Hit film 'Demon Slayer' boosts Toho profit outlook

Major Japanese film distributor Toho is boosting its profit forecast thanks to hit animated movie 'Demon Slayer,' even as the pandemic continues to cast its shadow over the industry.

Toho officials released their earnings outlook on Tuesday. They expect a net profit for the year through February of 14 billion yen, or about 135 million dollars. That is up over 50 percent from their last prediction.

The movie is the highest-grossing film of all time in Japan, earning nearly 320 million dollars at the box office last year.

It is based on a popular manga series about a boy battling demons around a century ago.

Toho Vice President Tako Nobuyuki described 'Demon Slayer' as "a real savior" for the company, saying it would be in a far more serious situation without the film.

Toho still faces tough conditions. Its net annual profit is likely to plunge over 60 percent from the last business year. Many foreign films remain unavailable due to the pandemic.