Trolls" grosses $30 million on opening weekend

Universal and DreamWorks Animation's "Trolls Band Together," the third installment of the toy-derived franchise, was the best animated film in the U.S. since the second weekend of "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," which opened in early June weekend.

The Walt Dohrn-directed film grossed an estimated $30.6 million weekend at 3,870 locations. Including advance previews, the domestic total was $31.7 million.

Although "Trolls" did not take the top spot (that honor went to the latest installment in the "Hunger Games" series), it reached the upper end of expectations. This strong performance reaffirms the strength of the brand, especially considering that the previous films in the series had little theatrical release due to the pandemic and were mostly viewed at home.

According to Deadline, 71% of "Trolls" audiences were female, 34% were under 17, and 31% were 18-34. The largest group was Latino/Hispanic (37%), followed by White (34%), Asian (11%), and Black (10%). When worldwide ticket sales are added, the film has already surpassed $108.1 million, bringing it to the $10 billion mark.

The real test for "Trolls" will be the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when it faces Disney's latest film, "Wishes." Universal clearly feels that there is room in the market for two animated family films with female leads, and it will be interesting to see if the gamble pays off.

The film's solid opening should also boost spirits for DreamWorks, despite one of its weakest years ever. Earlier this year, the studio posted its lowest domestic film performance ever with "Ruby Gilman: Teenage Kraken," and has been hit with multiple layoffs in recent months; in September, the studio announced that after the 2024 release of the film, which includes two in-house productions, it would transition from a fully in-house production at its California studio The studio shocked its employees by telling them that it would be transitioning from entirely in-house production at its California studio after the release of two in-house productions: Kung Fu Panda 4 and Wild Robots.

In other box office news: Paramount's "Paw Patrol" grossed approximately $65 million domestically and $190 million worldwide. The worldwide box office was strong with $192.4 million, surpassing Paramount's recent theatrical release of the animated film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, which grossed $180.5 million worldwide.

The Spanish feature film "Inspector Sun And The Curse Of The Black Widow," distributed by Viva Pictures in the US, is also nearly finished domestically. Despite opening in about 1,000 theaters late last month, it only made about $700,000.