Even the superhero dogs open at the top of the cash register.
The “DC League of Super-Pets” animated comedy appears to top the domestic charts upon opening, debuting at $22 million. The film earned $9.3 million from 4,314 theaters on its opening day, a figure that includes $2.2 million in ticket sales on Thursday.
That’s enough for the release of Warner Bros. to claim top spot at the box office, but it’s far from the strongest opening for an animated film this summer. Disney’s “Lightyear” raised $50.2 million when it opened in June — a total considered disappointing for the “Toy Story” spin-off, which carried a $200 million production budget. In July, Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” set a new bar for family movie expectations in a post-COVID-19 lockdown world, earning a sizable three-day opening of $107 million.
“Super-Pets” comes in lower than both summer releases. The film cost $90 million to produce, so it’s expected to continue to attract family audiences this fall before school starts again.
Based on DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Pets, a team made up of the furry friends of superheroes, “DC League of Super-Pets” features a star-studded voice cast including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz and Keanu Reeves.
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman gave “Super-Pets” a positive review, writing that “the movie, in its feisty and gleefully conventional and sympathetic way, takes the stuffing out of superhero fantasy. The joke is that a mangy crew of animals perform those bizarre Performing CGI stunt magic tricks is essentially what any comic book movie is.
“Super-Pets” scored a slightly positive 60% approval rating from top critics on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The film also earned an “A-” rating from research firm Cinema Score, indicating resounding approval from the general public.
Also this weekend, “Vengeance” opens and looks set to bring in $1.6 million from 998 locations. That’s just enough to finish in tenth place on the domestic charts. Focus Features will distribute the film, while Blumhouse Productions produced the film in association with Divide/Conquer.
BJ Novak wrote, directed, and stars in “Vengeance,” which follows a journalist and podcaster who is head over heels in a Texas murder investigation.
Universal’s “Nope” provides stiff competition for the top spot at the box office, with $19 million expected in its second weekend.
That would represent a 57% drop for Jordan Peele’s new thriller, slightly above initial projections for a 60% drop. However, it is a steeper pull than its two previous features. Peele’s 2017 breakout “Get Out” dropped a slim 15.4% in its second outing, while its successor “Us” dropped 53.3% in 2019.
The public isn’t quite as excited about “Nope” as Peele’s previous work. Still, the Universal thriller will expand its domestic pull through Sunday to over $80 million, which is an impressive pick for an original film with nothing but an eerie presence and the names involved in production. “No” has already recouped its $68 million production budget (although that doesn’t include marketing and distribution costs). The film will begin its worldwide rollout in August.
Disney’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” looks set to take third on the domestic charts. The Marvel Cinematic Universe made $3.7 million on Friday, down 41% from the previous weekend. After completing its fourth weekend at the box office, “Love and Thunder” should expand its domestic gross to over $300 million.
Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is in fourth place. The animated spinoff doesn’t give up much on its “Super-Pets” competition, dropping a slim 37% in its fifth weekend of release. “Rise of Gru” will hit over $320 million domestic gross after Sunday and remains the fifth highest North American release of 2022.
And then, of course, there’s the biggest movie of the summer. In its tenth weekend of release, Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” has yet to disappear from the top five of the domestic charts. The Tom Cruise sequel forecasts a small 17% drop from the previous outing, expanding domestic transportation to a whopping $650 million.
“Maverick” comes close to making another dent in the all-time top 10 domestic box office. It already ranks ninth with the highest grossing profit ever in North America. It now looks set to surpass “Jurassic World” ($652 million) and “Titanic” ($659 million) in the coming weeks.