Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero pulled in an estimated $20.1 million at the North American box office over its debut weekend, good for distributor Crunchyroll’s best-ever theatrical opening.
Its weekend take (including Thursday previews) alone was enough to rank the film as the sixth-best anime release in North American box office history. Its predecessor, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is currently the fourth-highest grossing anime film on that list ($30.7 million), but looks sure to be dethroned by Super Hero.
With a sparse release schedule over the coming weeks, the real question is whether the latest Dragon Ball film can catch up to Pokémon the Movie 2000 for third place. That film eventually grossed $43.7 million in North America. Anime titles are typically front-loaded in the U.S. and a significant portion of their total box office performance is during the first couple weekends. Still, Super Hero looks a lock to pass the Pokemon flick, especially considering how few films that target a similar audience will be in theaters over the coming weeks.
Super Hero is Crunchyroll’s widest theatrical release to date, and played on more than 4,000 screens in over 3,100 theaters, including specialized formats such as Imax and 4dx.
The film topped the global box office over the weekend as well, pulling in $32.2 million, with $12.1 million from 30 territories outside North America.
China box office: Minions vs. New Gods: Yang Jian
Minions: The Rise of Gru debuted in Chinese theaters over the weekend but was overshadowed by the domestic animated feature New Gods: Yang Jian, which took the top spot at the mainland Chinese box office earning $19.8 million across its three-day debut. The Chinese market alone was enough to rank New Gods fourth at the global box office over the weekend.
New Gods: Yang Jian is produced by Light Chaser Animation, the studio behind 2021’s New Gods: Nezha Reborn and the White Snake franchise. Nezha Reborn eventually earned $67.6 million at the box office, and is currently available on Netflix in the U.S.
Illumination Entertainment’s The Rise of Gru finished the three-day period in third place at the Chinese box office, only managing to pull in $11.6 million. The Rise of Gru now looks unlikely to match the Chinese box office performances of its Despicable Me predecessors. At the end of their theatrical runs, Despicable Me 2 had earned $52.9 million in 2013, Despicable Me 3 pulled a massive $158 million in 2017, and the first Minions film grossed $68.5 million in 2015.
While somewhat of a letdown, the $11.6 million Chinese total was enough to push The Rise of Gru into the number two spot globally over the weekend, with a total three-day take of $30.2 million. In addition to China, that includes $3.5 from North America and $15.1 coming from other international territories. The film’s global cumulative box office now sits at $833.6 million.
Warner Bros.’ DC League of Super-Pets grossed $5.7 million in North America over the weekend, good for fifth, while managing $6 million from abroad. The film has now grossed $130.4 million, making it unlikely to become a franchise-starter for WB.
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On pulled in $139,625 from 202 locations. It has grossed a total of $5.6m domestically, making it one of the year’s more successful boutique animation releases.