Labor Day Weekend Box Office Labor Day Weekend Box Office

A trio of animated features finished in the top 10 of the North American box office over the Labor Day weekend: DC League of Super-Pets, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.

While animation’s strong showing is something worth celebrating, the fact that Super Pets is in its sixth week and Minions in its tenth, yet both are still top 10 films, does raise general concerns regarding the state of the box office at large.

Distributors and exhibitors are still struggling to recover from the Covid-19 period, and the number of films available to audiences is still well below what it was pre-pandemic. Over the summer of 2019, 42 feature films were released in U.S. cinemas. This summer, that number dropped 48% to 22 releases. The next several months are looking rather barren for film fans.

And things are even worse for animation. From Super Pets’ July 29 release until Disney premieres Strange World on November 23, North American theaters will see a historic dry spell of nearly four months without a wide theatrical animation release from a major U.S. studio. We looked back through a decade of animated feature releases pre-Covid-19, as cataloged by film historian Jerry Beck, and at no point during that time did cinemas see a gap of more than three months between big studio releases. And even then, there was plenty of indie fare to keep audiences buying popcorn.



Despite being dropped from 169 theaters, Warner’s DC League of Super-Pets saw a 21.9% increase from last week’s haul to gross an estimated $5 million at the North American box office, good for fourth place over the three-day weekend. It grossed an additional $1.3m on Labor Day, lifting its overall total to $81.7m. The film’s performance was likely buoyed by National Cinema Day specials on Saturday and audiences having Monday off from work, but the film has proved to have four strong legs since hitting theaters six weeks ago.

After its tenth week in North American cinemas, Minions: The Rise of Gru was still firmly entrenched in the top 10 managing an estimated $4.5m in ticket sales over the extended holiday weekend.

Crunchyroll’s biggest theatrical release yet, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, continues to pay dividends for the Sony-owned anime distributor. The film’s estimated $2.9 million take over the holiday would put it at $35.4m total in North America, just ahead of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 ($34.5 million) for fourth place all time among anime features.


Minions: The Rise of Gru finished in second place at the global box office over the weekend, grossing a total of $12m worldwide. The Illumination pic now sits at $890 million global.

DC League of Super-Pets finished in fourth place globally, generating $9.5 million in worldwide sales over the weekend, pushing its total worldwide gross to $159.5 million. Meanwhile, Super Hero finished sixth worldwide with $6.7 million in sales, although Comscore hasn’t yet figured Japanese ticket sales into that total. Super Hero’s global cumulative take now sits at $60.6 million.

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