Dragon Ball Super: Superhero is doing impressive business at the North American box office where it is headed for a first-place finish with a debut of $20 million or more after grossing $10.7 million on Friday.
Crunchyroll, which is distributing the Japanese movie, says the sequel is scoring the best global opening ever for an anime film.
Directed by Tetsuro Kodama from a story by series creator Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Super 2 is the 21st feature film in the long-running Dragon Ball universe and a sequel to 2018’s Dragon Ball Super: Broly. The CGI animated martial arts fantasy, produced by Toei Animation, is playing in more than 3,100 cinemas in North America, including Imax locations, and in more than 100 countries overall.
Males made up nearly 80 percent of Friday ticket buyers in the U.S., while 70 percent of the audience was between the ages of 18 and 35.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is easily slaying the weekend’s other nationwide new offering, Beast. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, the adventure thriller is on course to earn a modest $10 million for the weekend.
While that’s in line with tracking, it’s still a disappointing start for the Universal release, which stars Idris Elba as a father who takes his family on safari only to come face-to-face with an enraged lion. Beast, which received a lukewarm B Cinemascore, likewise skewed male (56 percent).
As Hollywood emerges from the pandemic, the August box office is notably light this year in terms of traditional summer tentpoles after a strong May, June and July. The dearth of product is putting additional pressure on theater chains, with mega-chain Cineworld — parent company of regal Cinemas — revealing on Friday that it is exploring bankruptcy.
Elsewhere at the box office, Sony’s Bullet Train is falling to No. 3 in its sophomore outing with a projected $8 million. That’s a modest 41 percent decline.
Top Gun: Maverick remains high up on the chart as it flies toward the $700 million mark at the domestic box office, while A24’s specialty pic Bodies Bodies Bodies rounds out the top 10 as it ups its theater count to more than 2,500 locations.