By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Screenwriter
Idris Elba may take on a lion in ‘Beast,’ but the action flick fell short of the latest ‘Dragon Ball’ film at the North American box office this weekend.
“Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” topped the charts in its first weekend in theaters, with studio estimates of $20.1 million in ticket sales on Sunday. “Beast,” meanwhile, settled for a second-place finish with $11.6 million.
Crunchyroll released “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” to 3,900 screens in North America, marking the widest opening ever for an anime. Toei Animation’s production was led by Tetsuro Kodama, who had support from “Dragon Ball” creator Akira Toriyama. The Dragon Ball universe is almost 40 years old and includes manga, TV shows, movies, games, and toys.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Dragon Ball fans can come together to experience and enjoy this incredible film in theaters,” said Mitchel Berger, the distributor’s senior vice president of global commerce, in a statement. “Crunchyroll thanks all fans, whether or not you’re a ‘super’ fan or a newcomer, and we hope you’ll come back again and again.”
According to PostTrak, the audience for “Dragon Ball Super” was overwhelmingly male (79%) and 44% were between the ages of 25 and 34.
“Beast,” meanwhile, opened on 3,743 screens in North America. The film, directed by Baltasar Kormákur (“Everest”) stars Elba as the widowed father of two teenage girls, played by Iyana Halley and Leah Jeffries, who find themselves on the run from a bloodthirsty lion while traveling in South Africa.
Including international screenings, “Beast” has grossed $21.8 million so far.
“I think this is a great start for ‘Beast,'” said Jim Orr, head of national distribution at Universal. “I think we’ll have a great run at the box office.”
Elba also has another film opening next weekend – George Miller’s fantasy epic “Three Thousand Years of Longing.”
Sony’s “Bullet Train,” meanwhile, landed in third place after two weekends at No. 1 with around $8 million, bringing its domestic total to $68.9 million. Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” placed fourth in its 13th weekend in theaters with an additional $5.9 million. “Top Gun” has grossed over $683 million in North America to date, which was enough to overtake “Avengers: Infinity War” as the sixth highest-grossing domestic release of all time. “DC League of Super-Pets” completes the top five.
Paramount also released “Orphan: First Kill” on Paramount+ and in 498 locations this weekend. Esther’s origin story grossed an estimated $1.7 million at theaters.
In total, the weekend saw approximately $77 million in North American ticket sales – up more than 168% from the same weekend last year – bringing the year to date to $5.2 billion, according to Comscore. But the summer movie season continues with a downturn that may last well into the fall.
Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.
1. ‘Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes’, $20.1 million.
2. “Beast,” $11.6 million.
3. “Bullet Train,” $8 million.
4. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $5.9 million.
5. “DC League of Super-Pets,” $5.8 million.
6. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $4 million.
7. “No”, $3.6 million.
8. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $3.5 million.
9. “Where the Crawdads Sing,” $3.2 million.
10. “Body, Body, Body,” $2.4 million.
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
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