The Japanese animated feature film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train is set to expand its licensing and merchandising presence across the US through the efforts of the IP development business, Lucky Helmet.
It will mark the first in a sweep of new IP to be brought to the region’s licensing sector thanks to the firm’s appointment by Aniplex of America Inc to represent selected titles released in North America.
Lucky Helmet is a newly launched agency focused on assisting creators, producers, and other IP owners with commercialisation strategies on existing brands, as well as with the development of new content-based franchises.
The partnership will be led by Demon Slayer, a highly anticipated film based on one of the best-selling manga series. According to the film’s official Twitter account, the film had grossed ¥28.8 billion ($277.5 million) as of December 7, overtaking the American film, Titanic. It is now the second highest-grossing film in Japan, ever, behind only Studio Ghibli’s 2002 release, Spirited Away.
The Demon Slayer film is breaking records in other Asia territories as well. In China, the movie surpassed China’s Jiang Ziya to become the highest-grossing animated feature of 2020; and in Taiwan, the film quickly earned over $15 million, making it the biggest release of the year, and the highest-grossing animation release of all-time in the territory.
The movie centers on the hero Tanjiro Kamado’s efforts to save the lives of passengers aboard the Mugen Train, named after the Japanese word for infinity, on which countless people have gone missing.
The film is currently being adapted for American audiences, and is expected to release in the US in 2021 by the Sony-owned division Aniplex of America in association with Funimation.
“Demon Slayer’s box-office success overseas, in the middle of a pandemic, is nothing less than extraordinary,” commented Marc Harrington, founder of Lucky Helmet.
“We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to support Aniplex on its licensing and merchandising efforts in North America, and we are confident that the film will further excite fans, and that there will be great potential for new licensing partners across many categories.”
Lucky Helmet previously announced that it had signed four-time Academy Award-nominated animation studio, Cartoon Saloon, to consult on licensing and merchandising opportunities based on its original IP, including the animated feature film, Wolfwalkers; the International Emmy Award-nominated series, Puffin Rock, and its upcoming film, Puffin Rock-The Movie.