If you have paid any mind to the box office this year, you will know things aren't looking good for most franchises. The COVID pandemic has given the film industry hell in the wake of its global spread. Luckily for Demon Slayer, it has avoided much of the pandemic's fallout given how successful its movie has been. But if you thought creator Koyoharu Gotouge was profiting from the film's popularity - well, you can think again.
Recently, an in-depth piece was posted by Business Journal regarding the box office blockbuster that is Demon Slayer. To date, the anime's first film has earned $287 million USD, and it is expected to topple Spirited Away in Japan before the new year. As you can see, the film is bringing in serious cash, but this new report says Gotouge is unlikely to see much of it.
According to Japanese film insider Hotaka Sugimoto, Gotouge likely didn't get a major upfront fee for this movie. This estimate is traditionally based on experience and name-brand recognition, but Demon Slayer is Gotogue's first serialized work. The deal for the series' movie was almost certainly made at the start of Demon Slayer's anime run, so the series had yet to explode in popularity. These facts make Sugimoto believe Gotouge is probably entitled to a pittance in light of how popular Demon Slayer has been. In fact, he suspects Gotogue made perhaps 2 million yen from the whole release which is a little more than $19,000 USD. That is the catch to licensing fees, and it just so happens Gotouge's rookie status short changed their potential earnings.
As for how you can support Gotouge directly, that comes down to the Demon Slayer manga. The creator profits more heavily from volume sales than anything, so it seems Gotouge isn't hurting in that regard. After all, the series sold more than 82 million copies in 2020 alone, so the demand for Demon Slayer is higher than ever.