In Honor Of The Fire Pillar

After Extensive Delay, ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train’ Makes It To America’s Theaters

Aniplex USA

Patrick Deliz, A&E Editor

After a long wait, fans can now view the newest continuation of ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, after a delayed release from the studio in Japan. 


Tanjiro, NezukoZenitsu, and Inosuke board a train to assist the Flame Hashira Kyōjurō Rengoku in his mission to hunt for a demon that has killed many demon slayers. Soon after boarding, all of them are enchanted and fall into a deep sleep. Enmu, Lower Rank One of the Twelve Kizuki, instructs four passengers, all suffering from severe insomnia, to enter the demon slayers’ dreams and destroy their spiritual cores so that they can’t wake up again. In exchange, Enmu will allow them a peaceful sleep. 

During their sleep, Tanjiro and his companions have happy dreams. Tanjiro realizes that he is dreaming and tries to wake up, succeeding after a vision of his father instructs him to kill himself in the dream. At the same time, Nezuko uses her power to sever the intruders’ connection, and awaken the passengers. In fear of Enmu, they attack Tanjiro, who knocks them out. 

While Nezuko awakens the others, Tanjiro confronts Enmu, and in the ensuing battle, beheads him. However, Enmu does not die, and reveals that he fused his head with the train. Kyōjurō instructs Inosuke and Tanjiro to look for Enmu’s neck while he, Nezuko, and Zenitsu stay behind to protect the other passengers. Tanjiro and Inosuke find Enmu’s neckbone in the engine room and Tanjiro severs it, killing Enmu and stopping the train. 

However, Akaza, the Upper Moon Three, appears soon after and attacks the demon slayers. Kyōjurō fights him alone, and is fatally wounded, although Akaza is forced to flee when the sun begins rising. Tanjiro angrily calls him a coward for running away and declares Kyōjurō the winner of the fight. Kyōjurō encourages Tanjiro and his friends and dies. The Hashira and Demon Slayer Corps are informed of his death, while Tanjiro and the others mourn him. 


Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train was released theatrically in Japan on October 16, 2020 by distributors Aniplex and Toho. On September 30, 2020, the official website mentioned that the film will be released on IMAX simultaneously with regular showings of the film, becoming the first Japanese released film on IMAX in 2020. The film opened in 403 cinemas total, including all 38 IMAX cinemas within the country. The film reportedly played 40 times in some cinemas within the country within the first three days. The film was re-released in a new format in Japan with a Dolby Cinema version on March 27, 2021. 

The state of the global entertainment industry is hard to keep track of these days to the pandemic. The coronavirus has pushed countries to take unprecedented measures to prevent its spread, and that has forced billions to shelter at home. This means everything from film to TV to even anime has been hit hard by the order. And with news reports confirming that ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train’ had fallen victim to the virus. 

Aniplex of America has licensed the film, and will release the film theatrically in North America in cooperation with Funimation Films on April 23, 2021, with screenings in both sub and dub formats. An Oscar-qualifying run began in Miami, Florida on February 26, 2021 in a limited capacity i.e. for one week. The film was released by The Landmark Theatres chain on Merrick Park location in Coral Gables near Miami. In North America, the film is set for a nationwide release on both sub and dub format by April 23, 2021, and on digital platform by June 22, 2021. The advance booking of tickets will start on April 9, 2021, by Funimation. The film will be released along with IMAX and 4DX screenings at the same time. Pre-orders for the film will begin on April 26, 2021, on Apple TV, Microsoft Store, and PlayStation Store.  

Madman Entertainment began screening the film in cinemas in Australia and New Zealand from February 25, 2021, all Japanese with English subtitles, receiving IMAX, 4DX and special fan screenings in selected locations. In Oceania, the English dubbed version of the film will starts screening from April 22, 2021. In Latin America and Mexico, Anime Distributor Konnichiwa will release the film on April 22, 2021, with both Latin and English subtitles. The premiere of the film will be held one day before North American’s opening. Anime Distributor Konnichiwa has partnered with Cinépolis, to release the film in Mexico from April 22, 2021, with pre-sale of tickets begun on Cinépolis app from March 31, 2021. A similar partnership is made with cinemas of Cinemark, Showcase, and UCI, to release the film in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama of Central America from April 22, 2021, whereas pre-sale of tickets begins at Cinépolis and Cinemark app from March 31, 2021. 


The worldwide box office total for Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is over US$456 million, overtaking Spirited Away’s box office, which stands at US$395.58 million (¥47.03 billion) based on upper estimates. Over 36.9 million tickets for Demon Slayer: Mugen Train have been sold. 


Upon release, the film broke the first-day record with ¥1.2 billion. On its opening weekend, it grossed ¥4.6 billion in Japan. It was the best three-day opening weekend ever in Japanese theaters, and the top-grossing film worldwide for the weekend, despite several safety measures adopted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as spaced seating limiting admissions to about half of normal capacity or a ban on food and drinks in sessions with full capacity. The film’s record-breaking success has been attributed to the Demon Slayer franchise’s popularity in Japan, in addition to the limited number of films available in Japanese theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It also set the record for the highest-grossing IMAX release in Japan, with $14.2 million earned from 38 IMAX screenings by 15 November 2020, surpassing the $13 million record previously set by Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’ went on to gross $21 million from the IMAX format in Japan, as of December 27, 2020. Till date, the film is release in 65 IMAX format in Asia. The film gross around US$25.5 million from the IMAX format in Asia as of February 17, 2021. The film added $210K from the IMAX format from Japan and South Korea, bringing its IMAX total in Asia to US$26 million by February 22, 2021. The film added another $302K, lifting IMAX total in Asia to US$27 million by March 1, 2021. 


Upon release, the film topped the international box office for several weeks, becoming the highest-grossing animated film of 2020. It also overtook Tenet’ to become the year’s third highest-grossing film in international markets outside North America, and Mugen Train is the world’s second highest-grossing film of 2020. It has also grossed US$22.3 million from the IMAX format in Asia, as of December 27, 2020. 


The film was officially released in North America on April 23, 2021, in both sub and dub formats with an R rating for bloody images and violence. The IMAX and 4DX formats of the film will be release simultaneously on the same day. Advanced tickets booking started from April 9, 2021. On digital platforms, the film will be released on June 22, 2021, which includes Apple TV, Microsoft Store, Vudu, Google Play, PlayStation Store and Amazon. Pre-orders will begin on April 26 on Apple TV, Microsoft Store, and PlayStation Store. 

Earlier, the film was released on February 26, 2021, in Miami, Florida, USA. The film was released on the location of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, where the film was played on Friday with three daily showtimes. The film was said to be topping the box office at least on the region of Miami. However, these screenings were just for qualifying the 93rd Academy Awards i.e., the film was released for a limited one week run as the full theatrical release of the film were still at works at that time. 

Despite limited and late release date in the United States, during its first week, the film earned US$ 21.1 million, (ranking #2 after Mortal Kombat, but with the best opening for an international non-English film in the region since Pokémon: The First Movie). 


The film is amazing, and its animation was truly a masterpiece and a seamless continuation of the series. I cannot wait for the anticipated season 2 that will be released soon. It is unfortunate that the film introduced a character, that shortly died off – however made it up with in-depth backstories. I recommend watching the series before watching the film and watch with friends and family. 

RATING: 4.9/5