While Crunchyroll’s Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is coming in at the lower end of what we foresaw yesterday with $20.1M (still significantly more than what we were spotting Friday AM), Universal’s Beast grew some teeth last night, improving its 3-day from $10.1M to now $11.57M. That’s after a $4.27M Saturday that’s -1% from Friday + previews’ $4.3M. Some rival distributors believe Super Hero made more at $21M.
What impresses rival distribution bosses is how Crunchyroll (ne Funimation) continues to draw their fans out and post these robust openings without a standard TV marketing campaign. Whatever juice Crunchyroll is drinking, other major studios want it, too. One of the bold box office feats Crunchyroll pulled off during the pandemic was coming close to stealing the No. 1 weekend opening from New Line’s Mortal Kombat ($23.3M) back in late April 2021 with their release of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, which settled for second at $21.2M (that said, Crunchyroll had bragging rights to being No. 1 for the week of April 23-29 with Demon Slayer at $27.7M).
Even iSpot shows Crunchyroll underspending Universal’s Beast this past weekend in TV spots by a significant amount (like 97% less). iSpot shows that Super Hero had spots on Adult Swim (36.3%), Comedy Central (31.4%), FX (30.6%) and USA (2.2%) across such shows as South Park (17.7%), Black Panther (12.1%), The Office (11.8%), King of the Hill (8.2%) and American Dad (7.2%).
But the superpower here for Crunchyroll’s marketing remains in social media. Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak shows that only 10% of those who bought tickets saw TV ads for Super Hero, versus 39% who had caught the YouTube trailer and 22% who watched the Instagram trailer. Compare this to Uni’s Beast: That pic’s ticket buyers largely saw the pic’s trailer in theaters (28%) and on TV (16%) as well as billboards (15%) in addition to YouTube (20%). Out of all the ads for Super Hero, 25% of those who attended this weekend said the YouTube trailer was the most influential versus TV (3%) and in-theater promotions (2%).
“We have this special one to one connection with our fans, talking with them on social media and at in-person events. They give us great feedback,” says Crunchyroll Head of Distribution Mitchell Berger, who points to social, and the Super Hero‘s big footprint at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con and San Jose Crunchyroll Expo, where the studio showed off 20 minutes of footage at each with the voiceover cast in tow.
Also required for a big Crunchyroll weekend win are all the premium ticket formats, i.e. Imax saw Super Hero as their highest-grossing anime opening ever with $3.4M at 327 screens, repping close to 17% of the pic’s opening weekend. Imax and PLFs combined contributed close to 40% of Super Hero‘s weekend total.
Updated demos on Beast still show a big turnout among Black moviegoers at 34%, followed by 26% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, and 10% Asian. Close to half of the audience was over 35, with close to a third over 45. That’s a nice proportion for adult moviegoers during the pandemic, but we need to see bigger bucks into the fall from this demographic if older-skewing titles are going to survive on the big screen. Slightly heavier on guys here for the Idris Elba movie at 52%. Beast was best across the South, over-indexing in Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Memphis, Baltimore.
RelishMix was underwhelmed by the social media wattage of Beast, reporting that its reach across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter was only 120M “average levels,” with “studio assets representing much of the segmentation, however the content stack is light with one trailer and two featurettes, so activity is limited.” The one edge Uni had was Elba’s 18.3M social media followers, which he reached out to; the following bit capturing 319K views on his Instagram with wordless comedian and TikTok sensation Khaby Lame:
1.) Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (Cru) 3,018 theaters, Fri $10.88M, Sat $5.8M, Sun $3.45M, 3-day $20.1M/Wk 1
2.) Beast (Uni) 3,743 theaters, Fri $4.3M, Sat $4.27M, Sun $2.99M, 3-day $11.57M/Wk 1
3.) Bullet Train (Sony) 3,781 (-576) theaters, Fri $2.2M (-42%), Sat $3.3M, Sun $2.4M 3-day $8M (-40%)/Total $68.9M/Wk 3
4.) Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 2,969 (-212) theaters, Fri $1.56M (-21%), Sat $2.52M, Sun $1.77M, 3-day $5.85M (-17%), Total $683.3M/Wk 13
The Tom Cruise movie became the No. 9 highest-grossing film of all time as it flew past the $1.4 billion worldwide mark, with $1.403 billion. Stateside the movie clicked past Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War ($678 million) as the No. 6 highest grossing movie in domestic box office history. The pic lands on digital with over 110 minutes of bonus content on Aug. 23, and on 4K/Blu-Ray/DVD on Nov. 1.
5.) DC League of Super-Pets (WB) 3,537 (-266) theaters, Fri $1.4M (-29%), Sat $2.5M, Sun $1.87M, 3-day $5.77M (-18%)/Total $67.4M Wk 4
6.) Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) 2,755 (-420) theaters, Fri. $1.07M (-24%), Sat $1.78M, Sun $1.17M, 3-day $4M (-25%)/Total $332.1M/Wk 7
7. ) Nope (Uni) 2,381 (-379) theaters, Fri $1.05M (-33%), Sat $1.47M, Sun $1.03M, 3-day $3.55M (-34%)/Total $113.76M/Wk 5
8.) Minions: Rise of Gru (Uni) 2,654 theaters (-414), Fri $940K (-34%), Sat $1.59M, Sun $990K, 3-day $3.52M (-30%), Total: $350M/Wk 8
9.) Where the Crawdads Sings (Sony) 2,608 theaters (-308), Fri $900K (-25%), Sat $1.3M, Sun $930K 3-day $3.15M (-21%)/Total $77.7M/Wk 6
10.) Bodies Bodies Bodies (A24) 2,541 (+1,251) theaters, Fri $764K, Sat $915K, Sun $732K, 3-day $2.4M (-23%), Total $7.4M/Wk 3
Orphan: First Kill (Par) 498 theaters, Fri $670K, Sat $610K, Sun $390K, 3-day $1.67M/Wk
Fall (LG) 1,548 theaters, Fri $366K, Sat $548K, Sun $416K, 3-day $1.33M (-47%)/Total $4.9M/Wk 2