‘Dragon Ball’ roars to top of US box office

LOS ANGELES • Computer-animated martial arts film “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero”, the 21st in the Japanese franchise, seized control of the North American box office during the weekend with an estimated take of US$20.1 million (RM89.58 million), industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday.

That impressive result for the film from Crunchyroll — which called it the best global opening ever for an anime movie — proved a bright spot in a tepid August, easily outshining the US$11.6 million take of another new release, Universal’s “Beast”. 

“This is another outstanding Crunchyroll anime opening,” said analyst David A Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research. 

He said Crunchyroll, 95% owned by Sony, now “dominates the genre”.

Gross rated “Beast”, meantime, as having only a “fair opening” for the Friday-through-Sunday period — at least “for an action-adventure film featuring a beast”.

The beast, in this case, is a huge rogue lion that pursues a recently widowed man (Idris Elba) and his daughters when they go on safari. Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur directs.

Sony’s action-thriller “Bullet Train”, which topped the box office the last two weekends, slid to third at US$8 million. Brad Pitt plays a paid assassin on a train seemingly loaded with them.

In fourth was the still high-flying “Top Gun: Maverick”, which took in a substantial US$5.9 million in its 13th week out. The Tom Cruise vehicle has pulled in US$683 million domestically and US$703 million overseas. 

And in fifth, down three spots from last weekend, was Warner Bros’s animation “DC League of Super-Pets” at US$5.8 million. 

August is always slow at the box office, “but with no big releases during the last two weeks, business has dropped more than normal, to roughly -40% below August 2019”, Gross said, “and that’s how it will continue until October”. — AFP / pic source crunchyroll.com