'Demon Slayer' Pulled a Fatality on 'Mortal Kombat' at the Box Office

Looks like Mortal Kombat suffered a fatality at the box office (get it, because that’s a thing they say in the games?). The latest attempt to turn the video game franchise into a film was number one at the box office the last time we spoke of these things, but in the week since, it’s fallen to number two while the anime Demon Slayer: Mugen Train – which had previously been in second place – climbed to number one. But in both cases, the two top films lost 70% of their audiences, which isn’t a great sign for the box office in general.

It seems like only yesterday that we were all thinking the theatrical experience might be in good shape following the pandemic. Movies like Tom and Jerry and Godzilla vs. Kong were doing better than expected, and then the anime Demon Slayer: Mugen Train and the live-action Mortal Kombat both ended up in a fight to claim the top spot. Mortal Kombat ultimately won – at first.

Now, a week later, Demon Slayer has climbed from number two to number one. That’s abnormal box office behavior, and while it could suggest that things are starting to get back to normal, things don’t look so hot when you break down the numbers. As Forbes reports, Demon Slayer “grossed $6.426 million in weekend two, a drop of 71% from” a $21.14 million debut. Mortal Kombat earned $6.235 million, but also dropped “73% from its $23.3 million domestic debut.” For comparison’s sake, the absolutely terrible movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation only dropped off 59% during its second weekend. You can probably figure out why the new Mortal Kombat had such a harsh fall-off: it’s also available on HBO Max.

Elsewhere in box office land, Godzilla vs. Kong held at third place, the awful indie horror film Separation came in at number four, and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon is sitting at number five. Perhaps the biggest success story, though, is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The film had a 10th-anniversary re-release over the weekend and came in at number eight. When originally released 10 years ago, Scott Pilgrim flopped – it opened in fifth place and dropped out of the top 10 by its second weekend. Seeing it land in the top 10 for its re-release is a fun little bit of news.

May is bound to be a much busier month for new movies than we’ve had in a while – Wrath of ManSpiral: From the Book of SawThose Who Wish Me DeadCruella, and A Quiet Place Part II are all headed to theaters, although some of them will have options for streaming as well.

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