‘Demon Slayer’ Gets Its Revenge, Stealing The Top Spot From ‘Mortal Kombat’ In A Tight Race For No. 1 At The Box Office
At the end of the day, box-office success isn’t measured solely by opening-weekend numbers. Sometimes it’s a marathon, not a sprint. As proof, you need look no further than the newly reversed fortunes of Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train.

Last weekend, the two new releases battled tooth-and-nail all the way to the finish line, with Mortal Kombat narrowly edging out Demon Slayer: Mugen Train. But now, just a week later, the two films have swapped positions in another box-office nail-biter. And this time, it was FUNimation Entertainment’s anime adventure Demon Slayer that came out on top by the narrowest of margins.

Already a bonafide blockbuster overseas, the R-rated Demon Slayer pulled in $6.4 million in its second weekend in North America. And despite nose-diving -69.7% from the previous frame, the film managed a $3,359 per-screen average in 1,905 theaters. More impressive is how the film has performed abroad, where its $394.3 million haul dwarfs its current $34.1 domestic total. Its cumulative worldwide gross to date stands at $428.4 million, which makes it the highest-grossing anime film of all time. It is also the highest-grossing movie in Japan ever with its $368 million in that country. On the domestic front, the movie is currently the third-highest-grossing anime film of all time behind only Pokemon: The First Movie and Pokemon: The Movie 2000 .

As for the newly toppled Mortal Kombat, the second-place finisher added $6.2 million in its second weekend, registering an equally significant -73.4% drop from the prior weekend. The R-rated adaptation of the hit videogame franchise scored a $1,991 per-screen average in 3,114 theaters (despite also being available free of charge for HBO Max subscribers), bringing its two-week domestic total to $34.1 million. So far, it has added $32.8 million from overseas territories, bringing its worldwide box office total to $66.9 million.

In third place again was Warner Bros.’ kaiju kings, Godzilla vs. Kong, which collected $2.7 million in its fifth frame. The titanic PG-13-rated tentpole lost some more steam, dropping off -36.1% from the previous weekend. The movie earned a $1,064 per-screen average in 2,573 theaters over the weekend despite also being available on the HBO Max. Godzilla vs. Kong’s domestic total now sits at $90.3 million. If it keeps roaring along for a couple more weeks, it should become the first film since the pandemic began to cross the $100-million mark domestically. Meanwhile, after adding the monster mash-up’s $325.1 million in foreign receipts, its worldwide box-office total is a healthy $415.4 million.

In fourth place was the weekend’s top newcomer, Open Road’s horror film Separation, which scared up $1.8 million in its debut. Despite dreadful reviews, the R-rated chiller about a young girl and her widowed father being haunted from beyond earned a $1,045 per-screen average in 1,751 theaters. It has not yet opened internationally.

Rounding out the Top Five was Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon. In its ninth week, the PG-rated computer-animated adventure padded its take with $1.3 million domestically, falling -23.3% from last weekend. Despite also being available as a premium VOD rental on the Disney+ streaming platform for a $30 fee, the film had a $737 per-screen average in 1,810 theaters, bringing its domestic box-office total to $41.6 million. Overseas, Raya has racked up $59.3 million to date, pushing its current worldwide total to approximately $100.9 million.

The weekend’s only other debuts of note were a re-release of Universal’s 2010 romantic, action, videogame, fantasia Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which bowed in eighth place with $720,000 in 152 theaters, which translates into a $4,736 per-screen average (the PG-13-rated film grossed $32.2 million domestically in its initial run), and Vertical Entertainment’s Glenn Close-Mila Kunis R-rated sobriety drama Four Good Days, which opened in eleventh place with $303,000 in 298 theaters, good enough for a $1,016 per-screen average. Neither film has opened overseas yet.

On a final note, the traditional post-Oscars bump that hardware-winning films tend to get over the weekend after the awards show was largely a moot point this year since so many of the victorious films debuted on streaming services and bypassed theaters all together, such as 2020’s biggest prize-winner, Nomadland. The fact that the broadcast’s ratings were the lowest in recent memory certainly didn’t help send people to the multiplex to see what they’d missed either.