Mortal Kombat edged out Demon Slayer in the late rounds of the weekend box office championship to earn the victory in the biggest cumulative theatrical take since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Mortal Kombat (and you can listen to our podcast review of the film right here) debuted with $22.5 million to Demon Slayer’s record setting $19.5 million for the highest opening weekend for a foreign language release. The previous champ, Godzilla vs. Kong, landed in third place with $4.2 million, still retaining its title for the most domestic box office business in the COVID era ($86.6 million).
Diving deeper into the battle for the top spot, Mortal Kombat had a huge advantage based on total screens, with 3,073 theaters compared to Demon Slayer’s 1600 theaters, making Demon Slayer’s receipts even more impressive. Internationally, Mortal Kombat picked up another $27.6 million (where its R-Rated content might prove to be a hinderance to greater numbers overseas) and Demon Slayer has bedeviled the competition on the world-wide stage, with over $388.2 million outside of North America (recently dethroning Spirited Away as the top earning film of all time in Japan).
Mortal Kombat’s simultaneous debut on HBO Max and in theaters didn’t seem to hurt the film at the box office, with more markets opening up around the country every weekend. Warner Bros risky strategy appears to be paying off, allowing the company to generate cashflow at the box office and from subscribers at home.
With more films being released as we move towards the summer season, it will be interesting to see what type of legs both films have (with an increase in screens for Demon Slayer all but assured).
Check back with Conskipper next week for more box office battles.