“Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” Toei Animation’s latest film in the “Dragon Ball” franchise, topped the North American box office with a $21 million debut this weekend.
The second installment to the “Dragon Ball Super” film series earned nearly twice as much as the Idris Elba-starrer “Beast,” which opened to a dismal $11.5 million from August 19-22, 2022. U.S.-based Crunchyroll, which specializes in distributing Japanese anime content, secured the year’s widest anime release for “Super Hero,” which got a 3,940-theater launch, including IMAX and other premium large formats (PLFs).
Around $3.4 million of its domestic ticket sales came from 327 Imax screens, making it the widest and highest-grossing opening weekend for an anime film.
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“Super Hero” also outperformed its 2018 predecessor, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” which earned $9.8 million in its first three days of release and ended the Martin Luther King holiday weekend with $11.9 million.
The box office weekend victory of “Super Hero” follows similar success from “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train,” which generated $21.2 million to start last year, at a time when theaters were still operating at reduced capacity.
Written by “Dragon Ball” series creator Akira Toriyama, the film follows Piccolo and Gohan as they try to save the world from the Red Ribbon Army.
Film critics have praised the film for its story and fan service as it highlights the chemistry between two beloved, longtime characters.
In Japan, “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” earned a total of 2.3 billion yen (approximately $16.73 million) since its release in June, becoming the fourth highest-grossing Japanese anime film of the year.
So far, the film has already generated over $45 million worldwide, with more markets to cover, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.