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Box Office: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Opens to OK $38.5M in North America



Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opened to an honorable enough $38.5 million at the domestic box office, enough to take out John Wick: Chapter 4 and top the chart.

The big-budget movie — based on Hasbro’s fantasy tabletop game — came in ahead of expectations but will still need strong legs throughout April and into May in order to launch a new movie franchise for Paramount and eOne after costing $150 million to produce before marketing.

Dungeons & Dragons certainly has that chance: it earned stellar reviews and an A-CinemaScore from audiences. Upcoming spring breaks and the Easter holiday will be another advantage. But adapting games has always been tricky business. Last year, Sony’s Uncharted debuted to $44 million domestically on its way to ultimately being considered a success.

Heading into the weekend, Dungeons & Dragons was tracking to open to a muted $30 million domestically. Whatever the ultimate outcome, it expands the overall D&D universe for Hasbro.

Overseas, the movie debuted to $33 million from 60 territories representing 83 percent of the international marketplace for a global bow of $71.5 million. Among the countries where it came in No. 1, the UK led with a strong $4.3 million. China, however, was a disappointment at $5 million (Dungeons is the latest Hollywood pic to stall in China). Paramount is distributing the pic everywhere except for the UK, where eOne is handling.

Directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Dungeons & Dragons is based on Hasbro’s influential role-playing game and features a star-packed cast led by Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head and Hugh Grant. The film reunites Game Night helmers Goldstein and Daley, who directed from a script they wrote with Michael Gilio.

More than 60 percent of ticket buyers were male, while the largest age group was 18-24 (31 percent). Those between ages 25 and 34 followed at 28 percent. In the US, the film outperformed in the West, the mountain region and the Midwest, while under-indexing in the northeast and southeast. Dungeons & Dragons also over-indexed in western Canada.

“Adapting a brand as huge as D&D for the big screen presents both advantages and challenges with the massive built-in global fanbase for the iconic role-play phenomenon offering up a huge potential audience of die-hard aficionados while attempting to draw a crossover audience of the non-initiated to the multiplex ,” says Comscore box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “The good news is that fantastic reviews and a solid in-theater experience will likely result in long-term playability.”

Dergarabedian predicts that Dungeons & Dragons will be able to weather competition from Universal and Illuminaton’s animated video game adaptation The Super Mario Bros. Moviewhich opens next weekend.

Lionsgate’s John Wick 4, which debuted to a rousing $73.8 million last weekend, fell 62 percent to $28.2 million in its second outing for a domestic tally of $122.9 million. At the foreign box office, it took in another $35 million from 75 markets, enough to beat Dungeons. Wick’s foreign cume is now $122 million for a hefty $245 million globally.

In North America, Paramount’s Scream VI came in third behind Dungeons and John Wick with $5.3 million for a domestic tally of $98.2 million. New faith-based new offering His Only Son, from Angel Studio, came in just under $5.3 million from only 1,920 theaters. MGM’s Creed III followed in fifth place with $5 million for a domestic total of $148.6 million.

Warner Bros. and DC’s Shazam: Fury of the Gods placed no. 6 with $4.7 million for a domestic cume of $53.6 million and a tepid $119.6 million globally. Focus Features’ 2023 Sundance Film Festival entry A Thousand and One opened at no. 7 with $1.8 million from 926 locations.

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