There’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the Demon Slayer anime movie and how it became the highest-grossing film ever in Japan, but it doesn’t look like the film is doing quite as well in the U.S. This weekend, it was beat out by the newly released Mortal Kombat film by almost $7 million.
Mortal Kombat, Simon McQuoid’s feature-length directorial debut, earned $22.5 million from just over 3,000 theaters since its release on April 23. Meanwhile, Demon Slayer earned $15.9 million from almost 1,600 locations.
Even with the film’s mixed reception and it being available for free to HBO Max subscribers, the video-game adaptation was still able to pull in audiences. Mortal Kombat also made an additional $21 million overseas. The film stars Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano and Mehcad Brooks, and features the same R-rated violence that fans have come to expect from the franchise.
Although Mortal Kombat is making quite the splash, it doesn’t compare to the pandemic box-office titan that was Godzilla vs. Kong. That film earned $31 million domestically upon its release, and has since become the highest-grossing film worldwide during the pandemic with a total of over $400 million, beating out Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which made $363 million.
With more theaters opening up and the pandemic slowly losing steam, it seems that audiences still very much value the theatrical experience. Even with many films releasing to streaming services for free or for small fees, plenty of people are still opting to see new releases on the big screen.