Box Office: ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Lifts Off With $2.2 Million in Thursday Previews

DC League of Super-Pets” lifted off with $2.2 million in Thursday previews, as the Warner Bros. animated superhero comedy looks to unseat Jordan Peele’s “Nope” from its perch atop the box office charts.

Over the weekend, “DC League of Super-Pets” is aiming to rack up between $20 million to $25 million when it opens in 4,300 North American theaters. That should be enough to outpace “Nope,” a twisty horror-thriller about aliens that was the No. 1 movie when it debuted last weekend, earning a sizable $41 million. However, “Nope” is expected to suffer a 60% drop in its sophomore frame, which would bring its haul to $15 to $16 million.

“DC League of Super-Pets’” initial results compare favorably with other recent movies aimed at family audiences. Last spring’s animated adventure “The Bad Guys” earned $1.2 million in previews before nabbing a $24 million opening, while “Jungle Cruise” picked up $2.7 million from previews before racking up $35 million in its inaugural weekend.

But movies aimed at family audiences have often struggled during the pandemic era. Universal’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” was a rare exception, earning a mighty $300 million domestically to date, but Paramount’s “Paws of Fury,” another summer entry in the genre, has only grossed $14 million domestically.

“DC League of Super Pets” has some things going for it, however. It is based on the DC Comics superhero team Legion of Super-Pets, so it has brand recognition. Plus, it features the voices of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who have teamed up in the past on the popular “Jumanji” films and on the comedy hit “Central Intelligence.” Their latest effort is expensive, costing $90 million to produce, so it has to draw a crowd if it wants to make a profit.