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‘DC League of Super-Pets’ takes top spot

AP – The summer box office showed signs of slowing down this weekend as the animated DC League of Super-Pets opened in theatres across North America.

The superhero spinoff about Superman’s dog earned USD23 million from 4,314 locations, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Though slightly less than expected, it was still enough to capture the first-place spot and knock Jordan Peele’s Nope into second place in its second weekend.

Analysts had pegged DC League of Super-Pets for a USD25 million launch, which was on the lower end for animated openings this summer. In June, the USD50.6 million for Lightyear was considered underwhelming for the USD200 million Disney/Pixar movie. Then in early July, Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru captured USD107 million in its first three days.

But Super-Pets is more comparable to Universal’s The Bad Guys, which netted out with around USD97 million domestic after a USD23 million opening, and it’s much, much stronger than Paramount’s Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’s USD6.3 million debut several weeks ago.

“This opening is a huge win for DC fans, the box office, WB and our filmmakers,” said studio’s president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein.

DC League of Super-Pets was not intended to be a midsummer release. Originally, Super-Pets had been slated for May, while this weekend was reserved for Black Adam, Warner Bros’ other Dwayne Johnson superhero pic.

Krypto, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, in a scene from ‘DC League of Super Pets’. PHOTO: AP

But postproduction delays due to a backup at VFX houses forced Black Adam to move back to October. Instead of giving up the prime date, the studio filled the open spot with a family-friendly title with an all-star voice cast, including Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, Keanu Reeves and Kate McKinnon as an evil guinea pig.

Super-Pets has several summer vacation weeks left with little significant competition, and the hope is that it will continue to grow steadily thanks to positive feedback from audiences this weekend. And with USD18.4 million from international showings, it has already grossed USD41.4 million globally.

“The interest is red hot,” Goldstein said. “Young family movies play for a long time. Given our CinemaScore of A- and word of mouth, we’re going to be around for a while.”

Second place went to Universal’s Nope, which fell 57 per cent from its debut last weekend and earned an additional USD18.6 million. The North American grosses for Nope are now sitting at USD80.6 million before it begins its international expansion in August.

Thor: Love and Thunder took third place with USD13.1 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to USD301.5 million. Its global total is now sitting at USD662 million, without a release in China.

Minions: The Rise of Gru stuck its heels in fourth place in its fifth weekend with USD10.9 million. Worldwide, it has now earned USD710.4 million.

And rounding out the top five was Top Gun: Maverick, which made an additional USD8.2 million in its 10th weekend, bringing its domestic total to USD650.1 million.

Major new theatrical releases were limited this weekend, but gave audiences a variety of options. Focus Features debuted the film Vengeance in 998 locations this weekend, where it earned an estimated USD1.8 million.

B J Novak’s directorial debut follows a podcaster (Novak) who travels from New York to west Texas to investigate the death of his girlfriend. The well-reviewed thriller features Issa Rae and Ashton Kutcher. And Bleecker Street opened the Sundance charmer A Love Song, starring Wes Studi and Dale Dickey, in four theatres, where it earned an estimated USD18,702.

Things are slowing down at the domestic box office heading into August, which is not uncommon. And there are still big films to come, like Sony’s Bullet Train with Brad Pitt, which speeds into theatres next weekend.

“July generated over USD1 billion, and that’s impressive. It’s the first billion-dollar month since December 2019,” said senior media analyst for Comscore Paul Dergarabedian.

“That gives us a tailwind going into August, but don’t expect any USD100 million debuts for a while.”

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