Idris Elba may be taking on a lion in “Beast,” but the action flick was no match for the latest “Dragon Ball” movie at the North American box office this weekend.
“Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” topped the charts on Sunday in its first weekend in theaters, with $20.1 million in ticket sales according to studio estimates. ‘Beast’, meanwhile, settled for a second-place debut at $11.6 million.
Crunchyroll released “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” on 3,900 screens in North America, the largest opening ever for an anime. The Toei Animation production was directed by Tetsuro Kodama, who had the backing of “Dragon Ball” creator Akira Toriyama. The Dragon Ball universe is nearly 40 years old and includes manga, television shows, movies, games, and toys.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Dragon Ball fans can come together to experience and enjoy this amazing film in theaters,” said Mitchel Berger, senior vice president of global commerce for the distributor, in a statement. “Crunchyroll thanks all the fans, whether you’re a ‘super’ fan or a newcomer, and we hope they come back again and again.”
According to PostTrak, the “Dragon Ball Super” audience was predominantly male (79%) and 44% were between the ages of 25 and 34.
“Japanese anime is a film tradition, but rarely do you see a movie like this top the domestic charts,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “Being ahead of all these other mainstream Hollywood movies is unbelievable. It speaks volumes about the globalization of the box office.”
‘Beast’, meanwhile, opened on 3,743 screens in North America. In the film, directed by Baltasar Kormákur (“Everest”), Elba plays the widow of two teenage girls, played by Iyana Halley and Leah Jeffries, who are on the run from a bloodthirsty lion during a trip to South Africa.
Including international shows, “Beast” has earned $21.8 million to date.
“I think this is a great start for ‘Beast’,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s head of domestic distribution. “I think we’re going to have a great run at the box office.”
Elba also has another movie in theaters next weekend: George Miller’s fantasy epic “Three Thousand Years of Longing”.
Sony’s “Bullet Train” meanwhile landed third after two weekends at No. 1 with an estimated $8 million, bringing the domestic total to $68.9 million. Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” placed fourth in its 13th weekend in theaters with an additional $5.9 million. “Top Gun” has earned over $683 million in North America to date, which was enough to overtake “Avengers: Infinity War” as the sixth-highest-grossing domestic release of all time. “DC League of Super-Pets” rounded out the top five.
Paramount also released “Orphan: First Kill” this weekend on Paramount+ and in 498 locations. The story of Esther’s origin earned an estimated $1.7 million from theaters.
The weekend saw a total of about $77 million in North American ticket sales — more than 168% more than the same weekend last year — bringing the year to $5.2 billion so far, according to Comscore. But the summer movie season puts down a wind that can last well into the fall.
“It’s not like there aren’t any movies, there’s just not going to be a $100 million blockbuster for a while,” Dergarabedian said. “But in the meantime there will be a lot of cool movies, like ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ (September 23).”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. The final domestic figures will be announced on Monday.
1. “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” $20.1 million.
2. “Beast”, $11.6 million.
3. “Bullet Train,” $8 Million.
4. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $5.9 million.
5. “DC League of Super-Pets,” $5.8 million.
6. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $4 million.
7. “No,” $3.6 million.
8. “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, $3.5 million.
9. “Where the Crayfish Sing,” $3.2 million.
10. “Body Bodies,” $2.4 million.
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
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