With 2021 finished, the year-end box office numbers of South Korea have finally been released, revealing that Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train was the 7th most-watched film in 2021, and the 8th highest-grossing film overall. This is the first time a Japanese film has cracked the top 10 in South Korea since modern records started in 2004, and the first time an anime film has been in the top 50 since Your Name in 2017, which came in at 17th.
According to Korean Film Biz Zone, Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train finished its South Korean run with US$17,350,728, with 2,151,861 admissions after opening in the country on January 27. This is more admissions than the next film on the list Venom: Let There Be Carnage, but less in box office revenue, with the second Venom film making US$17,736,886. Number one on the South Korean box office chart was Spider-Man: No Way Home, which made US$46,766,267 in a mere two weeks.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is the second-highest-grossing anime film in South Korea behind Your Name, which made US$24,570,977 on the back of 3,637,599 tickets sold. Though Your Name only came in at 17th on the yearly chart, whereas Demon Slayer ranked 7th, likely due to the lack of competition coming from other international sources due to the ongoing pandemic. Removing domestic South Korean-made films from the ranking, Demon Slayer gets bumped up to 5th place.
The only other anime films that have ranked in the top 50 South Korean box office charts were Studio Ghibli films, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and Arrietty.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train opened in Japanese cinemas on October 16, 2020, and had the best opening weekend in Japanese cinema history, becoming the highest-grossing film in Japanese theaters ever, the highest-grossing anime and Japanese film worldwide, and the highest-grossing film of 2020. You can read our review of the film here. In North America, Mugen Train made its stop in theaters on April 23 both dubbed and subbed formats, with a digital and streaming release of the film coming on June 22, becoming the first anime film to top the US box office since Pokémon: The First Movie in 1999.
The Ufotable-produced anime film continued to adapt the manga series by Koyoharu Gotouge, which saw the first TV anime series adaptation in 2019, continuing on with the Mugen Train Arc in October 2021 and then the Entertainment District Arc in December 2021, which is currently airing on Japanese TV. All the arcs and the Mugen Train anime film are streaming right here on Crunchyroll.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.