DC League Of Super-Pets Tops The Box Office But Doesn't Fly All That High

This was a not-at-all insignificant weekend as Warner Bros. released its first DC film in theaters since "The Batman" helped to jumpstart the box office back in March. This new movie is the animated "DC League of Super-Pets," boasting a cast led by none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Krypto the Superdog. "Super-Pets" did indeed top the charts, taking the number one spot away from Jordan Peele's "NOPE." Be that as it may, the results were not what one might call super-heroic, and may leave something to be desired. 

Meanwhile, "Minions: The Rise of Gru” crossed a major milestone, B.J. Novak's "Vengeance" had a very muted debut, and several other big movies continued to rake in the dough. Let's dig into the numbers, shall we?

DC League of Super-Pets quietly wins the day

According to Box Office Mojo, "DC League of Super-Pets" took the top spot at the box office this past weekend with $23 million. That was enough to send Jordan Peele's sci-fi/thriller "NOPE" to the number two spot in its second weekend with an $18.5 million haul It is worth noting that Peele's latest has crossed $80 million domestic on a reported $68 million budget ahead of its international rollout. That is to say, it's doing just fine. As for "Super-Pets," the animated flick from director Jared Stern carries a $90 million budget. That being the case, $23 million is probably not what Warner Bros. had in mind when they gave this film the green light with a stacked A-list cast.

Internationally, the movie earned $18.4 million, giving it a $41.4 million debut in total. The main takeaway here is that it has a long way to go before it can become profitable. Over time, this one could easily find its audience and figures to do well on VOD with families, and expects to be a big draw on HBO Max when it arrives on the service. With a cast that includes Keanu Reeves, Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, and The Rock, not to mention the DC brand name, one might have thought this would have flown a bit higher in its initial box office run. Then again, it's been a mixed bag for family-friend animated films since the pandemic began.

Sure, we've had "Minions: The Rise of Gru" light the charts on fire (more on that in a moment), and we've had movies like "Sing 2" perform admirably. But we've also had gigantic disappointments like "Lightyear" and "The Bob's Burgers Movie," relative to expectations. Animation seems to be one area where uncertainty looms in the theatrical marketplace – that much is certain.

Vengeance fails to find a big audience

Focus Features and Blumhouse also teamed up this weekend for "Vengeance," a comedic thriller from director B.J. Novak (of "The Office" fame), representing his feature directorial debut. Unfortunately, the well-reviewed, Texas-set mystery landed at number ten on the charts with just $1.7 million from just shy of 1,000 screens. 

While the budget figures have not been revealed, Blumhouse is known for making the most out of small budgets. Even so, this is likely not what either Blumhouse or Focus had in mind here — especially given that Focus really could use a hit right now after "The Northman" bombed so badly and even "Downton Abbey: A New Era" failed to do what they hoped it might. Focus could use a hit and, even if this doesn't ultimately work out to be a loser after VOD and streaming are factored in, it's certainly not going to be a big moneymaker. One hopes this one finds its audience over time.

Minions: The Rise of Gru crosses $700 million worldwide

In good news for Universal Pictures, "Minions: The Rise of Gru" dropped just 39.7% this weekend, adding another $10.8 million to its ever-growing total in its fifth weekend. That was good enough for the number four spot, just behind "Thor: Love and Thunder" ($13 million weekend/$662 million worldwide). But the important thing is that the animated sequel has now amassed $710 million globally, which already makes it a gigantic hit.

It's seeming very unlikely that it will catch "Despicable Me 3" ($1.03 billion) "Minions" ($1.15 billion), but it's more than enough to ensure that "Despicable Me 4," which already has a 2024 release date, is a good idea. This is on the plus side for animated films in the pandemic era and proves that audiences will turn up for the right ones, so the future of animation does not have to languish in the streaming realm.

And the rest...

In news that sounds like a broken record at this point, "Top Gun: Maverick" continued its ridiculous run, taking in another $8.2 million and staying in the number five spot, dropping just 20.2% in its tenth weekend. At $1.32 billion worldwide, it's hard to imagine any movie catching this one to take the box office crown for 2022. Sony's "Where the Crawdads Sing" also continued to be one of the surprises of the summer, adding $7.5 million in its third weekend, good enough for the six spot. It now has stacked up $53.5 million domestic and $8.7 million internationally for a $62.2 million total. Against a $24 million budget and with good holds figuring to keep it in the charts for a few more weeks, that's not bad at all.

Rounding out the top ten we've got a few more holdovers that are doing quite well. "Elvis" came in at number seven with $5.8 million, dropping less than 12%. It's at $234 million worldwide. "The Black Phone" ($2.5 million weekend/$141 million worldwide) and "Jurassic World Dominion" ($2 million weekend/$942 million worldwide) came in at number eight and nine, respectively.

Looking ahead to this weekend, we've got Sony's comedic thriller "Bullet Train" and A24's horror flick "Bodies Bodies Bodies," as well as Universal's "Easter Sunday" on deck. That should make things very interesting when it comes to the top spot.