According to Funimation, it’s the biggest opening ever for an event film in the United States, as well as the fifth-highest earning anime theatrical opening of all time. Gen Fukunaga, CEO and president of Funimation, said the gross “exceeded even the high end of our estimate.” The 20th feature in the Dragon Ball franchise, Broly was launched on 1,440 screens including 180 IMAX and Cinemark XD large-format screens.
Added Fukunaga, “Fans are at the core of our strategy for this film. From the theatrical campaign and fan engagement events to our theatrical footprint and IMAX/Cinemark XD opening day presentation, our goal has been to make Dragon Ball Super: Broly available to as many fans as possible through the widest array of touchpoints. This strategy has paid off.”
Over the past few years, Funimation has helped to pioneer the event-model for theatrical animation distribution, and the box office performance of the films released through this model continue to grow. Four of the top thirteen anime grossers of all-time in the U.S. are now Funimation releases, and those four films are the only ones in the group that weren’t released by a major studio.
Projections for the first week of Broly are currently in the $15 million range, which means that the film will soon end up as a top five anime release in the U.S. That’s a remarkable accomplishment for an event-style film release. While these kind of figures can’t easily be replicated for films that don’t have a built-in fandom, it still points to a strong demand from American audiences for certain types of international animation.
Overseas, Broly’s release is being handled by Fox International. To date, the film has grossed $57 million internationally.