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‘Dragon Ball Super’ Powers Up to $20 Million Box Office Opening

Crunchyroll’s latest release becomes third highest American opening for an anime film

Sony/Crunchyroll’s “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” has topped the box office charts on this mid-August weekend with a $20.1 million opening from 3,900 theaters, the widest ever opening for an anime film.

By comparison, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” opened to $9.8 million from 1,238 theaters back in 2018. With business slowing down significantly during this end-of-summer period and Sony showing a strong track record of specialty success with its anime offerings, Crunchyroll has used one of the most famous anime series ever to expand its theatrical footprint. In addition, the film earned $3.4 million from Imax and other premium formats.

The result is the third highest ever opening for an anime film in North America before inflation adjustment, sitting only behind the $31 million opening for “Pokemon: The First Movie” in 1998 and the $21 million opening for “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train,” which Sony released through Funimation in April 2021. Earlier this year, Sony merged Funimation, which oversaw the studio’s theatrical anime distribution, with Crunchyroll, which produces original content for its streaming service.

Also opening this weekend is Universal’s “Beast,” a thriller starring Idris Elba that opened to $11.5 million from 3,743 theaters, a step above pre-weekend projections of a $10 million opening. Reception metrics have been decent with a B on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 68% from critics and 75% from audiences, though it still faces an uphill road to turning a profit against its $36 million production budget; the film also grossed $10.2 million internationally.

Sony’s “Bullet Train” finished in third with $8 million in its third weekend, as the Brad Pitt action comedy still hasn’t turned a theatrical profit with totals $68.9 million domestic and $150 million worldwide against a $90 million production budget, though it should pass the break-even point by Labor Day. Sony has had more success with the smaller-budgeted “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which has grossed just under $87 million worldwide against a $24 million production spend.

Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” is in fourth with $5.8 million in its 13th weekend in theaters. After falling out of the top 5 two weeks ago, the biggest film of 2022 has returned and is still holding strong after nearly four months in theaters, passing the domestic run of “Avengers: Infinity War” to take the No. 6 spot on the all-time domestic box office charts with $683 million grossed in North America so far. Worldwide, the film has now passed $1.4 billion in grosses, putting it 12th all-time as it passes the 2015 Marvel film “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Just behind “Maverick” is Warner Bros.’ “DC League of Super-Pets” with $5.7 million in its fourth weekend, giving it a domestic total of $67.4 million. Though the family-friendly animated superhero movie is worlds apart in tone from Sony’s R-rated “Morbius,” “Super-Pets” is showing similar box office performance as it is struggling to reach the break-even point against its reported $90 million budget.

Finally, A24’s slasher film “Bodies Bodies Bodies” continues its run outside the top 5, adding $2.4 million from 2,542 locations in its second weekend in wide release. Its domestic total now stands at just under $7.5 million.