Two wide studio releases will hopefully prevent this summer from reaching another low at the box office after last weekend’s $67.3M. If there’s one movie that’s going to pull ahead, sources are betting on Crunchyroll’s Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. That distributor has proven in a short amount of time that they can draw a great deal of anime fans in a Friday through Sunday span. The Tetsuro Kodama directed animation movie is looking at anywhere from $12M-$15M, ahead of Universal’s genre lion-stalking film, Beast, starring Idris Elba; that pic hoping for at least double digits.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, booked in around 3,940 theaters, will be armed with all premium ticket formats, i.e. 4DX, Imax, Dolby and D-box, and will kick off showtimes at 5PM on Thursday. The previous movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, over a 6-day MLK holiday stretch in 2019 debuted to $22.3M. However, these anime movies are all about their first weekend, and in the case of Broly, that repped 74% of its $30.7M domestic run. Still, at a time when there isn’t any demanding product from studios, exhibition will take it. Super Hero is on a 90-day theatrical window as Crunchyroll is all about the big screen experience. Already, Super Hero has made $18M in Japan. Broly minted $85M abroad, 41% of that coming from Japan for a grand worldwide total of $115.7M. Super Hero will also hit Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Central America, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay (Aug. 18); United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Zambia and Vietnam (Aug 19).
Among Super Hero‘s big marketing bursts, Crunchyroll previewed the first 20-minutes of the film (subtitled) exclusively for Hall H attendees at San Diego Comic-Con with a panel featuring Piccolo voice actor Toshio Furukawa from Japan, along with English voice actor, Christopher Sabat, and producer Norihiro Hayashida. There was also a replica of Piccolo’s house on the convention floor. In addition, Super Hero had a footprint at the Crunchyroll Expo in San Jose, CA during Aug. 5-7 with the pic’s first 20 minutes being shown in an English dub version and a panel featuring English voice actors Kyle Hebert (Gohan), Aleks Le (Gamma 1) and Zeno Robinson (Gamma 2).
The Dragon Ball phenomena began in 1984 when Japan’s well-known manga from Akira Toriyama premiered in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump – becoming a top ranked title throughout its decade-plus publication and hitting a global circulation of 260M copies. The Dragon Ball franchise is comprised of TV animation, movies, games and merchandising.
Beast is booked at 3,500 sites and starts previews at 5PM. As of this minute, five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes have the Baltasar Kormakur directed movie at 80% fresh. We’ll see if that critical rating maintains as press screenings are tonight. The movie is squarely built on Elba’s shoulders versus the ensemble pics he’s starred in i.e. Hobbs & Shaw, Suicide Squad, Prometheus, the list goes on. The Luther actor plays Dr. Nate Samuels, a recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa, where he first met his wife, on a long-planned trip with their daughters to a game reserve managed by Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley), an old family friend and wildlife biologist. But what begins as a journey of healing jolts into a fearsome fight for survival when a lion, a survivor of blood-thirsty poachers who now sees all humans as the enemy, begins stalking them. Will Packer produces. The pic is currently tracking with Black audiences and the prime moviegoing demo of 18-34.
The campaign for Beast kicked off in May with its first trailer clocking over 114M global views to-date. The Beast trailer ran on such summer pics as Jurassic World Dominion, Minions: The Rise Of Gru, Thor: Love And Thunder, The Black Phone and Nope.
Beast continues to boast Universal has the biggest supplier of theatrical product to theaters during the pandemic, the studio crossing the $3 billion milestone this past weekend, the first Hollywood studio to do so since 2019.
A24’s Bodies Bodies Bodies, currently booked at 1,290 theaters, raises its running theater count to 2K in its third session. The Pete Davidson-Maria Bakalova horror satire counts a running total of $4.2M.