AMC Empire in NYC and AMC Grove in LA, Regal Medlock Crossing in Atlanta, Cinemark Lincoln Square in Seattle, as well as Portland’s Hollywood Theatre, Nashville’s Belcourt, Salt Lake City’s Broadway Center and Milwaukee’s Oriental theater.
The Telugu-language film first released last March is Ocar-nominated for Best Original Song for Naatu Naatu, which will be performed live.
“There are no rules for RRR. We love the film, we love the filmmakers, and as exciting as its historic awards run is, we love seeing the joy it brings theatrical audiences. We wanted to give them everyone one more chance to see the film on the big screen big and loud as intended, even if they didn’t live downtown in a major city, but to be clear: RRR will continue to run in theaters forever because films like RRR are what movie theaters were made for,” said Variance president/founder Dylan Marchetti.