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‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Bombs At Box Office With Limited Competition

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart’s DC League of Super-Pets wasn’t the box office smash that Warner Bros. Discovery hoped that it would be.

Source: DC League of Super-Pets (2022), Warner Bros. Entertainment

After front-loading Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart to market Warner Bros.’s latest attempt to take advantage of their superhero IPs, DC League of Super-Pets grabbed an estimated $41.4 million at the box office which includes only $23 million domestically. With a production budget of over $90 million, the film has a long way to go before it gets anywhere near breaking even on its investment.

The opening weekend gross was far below estimates. Box Office Pro predicted [1] the film would have a 3-day weekend gross of $31.2 million. The-Numbers predicted [2] the film would earn $28.1 million. However, they then adjusted it upward to $43 million after the film grossed $2.2 million on Thursday.

Source: DC League of Super-Pets (2022), Warner Bros. Entertainment

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The animated superhero comedy film featured a number of big-time actors aside from Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. It also included Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, and Keanu Reeves.

The film is about Krypto the Super-Dog (Johnson), who is Superman’s pet and shares the same superpowers and fights crime beside him in Metropolis. However, Lex Luthor captures Superman and the rest of the Justice League. It’s up to Krypto and a team of shelter pets who receive their own superpowers to rescue them. 

Ultimately, the film performed worse at the box office than last year’s Space Jam: A New Legacy despite not having to deal with COVID restrictions limiting attendance and simultaneous releases on HBO Max. Space Jam: A New Legacy only raked in $31 million at the domestic box office [4] in its opening weekend.

DC League of Super-Pets

The outlook is even worse when you compare DC League of Super Pets to other animated films that came out earlier this year. Looking at the domestic box office, the film has performed well below Universal Pictures’ Minions: The Rise of Gru which  scored $107  million in its opening weekend at the domestic box office. It has currently grossed $320.4 million domestically and $712 million globally.

Disney’s Lightyear despite being a massive box office bomb itself, given the $200 million production budget, still grossed $50.5 million in its opening weekend. It’s currently earned $117.8 million domestically and $97.5 million internationally for a worldwide gross of $215.4 million.

TEAMING UP – Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear” is a sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy. The all-new story follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits (voices of Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi and Dale Soules), and their robot companion Sox (voice of Peter Sohn). Also joining the cast are Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), “Lightyear” releases June 17, 2022. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

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It is possible the film could have a long run at the box office. Universal Pictures’ The Bad Guys had a similar opening weekend with $23.9 million. It has gone on to gross $96.6 million domestically and $147.7 million internationally for a global gross of $244.4 million. 

The lack of competition at the box office might allow the film to have a long run, but the fact the film had such a poor opening weekend without any real competition does not bode well. In fact, Minions: The Rise of Gru brought in $10.9 million this weekend. That film has been in theaters for five weekends already.

(from left) Minion Otto and Gru (Steve Carell) in Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, directed by Kyle Balda. © 2022 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

With DC League of Super-Pets looking to be a flop, Warner Bros. Discovery will try to find magic from Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods later this year in attempt to save a lackluster studio performance in 2022.

The studio saw success with The Batman. It made $369.3 million domestically and $768.1 million globally on a production budget of $200 million. However, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore would only bring in $95.8 million domestically and $404.8 million globally on a $200 million production budget.

Elvis appears to have made a little bit of profit bringing in $129.8 million domestically and $235.9 million globally on an $85 million production budget.

Source: Black Adam (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

All eyes will be on Warner Bros. Discovery this week as the financial world awaits their second quarter financial report. CEO David Zaslav is expected to announce plans that could include how the two companies’ streaming services, HBO Max and Discovery+, would be combined and under what name. Zaslav has also long signaled a $3 billion dollar cut in spending and many insiders believe the number will go higher than originally expected.

What are your thoughts on the lack of box office success for another Warner property?

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