DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS took over first place with its opening weekend gross of $23M. This result was on the lower side of expectations for the Warner Bros. animated film, featuring an all-star cast of voiceovers led by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, and Keanu Reeves. Based on the DC comics superhero team Legion of Super-Pets, the movie’s plot revolves around Superman characters Clark Kent and Lois Lane, who are saved from Lex Luthor by the band Super Pets.
Because Superman is one of Warner Bros.’s premiere Intellectual Properties, the thinking among its studio execs has been that SUPER-PETS can set the table for other animated projects and a relaunch of the SUPERMAN franchise itself. Even though the opening weekend box office was on the lower side of projections, this does not mean that WB’s SUPERMAN game plan is in trouble. Both critics and audiences weighed in with favorable reactions, with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 72% from critics and 87% from audiences.
Well-received animated films have historically gone on to earn high multiples of their opening weekend grosses, and we are projecting a total gross of approximately $100M in North America. This result would still support at least one follow-on for the pet characters. SUPER-PETS is the last animated feature film for the summer, so it should have a clear road through Labor Day.
Jordan Peele’s NOPE finished in second place with a weekend gross of $18.6M. This was a drop of 58% from last week’s opening, which represents a steeper decline than Peele’s two prior films. GET OUT (2017) dropped only 15% from its opening weekend while US (2019) dropped by 53%. What’s truly concerning is that NOPE has had little competition this weekend, with the only significant new opening coming from SUPER-PETS, an animated film for family audiences.
Next week, NOPE will have stiff competition from the debut of BULLET TRAIN, with the R-rated actioner appealing to a very similar audience. It will be interesting to see if NOPE’s box office can measure up to the $175M and $176M earned by his first two outings.
This weekend’s other new opener was VENGEANCE, which earned $1.75M at just under 1,000 screens. The dark comedy is the first feature by B.J. Novak, best known for having produced, written, and starred in the U.S. version of The Office. VENGEANCE has a very favorable 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and its distributor Focus Features plans to expand its footprint to more screens in the weeks ahead, hoping that positive word of mouth will translate to success at the box office.