Mugen Train Movie Made $298 Million Dollars, The Author Was Paid $19,201

mugen train nezuko anger

Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is an anime movie with insane amounts of success. Especially in a short space of time.

Within 3 days of opening in theatres, it made over $40 million dollars.

In total, the Mugen train movie made over $292 million dollars. Making it the 3rd top selling anime movie of all time.

But below the surface the picture isn’t as good looking as it sounds.

 

Koyoharu Gotouge, the female writer and author of Demon Slayer only got $19K out of the deal.

A amount to be grateful for, yes, but in reality it’s a disrespectful amount of money for the success that’s come from Demon Slayer.

Especially when talking about Mugen Train’s success in particular.

 

So why was Demon Slayer‘s author paid relatively little?

As explained by Crunchyroll:

“Sugimoto explained that because Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is Gotouge’s first serialized work, they are seen as a new writer, so the upfront payment for use of the work for theatrical rights can run incredibly low.

To add to that, according to Sugimoto, Mugen Train was only decided to become a film during the early broadcast of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba TV anime series, the popularity of the franchise wasn’t as high as it is now.

Both of these two aspects mean that, at most, Sugimoto estimates the fee given to Shueisha for the rights for the story was only around 4 million yen ($38,372), with only 2 million yen ($19,201) going to Gotouge directly for the theatrical release.”

The real widespread issue with manga authors in Japan

demon slayer manga

Manga authors and copyright holders in Japan don’t ask for royalties enough.

The way the system is set up makes that a challenge, of course. But I’m surprised so many don’t unify and demand royalties for their work. Whether they’re considered a “new” writer or not.

Upfront money looks good, but long term money taste’s better and is always the better choice.

In this case, Demon Slayer‘s author is a new writer so that’s part of the reason she was paid relatively little. And didn’t get as many privileges.

The companies in question weren’t willing to risk it since the writer has no track record to speak of. And that’s fair.

But in reality, it’s also because author’s don’t know any better in general. Or they don’t want to cause a hassle.

After all – they’re doing it for the love, not the money. But at what cost is the question you have to ask.

show me the money anime

Manga authors as I’ve suggested before, should build up their platform. The internet gives them leverage if they have good manga.

That way, they can:

  • Demand higher royalties (or royalties at all).
  • Get paid more.
  • Negotiate better contracts.
  • Win better deals.

And have more control over the process.

Having a platform gives you leverage, making everyone come to you. Putting you in a position of power.

That’s my thoughts on the amount Koyoharu Gotouge was paid vs the amount the Mugen train movie made in total.

What do you think?

Sources:

https://www.crunchyroll.com/

https://biz-journal.jp/2020/11/post_192878.html

https://medium.com/@thedoctordazza/how-mangaka-get-paid

 

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