Anime has found a new home with cinema-goers. Over the past few years, we’ve seen these animated films from Japan make a big splash with domestic audiences, and the latest Dragon Ball Super movie is just another example.
In its opening weekend, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero pulled in an impressive $21 million in North American ticket sales. The film is being distributed domestically by Crunchyroll, which rolled the new DB movie out on 3,007 screens. The number is impressive, especially considering it earned twice as much as the weekend’s other new nationwide release, Beast, starring Idris Elba [read our Beast review here].
The movie played on 327 IMAX screens, which makes up about $3.4 million of its domestic haul. Those numbers bring Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero to the widest and highest-grossing opening weekend for an anime film in IMAX history. Variety also notes that the impressive numbers stem partially from Super Hero playing on premium formats around the United States.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Dragon Ball fans could come together to experience and enjoy this amazing film in theaters,” said Mitchel Berger, Crunchyroll’s senior VP of global commerce. “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.”
Crunchyroll is on a roll lately; their other 2022 outing Jujutsu Kaisen 0 brought in a solid $17.6 million in its debut, while 2021’s Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train generated a stealer of $21.2 million to start.
Anime films usually start strong, opening large, but play like a horror film that quickly sees the engine lose some steam. Will the long-standing legendary anime series Dragon Ball break this curse? Only time will tell, but Crunchyroll will likely be delighted with any outcome.
August has been a stunningly dreary movie season this year. Beast opened to $11.5 million in 3,743 North American cinemas, while Top Gun: Maverick pulled in another $5.85 million in its 13th weekend of release. The slow summer has allowed the Top Gun sequel to pull in megabucks, putting it ahead of Avengers: Infinity War for the sixth spot on the all-time domestic box-office ranking.