Earlier this spring, when it was announced that Demon Slayer was getting a dreaded R-rating in the US, there was concern that this could impact the movie’s performance. Those concerns, it seems, were wrong.
According to AFP, Demon Slayer earned $19.5 million in the United States and Canada during its opening weekend, which is the biggest opening weekend for a foreign-language film ever. That’s impressive for an R-rated anime feature film during a pandemic!
Heck, it’s impressive for any foreign-language feature.
Previously, the top spot was held by Zhang Yimou’s epic Hero, which raked in $17.8 million during its opening weekend in 2004.
The Motion Picture Association gave Demon Slayer an R for “violence and bloody images.” The anime is—make no mistake—violent.
In comparison, the movie is PG-12 in Japan (the country’s version of PG-13), where it has also broken numerous box office records. It’s not uncommon to see children in Japan wearing Demon Slayer t-shirts or, due to the pandemic, wearing masks with a green checkered pattern à la hero Tanjiro Kamado.