Trolls Band Together Trolls Band Together

Universal and Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls Band Together, the third installment in the toy-derived franchise, has delivered the best U.S. weekend for an animated film since the second weekend of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse all the way back in early June.

The Walt Dohrn-directed film launched with an estimated $30.6 million weekend from 3,870 locations. With some earlier preview screenings added in, domestic total stands at $31.7m.

While Trolls didn’t capture the top spot – that distinction belonged to the latest installment in The Hunger Games franchise – it came in at the upper end of expectations. The strong showing reaffirms the strength of the brand, especially after considering that the last film in the series barely received a theatrical showing and was viewed mostly at home due to the pandemic.

Trolls audience was 71% female, 34% under 17, and 31% between 18-34, according to Deadline. Largest group of viewers was Latino/Hispanic (37%), followed by Caucasian (34%), Asian (11%), and Black (10%). With global ticket sales added in, the film has already topped the century mark with $108.1 million.

The real test for Trolls will be the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when it goes up against Disney’s latest feature, Wish. Universal clearly felt that there was enough room in the marketplace for two female-skewing family animated features, and it will be interesting to watch whether their gamble pays off.

The film’s solid opening is also bound to boost spirits at Dreamworks, in what has been one of its glummest years on record. Earlier this year, the studio suffered its worst-performing domestic film of all-time, Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken, and the studio has been besieged by multiple rounds of layoffs in recent months, some reported and others not. In September, the studio shocked employees when it told them that it was shifting away from producing films fully in-house at its California studio following the release of its 2024 slate, which includes two in-house productions: Kung Fu Panda 4 and The Wild Robot.

In other box office news: Paramount’s Paw Patrol: The Mighty Move is winding down its domestic run at around $65m. Global tally is strong at $192.4m, topping Paramount’s other recent theatrical animation release, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, at $180.5m global.

The Spanish feature Inspector Sun And The Curse Of The Black Widow, distributed by Viva Pictures in the U.S., is also pretty much finished domestically. Despite launching in nearly 1,000 theaters at the end of last month, it only came up with around $700,000.