In a result that took less time than most of Goku’s Kamehameha energy blasts, the newest Dragon Ball Z feature film, entitled Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, cracked the indie and specialty box office over the weekend and blasting its way into the Top 10 highest-grossing anime films in America ever. That’s huge, especially for a title that, despite the franchise’s 26-year history (31 if you count the original Dragon Ball manga and anime), was technically an independent film, distributed in the United States by perennial anime-putter-outer, FUNimation.
Taking in $5.58 million in its five-day run, Resurrection F made more than Shaun the Sheep, Ardman Animation’s latest which only managed $4 million over the weekend. It also means the DBZ film knocked two Hayao Miyazaki movies from their places in the U.S. anime box office records. Howl’s Moving Castle is now out of the top ten entirely, and The Wind Rises, Miyazaki’s final film, has been bumped to the 10 spot.
While $5.58 million doesn’t seem like very much, and in actuality, it really isn’t, the movie was only on 903 screens in total and its per-screen average was roughly $6,180. For a specialty release like that, it’s a staggering figure, and the movie will be in theaters until the 12th of August, so it could very well make its way up the list a little bit further.
For the sake of completeness, the current Anime Box Office Top 10 (U.S.) is as follows:
1. Pokemon: The First Movie
2. Pokemon: The Movie 2000
3. Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie
4. The Secret World of Arietty
5. Pokemon 3: The Movie
7. Spirited Away
8. Digimon: The Movie
9. Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’
10. The Wind Rises
So, as you can see, that’s four Studio Ghibli, three of which are Miyazaki films, and the rest are all based on TV shows American kids watched. It sort of shows the staying power of Dragon Ball Z, which has been mainly a direct-to-video franchise for the past 20 years.