DC League of Super-Pets Takes No. 1 With $23 Million Entertainment

The summer box office showed signs of slowing this weekend as the animated “DC League of Super-Pets” opens in theaters across North America.

The superhero spinoff about Superman’s dog earned $23 million from 4,314 locations, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Although a little less than expected, it was still enough to take first place and knock Jordan Peele’s “Nope” into second place on the second weekend.

Analysts had forecast a “DC League of Super-Pets” launch for $25 million, which was on the low end of the animated opening this summer. In June, $50.6 million for “Lightyear” was considered a massive $200 million Disney/Pixar film. Then in early July, Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” took in $107 million in its first three days.

But “Super-Pets” is more comparable to Universal’s “The Bad Guys,” which grossed about $97 million after its $23 million debut, and Paramount’s “Pause of Fury: The Legend of Hank” at $6.3 million. Much stronger than . Million debuts several weeks ago.

“This debut is a huge win for DC fans, the box office, the WB and our filmmakers,” said Jeff Goldstein, the studio’s president of domestic distribution.

“DC League of Super-Pets” was not intended to be released in the middle of the summer. Originally, “Super-Pets” was scheduled for May, while the weekend was reserved for “Black Adam,” Warner Bros. Other dwayne johnson superhero pic. But postproduction delays due to backup at the VFX house forced “Black Adam” to return in October. Instead of dropping Prime Date, the studio filled the open space with an all-star voice cast including Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, Keanu Reeves, and Kate McKinnon as an evil guinea pig with a family-friendly title.

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“Super-Pets” has several weeks left of the summer break, with little competition, and hopes to continue to grow to positive response from audiences this weekend. And with $18.4 million from international exposures, it has already grossed $41.4 million globally.

“Interest is red hot,” Goldstein said. “Young family movies tend to last a long time. Judging by our CinemaScore and word of mouth of A-, we’re going to be around for a while.”

Second place went to Universal’s “Nope”, which fell 57% from its debut last weekend and earned an additional $18.6 million. North American earnings for “Nope” now stand at $80.6 million, before beginning its international expansion in August.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” took third place in its fourth weekend with $13.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $301.5 million. Its global total now sits at $662 million without a release in China.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” kicked off its heels in fourth place with $10.9 million in its fifth weekend. Worldwide, it has now earned $710.4 million.

And among the top five was “Top Gun: Maverick,” which earned an additional $8.2 million in its 10th weekend, bringing its domestic total to $650.1 million.

Major new theatrical releases this weekend were limited, but gave audiences a wide variety of options. Focus Features the film “Vengeance” debuted this weekend in 998 locations, where it earned an estimated $1.8 million. BJ Novak’s directorial debut follows a podcaster (Novak) who travels from New York to West Texas to investigate the death of his girlfriend. The well-reviewed thriller stars Issa Rae and Ashton Kutcher. And Bleacher Street opened the Sundance charmer “A Love Song” starring Wes Study and Dale Dickey in four theaters, where it earned an estimated $18,702.

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Things are slowing down at the domestic box office in August, which is not unusual. And there are still big movies to come, like Sony’s “Bullet Train” with Brad Pitt, which hits theaters next weekend.

“July generated over $1 billion, and that is impressive. This is the first billion dollar month since December 2019,” said Paul Dergarbedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “This gives us a tailwind in August , but don’t expect any $100 million debut for some time.”

According to comScore, estimated ticket sales in theaters in the US and Canada from Friday to Sunday. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “DC League of Super-Pets,” $23 million.

2. “No,” $18.6 million.

3. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $13.1 million.

4. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $10.9 million.

5. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $8.2 million.

6. “Where the Crowds Sing,” $7.5 million.

7. “Elvis,” $5.8 million.

8. “The Black Phone,” $2.5 million.

9. “Jurassic World: Dominion,” $2.1 million.

10. “Vengeance,” $1.8 million.

Follow AP Film writer Lindsay Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr