DRAGON BALL SUPER: SUPER HERO easily won the weekend with an opening 3-day gross of $20.1M at 3,018 locations. This result was in line with pre-release expectations and gave the industry a measure of relief amidst the much-publicized end-of-summer drought. However, a deeper look behind the numbers reveals a somewhat different story. SUPERHERO is the newest anime title in the DRAGON BALL SUPER franchise, a follow-up to DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY that opened on Wednesday 1/16/2019 in only 1,250 theatres.
Its first day gross of $7.1M generated a per-theatre average of $5,680. The first day for this year’s feature generated a per-theatre average of only $3,607, which is 37% lower than the 2019 original. Because the exhibition is starved for new products, Crunchyroll was able to triple the number of locations this year but failed to expand its audience significantly from its core anime fans. The Wed-Sun 5-day opening in 2019 was $20.2M versus this year’s Fri-Sun 3-day number of $20.1M. The fact that Saturday was only 53% of Friday’s gross is an indication that the fans of the series came out early on Thursday night and Friday. This calls into question its ultimate grossing capability.
It’s interesting to note that in 2019 exhibitors were only asked for a two-week commitment on BROLY whereas this year SUPER HERO will certainly play for a much longer run that will last through Labor Day at least. Unfortunately, there is little competitive pressure from the upcoming slate of titles to displace SUPER HERO from theatres.
Universal’s BEAST finished in second place with $11.6M, somewhat of a disappointment given that it had been billed as the second half of a one-two assault on this year’s box office. Unfortunately, it failed to find an audience and will struggle to hold on in subsequent weeks. BULLET TRAIN, the number one film for each of the last two weeks, came in third place with $8M, a drop of 40% from last weekend. TOP GUN: MAVERICK took fourth this weekend with $5.9M, and has raked in $683M over its 13 weeks in theatres. DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS came in fifth for the weekend with $5.8M and has accumulated $67M overall in its four weeks.