Box Office: ‘Dragon Ball Super’ Opening #1 Ahead of ‘Beast’

Just when it seemed like the summer movie season was about to end with no popular franchises in sight, Dragon Ball has come to town.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will top the domestic box office charts over the weekend after grossing $10.7 million on opening day. Crunchyroll’s release forecasts an opening of $21 million across 3,007 locations, making it the widest release ever for the distributor. It’s also the widest release ever for an anime film, garnering a massive presence in premium format auditoriums like Imax, 4DX, and Dolby Cinemas.

The debut marks a notable increase over 2018’s $9.8 million domestic opening game Dragon Ball Super: Broly, the previous entry in the saga. It’s also a comparable number to Funimation’s $18 million debut Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie in March of this year. Both comparisons illustrate how anime features have captured sizeable domestic audiences in recent years, with new releases having enough event status to attract fans of their respective attributes to theaters.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero follows two warriors, Piccolo and Gohan, as they face an onslaught by two ultimate androids calling themselves “Super Heroes” and fight the plans of the villainous Red Ribbon Army. The film is the 21st Dragon Ball film overall, but only the second to be titled Super. It has already grossed around 2.4 billion yen (or $18 million) since it opened in Japan in June.

In his diversity Critics called the film “solid fan service” but cautioned that this shouldn’t be viewers’ first entry into the Dragon Ball universe. “The likes of Goku, Piccolo, and Vegeta are all back, and while they are compelling characters, much of what they do here carries weight because of their individual and collective history,” wrote Nordine.

It looks like “Beast” will fall short for second place. Universal’s thriller earned $4.2 million from 3,743 locations as of Friday, making it a $10.1 million debut. That’s consistent with estimates going into the weekend, although I thought it was still a mediocre figure for Beast, which cost $36 million to produce.

“Beast” has a median approval rating of 68% from critics on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. General moviegoers reacted about as receptively, with the film receiving a “B” grade from research firm Cinema Score. While those numbers aren’t too shabby for a skinny man-vs-animal thriller hitting theaters later this summer, they don’t seem exactly promising for the film’s future box office prospects.

“Beast” sees Idris Elba as a doctor who is forced to face a very pissed off (and fully CGI) lion to protect his daughters, played by Iyana Halley and Leah Jeffries. It was directed by Baltasar Kormákur, who also directed other Universal films such as 2 Guns and Contraband.

Bullet Train aims for Bronze on its third release weekend. Sony’s action film earned $2.2 million from 3,781 locations as of Friday, remaining the most widely viewed release in North America. The film is forecasting gross of $7.7 million over the three-day frame, down 42% from its second showing last weekend. The Brad Pitt actioner’s domestic gross should be $68.6 million by Monday.

Top Gun: Maverick appears to be in fourth place, remaining in the top five at the domestic box office in its 13th weekend of release. Paramount and Skydance’s aviation action extravaganza is forecasting a $5.6 million weekend, down slightly by 21% from the previous outing. The Tom Cruise sequel has now grossed $679 million in North America, surpassing Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War as the sixth highest-grossing release in domestic box office history.

“DC League of Super-Pets” aims to round out the top 5, earning $1.4 million on Friday. The animated publication was expected to take its domestic gross to $66.6 million through Sunday. Box Office: ‘Dragon Ball Super’ Opening #1 Ahead of ‘Beast’

Charles Jones

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