‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Debuts at No. 1 with Soft $23M

“DC League of Super-Pets,” an animated adventure about the four-legged friends of the legendary superheroes, opened the top spot at the domestic box office with $23 million from 4,313 theaters.

Although the Warner Bros. film sold enough tickets to dethrone Jordan Peele’s “Nope” on the North American charts, it’s a modest start given the film’s $90 million price tag. Sure, the Legion of Super-Pets isn’t as recognizable as Superman, Aquaman, or the Justice League franchises, but “DC League of Super-Pets” might have resonated with audiences a bit more given its association with DC Comics and the high wattage voice with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart.

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“DC League of Super-Pets” didn’t make much headway at the international box office, where it soared to $18.4 million from 63 markets. Overall, the film has grossed $41.4 million worldwide.

In times of pandemic, “DC League of Super-Pets” is yet another kid-friendly movie that struggled to impress in its box office debut. Movies aimed at parents with young children have been a mixed bag, which is worrying because family audiences have always been a reliable source of revenue. In terms of opening weekend earnings, “DC League of Super-Pets” came in behind Pixar’s “Lightyear,” which debuted to $51 million, and “Minions: The Rise of Gru” Universal, which opened to $107 million. But its opening is in line with other pandemic-era family films, including “The Bad Guys” ($23.9 million), “Sing 2” ($22.3 million) and Disney’s “Encanto” ($27 million dollars). However, it’s hard to imagine that the ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ has anyone at Warner Bros. this time last year, the studio’s “Space Jam: A New Legacy” opened to $31 million while simulcasting on HBO Max.

It helps that aside from the positive reception from ticket buyers (it earned an “A-” CinemaScore), “DC League of Super-Pets” doesn’t have much competition on the horizon. He has a clear runway until Sony’s animated “Lyle Lyle Crocodile” premieres on October 7. Warner Bros. expects “DC League of Super-Pets” to enjoy a long life in theaters before reaching new audiences (and perhaps some repeat customers) on HBO Max.

“This is a modest opening by animated series standards,” said David A. Gross, who runs the film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “Recently, several animated films have extended their run to six weeks, generating healthy domestic multiples.”

Although several animated films have gotten off to a slower start than their respective studios might have liked, many have shown great staying power at the box office, Gross notes. For example, “The Bad Guys” and “Encanto” each closed their theatrical runs with $96 million in North America. And “Sing 2” had particularly long legs, earning $162 million.

This weekend’s other new nationwide release, BJ Novak’s true-crime dark comedy “Vengeance,” barely cracked the top 10. The R-rated Focus Features film opened in line with expectations, taking in $1.75 million from 998 theaters.

The well-reviewed “Vengeance” appealed primarily to male audiences (55% of ticket buyers were men), who gave the film a “B+” CinemaScore. Novak, who also wrote the screenplay, plays a New York-based journalist and podcaster who travels to Texas to investigate the death of a girl he was only casually dating.

Despite that start for the “DC League of Super-Pets,” last weekend’s champion “Nope” fell to second place with $18.5 million from 3,807 venues, a 58 percent drop. So far, the UFO thriller – starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer – has grossed $80.5 million in North America. “No” has yet to open at the international box office.

Disney’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” took the No. 3 spot with $13.1 million from 3,650 locations in its fourth weekend in theaters. Those ticket sales take the Marvel adventure to $300 million at the domestic box office, with its current tally at $301 million. Internationally, the fourth “Thor” movie has grossed $361 million, bringing its total to $662 million.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” landed in fourth place with $10.8 million from 3,578 theaters and, despite opening in theaters five weeks ago, likely took part in the “DC League of Super-Pets” in procedure. The latest “Despicable Me” spinoff was one of the few kid-friendly success stories at the pandemic box office, taking in $320 million in North America and $710 million worldwide.

Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” rounded out the top five with $8.2 million in its 10th weekend. After two months on the big screen, the sequel to the Tom Cruise blockbuster has grossed $650 million at the domestic box office, while managing to remain in the top five of the weekend charts since Memorial Day weekend. Soon, it will surpass “Titanic” ($659 million) and “Jurassic World” ($653 million) to become the seventh highest-grossing film in domestic box office history. With another $671 million from foreign audiences, “Top Gun: Maverick” has amassed a mammoth $1.3 billion to date.

In sixth and seventh, Sony’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” ($7.5 million from 3,526 locations in its third weekend, $53.5 million to date) and Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic “Elvis” ($5, $8 million from 2,901 locations in its sixth weekend, $129 million to date) is moving quietly and successfully into theaters. Both represent counterprogramming wins during the summer blockbuster season.

Elsewhere, A24’s multiverse adventure “Everything Everywhere All At Once” hit a major milestone at the box office, surpassing $100 million in worldwide ticket sales. It is the first A24 film to reach this benchmark at the box office. The film, which was re-released in domestic theaters over the weekend, was a big hit, earning $68.9 million in the United States and another $31.1 million internationally.

At the specialty box office, Lena Dunham’s polarizing coming-of-age story “Sharp Stick” brought in $18,000 from two theaters — which translates to $9,000 per location. Dunham wrote and directed the film, which centers on a 26-year-old woman who is socially and sexually questionable after having a hysterectomy as a teenager. Utopia is releasing the film, which expands nationwide starting August 5.

Another indie title, IFC Films and Shudder’s “Resurrection,” earned $92,700 from 97 locations — a $955 per theater average. “Resurrection” will be released on video-on-demand on Friday, August 5 and will continue to play in theaters throughout the summer.

Written and directed by Andrew Semans, the psychological thriller stars Rebecca Hall as a woman whose carefully constructed life is upended when an unwanted shadow from her past returns. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews, with most praise directed at Hall’s performance. In Vulture’s review, critic Bilge Ebiri warns, “Good luck sleeping after seeing ‘Resurrection.’

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