In its second U.S. weekend, the Funimation/Aniplex release earned an estimated $6.4 million, besting the Warner Bros. film Mortal Kombat, which ended up in second place with $6.2M. If the no. 1 ranking holds by the time final numbers are released late Monday, it would mark the first time in decades that an anime has ended up in the top spot at the U.S. box office. In our preliminary research, the last time this happened was in 1999, when Pokémon: The First Movie opened atop the U.S. rankings.

Demon Slayer did slip nearly 70% in its second weekend, which would typically be a troubling sign for a Hollywood film, but this was a niche release that catered largely to existing fans and the grosses were always expected to be frontloaded. Also, over two weekends, the film has grossed $34.1M in North America, which already makes it the third-highest grossing anime release of all-time over here, behind just Pokemon: The First Movie ($85.7M) and Pokemon: The Movie 2000 ($43.7M).

Read more