The summer box office showed signs of slowing down this weekend as the animated “DC League of Super-Pets” opened in theatres across North America.
"DC League of Super-Pets" an animated adventure about the four-legged friends of superheroes, has opened in first place at the domestic box office with $23 million from 4,313 theatres.
Though the Warner Bros. movie sold enough tickets to dethrone Jordan Peele's "Nope" on North American charts, it's a mediocre start given the film's $90 million price tag.
Sure, the Legion of Super-Pets aren't as recognizable as Superman or Aquaman, but "DC League of Super-Pets" could have resonated with audiences a little more given its affiliation with DC Comics and its high-wattage voice cast in Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart.
In pandemic times, "DC League of Super-Pets" is yet another kid-friendly film that has struggled to wow in its box office debut.
Movies aimed at family audiences have been a mixed bag as of late, which is concerning because it's a demographic that has always been a reliable source of revenue.
In terms of opening weekend revenues, "DC League of Super-Pets" arrived behind Pixar's "Lightyear," which debuted to $51 million, and Universal's "Minions: The Rise of Gru," which opened to $107 million. But its start falls in line with other pandemic-era family films like "The Bad Guys" ($23.9 million), "Sing 2" ($22.3 million) and Disney's "Encanto" ($27 million).
However, "DC League of Super-Pets" doesn't have much competition on the horizon, which could work to its advantage. It helps that audiences liked the film, which landed an "A-" CinemaScore.
This weekend's other new nationwide release, B.J. Novak's true-crime inspired dark comedy "Vengeance," barely cracked the top 10.
The R-rated film opened in line with expectations, pulling in a lackluster $1.75 million from 998 theaters. Novak, who also wrote the screenplay, portrays a New York City-based journalist and podcaster who travels to Texas to investigate the death of a girl he was only casually dating.
The well-reviewed "Vengeance" appealed to mostly male audiences (men accounted for 55 percent of ticket buyers), who gave the film a "B+" CinemaScore.
With "DC League of Super-Pets" easily winning the weekend, "Nope" slid to second place with $18.5 million from 3,807 venues. So far, the UFO thriller – starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer – has generated $80.5 million in North America. "Nope" hasn't opened yet at the international box office.
Disney's "Thor: Love and Thunder" took the No. 3 spot with $13.1 million from 3,650 locations in its fourth weekend in theaters.
"Minions: The Rise of Gru" landed in fourth place, bringing in $10.8 million from 3,578 cinemas in its fifth outing.
Paramount's "Top Gun: Maverick" rounded out the top five with $8.2 million in its 10th weekend of release.