Even superheroes’ dogs open at the top of the box office.
The animated comedy “DC League of Super-Pets” looks to top domestic charts in its opening, projecting a debut of $22 million. The film earned $9.3 million from 4,314 theaters on opening day, a figure which includes $2.2 million in Thursday preview ticket sales.
That’s enough for the Warner Bros. release to claim the top spot at the box office, but it’s far from the strongest opening for an animated film this summer. Disney’s “Lightyear” drew in $50.2 million in its June opening — a total that was seen as underwhelming for the “Toy Story” spinoff, which carried a $200 million production budget. In July, Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” set a new bar for family film box office expectations in a world following COVID-19 lockdowns, earning a sizable $107 million three-day opening.
“Super Pets” is coming in lower than both of those summer releases. The film cost $90 million to produce, so it will hope to continue drawing in family audiences before school’s back in session this fall.
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 spirited and blithely conventional and likable way, knocks the stuffing out of superhero fantasy. Its joke is that a mangy crew of animals doing outlandish CGI stunt magic tricks is essentially what every comic-book movie is.”
“Super-Pets” scored a mildly positive 60% approval rating from top critics on the review-aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The film also netted an “A-” grade through research firm Cinema Score, indicating resounding approval from general audiences.
Also opening this weekend, “Vengeance” looks to net $1.6 million from 998 locations. That’s just enough to slot in at the tenth place slot on domestic charts. Focus Features is handling distribution, 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 finds himself in over his head investigating a murder in Texas.
Universal’s “Nope” is putting up some solid competition for the box office’s top slot, projecting a $19 million haul in its second weekend.
That would mark a 57% drop for Jordan Peele’s new thriller, coming in slightly above initial projections for a 60% fall. However, it’s a steeper haul than his two previous features. Peele’s 2017 breakout “Get Out” fell a slim 15.4% in its sophomore outing, while his 2019 follow-up “Us” took a 53.3% plummet.
Audiences aren’t taking to “Nope” as strongly as Peele’s previous work. Even so, the Universal thriller will expand its domestic haul past $80 million through Sunday, which marks an impressive haul for an original film with nothing to promote beyond an eerie presence and the names involved with the production. “Nope” has already earned back its $68 million production budget (although that doesn’t include marketing and distribution costs). The film begins its global rollout in August.
Disney’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” looks to take third on domestic charts. The Marvel Cinematic Universe earned $3.7 million on Friday, dropping 41% from its previous weekend. After completing its fourth weekend at the box office, “Love and Thunder” should expand its domestic gross beyond $300 million.
Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is eyeing fourth. The animated spinoff isn’t ceding much ground to its “Super-Pets” competition, dropping a slim 37% in its fifth weekend of release. “Rise of Gru” will surpass a $320 million domestic gross after Sunday, continuing to rank as the fifth-highest North American release of 2022.
And then, of course, there’s the summer’s biggest movie. In its tenth weekend of release, Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” has yet to drop out of the top five on domestic charts. The Tom Cruise sequel is projecting a slim 17% fall from its previous outing, expanding its domestic haul to a whopping $650 million.
“Maverick” is coming close to making another dent in the domestic box office’s all-time top 10. It already ranks as the ninth highest grossing North American release ever. It now looks to surpass “Jurassic World” ($652 million) and “Titanic” ($659 million) in the coming weeks.