'Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero' Surprisingly Defeats 'Beast' in Box Office Rarity
Crunchyroll/Universal Pictures

The film adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series beats expectations by debuting to an estimated $21 million at the North American chart this weekend.

AceShowbiz - "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" is showing its super power on its first week of release. The Japanese animated fantasy/adventure film has debuted atop the domestic box office by collecting an estimated $21 million from North American ticket sales.

The follow-up to 2018's "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" beat expectations with the impressive opening weekend gross. The newest film adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series earned more than twice the opening of its predecessor and scored the widest-ever opening for an anime.

"We're absolutely thrilled that 'Dragon Ball' fans could come together to experience and enjoy this amazing film in theaters," Mitchel Berger, Crunchyroll's senior VP of global commerce, said in a statement celebrating the movie's No. 1 debut. "Crunchyroll thanks all of the fans, whether or not you are a 'super' fan or a newcomer, and we hope they come back again and again."

Weighing in on the "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" impressive chart performance, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, said, "Japanese anime is a cinematic tradition, but rarely do you see a movie like this topping the domestic chart. To be ahead of all these other mainstream Hollywood movies is quite incredible. It speaks volumes to the globalization of the box office."

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, added, "This is another outstanding Crunchyroll anime opening. This has become an impressive niche theatrical business." He, however, noted, "Crunchyroll movies play fast in the U.S.; their domestic multiples are low."

Indeed, anime features tend to play like horror films in terms of ticket sales, with front-loaded performances begetting substantial declines after the first week of release. Directed by Tetsuro Kodama, the well-reviewed "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" benefitted from its presence in premium formats, including Imax, 4DX and Dolby Cinemas. It earned a total of $45.2 million worldwide so far.

"Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" also earned twice as much as the weekend's other new wide release, Idris Elba's "Beast". The survival thriller, distributed by Universal Pictures, debuts to a modest $11.5 million at the second spot.

Despite mixed reviews for the movie (68% positive reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and B score from audiences), Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution, is encouraged that "Beast" appealed to a broad audience. "It's great to see," Orr said, referring to the audience breakdown. "It's a very good start to what I'm convinced will be a great run."

Elsewhere in the top five, two-time champ "Bullet Train" is forced down to No. 3 with an estimated $8 million on its third weekend. It has so far garnered $68.9 million domestically for a current worldwide gross of $149.9 million.

"Top Gun: Maverick" also drops two places to No. 4 with approximately $5.85 million, down a modest $17.1% from last week. It is closer to crossing the $700 million mark domestically, while it has surpassed the mark internationally for a global total of $1.4 billion.

Following the "Top Gun" sequel close behind is "DC League of Super-Pets", which places fifth with an estimated $5.8 million on its fourth weekend.

Top 10 of North America Box Office (Aug. 19-21, 2022):

  1. "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero" - $20.1 million
  2. "Beast" - $11.6 million
  3. "Bullet Train" - $8 million
  4. "Top Gun: Maverick" - $5.85 million
  5. "DC League of Super-Pets" - $5.8 million
  6. "Thor: Love and Thunder" - $4 million
  7. "Nope" - $3.5 million
  8. "Minions: The Rise of Gru" - $3.5 million
  9. "Where the Crawdads Sing" - $3.1 million
  10. "Bodies Bodies Bodies" - $2.4 million

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