Washington [US], April 25 (ANI): Hollywood flicks 'Mortal Kombat' and 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba' are currently locked in a fierce battle for dominance at the box office, with the latter holding a slight edge over the other.
According to Variety, 'Demon Slayer' is on top at this point as it earned USD 9.5 million from 1,598 locations on Friday. The Funimation and Aniplex of America release is based on an anime series and entered the U.S. after enjoying huge financial success in other markets, having already grossed more than USD 400 million in Japan and shattering records.
'Mortal Kombat', the blood-soaked adaptation of the popular video game has grossed a sizable (for a pandemic) USD 9 million on Friday and is headed towards an opening weekend of USD 18 million to USD 19 million.
This is an impressive sum given the public health crisis and is also notable because 'Mortal Kombat' carries an R rating, somewhat limiting its potential audience. The film is screening in 3,073 venues, a far wider footprint than the one enjoyed by 'Demon Slayer'.
The Warner Bros. release has debuted simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. It's part of the studio's gambit to shake up the way it's distributing its films in the COVID era. All of Warner Bros.' 2021 slate will debut on the streaming service at the same time the films premiere in theaters. The strategy is designed to bolster HBO Max at a time when it is trying to make a name for itself in the crowded streaming space.
'Godzilla vs. Kong', a Warner Bros. and Legendary release, came in third with just over USD 1.1 million. The monster mashup earned $83.5 million over its first four weeks. Theaters have begun slowly reopening as vaccination rates rise, but major markets such as New York City and Los Angeles are still operating at reduced capacity.
'Mortal Kombat' cost USD 55 million to produce. It is directed by Simon McQuoid, who made his feature debut with this movie that stars Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim and Hiroyuki Sanada. The game, which first appeared in 1992 and was controversial for its violence, inspired two previous films, one that opened in 1995 and a follow-up, 'Mortal Kombat: Annihilation', which hit theaters in 1997.
As per Variety, among other wide releases, Disney's 'Raya and the Last Dragon' earned USD 400,000 on Friday, pushing its domestic total to USD 38.6 million after 8 weeks. The movie is also available for rent via Disney Plus. (ANI)