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Anime ‘Dragon Ball’ roars to top of N.American box office

Computer-animated martial arts film “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” the 21st in the Japanese franchise, seized control of the North American box office this weekend with an estimated take of $20.1 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

That impressive result for the film from Crunchyroll — which called it the best global opening ever for an anime movie — proved a bright spot in a tepid August, easily outshining the $11.6 million take of another new release, Universal’s “Beast.” 

“This is another outstanding Crunchyroll anime opening,” said analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research. He said Crunchyroll, 95 percent owned by Sony, now “dominates the genre.”

Gross rated “Beast,” meantime, as having only a “fair opening” for the Friday-through-Sunday period — at least “for an action adventure film featuring a beast.”

The beast, in this case, is a huge rogue lion that pursues a recently widowed man (Idris Elba) and his daughters when they go on safari. Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur directs.

Sony’s action-thriller “Bullet Train,” which topped the box office the last two weekends, slid to third at $8 million. Brad Pitt plays a paid assassin on a train seemingly loaded with them.

In fourth was the still high-flying “Top Gun: Maverick,” which took in a substantial $5.9 million in its 13th week out. The Tom Cruise vehicle has pulled in $683 million domestically and $703 million overseas. 

And in fifth, down three spots from last weekend, was Warner Bros.’s animation “DC League of Super-Pets,” at $5.8 million. 

August is always slow at the box office, “but with no big releases during the last two weeks, business has dropped more than normal, to roughly -40 percent below August 2019,” Gross said, “and that’s how it will continue until October.”

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

“Thor: Love and Thunder” ($4 million)

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” ($3.5 million)

“Where the Crawdads Sing” ($3.2 million)

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” ($2.4 million)

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