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HBO Max Needs to Learn From Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero's Success – ComicBook.com

By Evan Valentine – August 24, 2022 01:01 pm EDT
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero has hit the top of the charts for this past weekend’s North American box office, proving that the decades old Shonen series still has quite the fanbase rallying behind it. The new movie features the return of the Red Ribbon Army, while also acting as a serious lesson for HBO Max, as the streaming service has been quite controversial when it comes to the medium of animation. There is a lot for the streaming service to learn when it comes to the theatrical release of Gohan and Piccolo’s latest adventure.   
HBO Max has recently stricken quite a few animated series from its roster, for reasons that still remain a mystery, with the likes of Infinity Train, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, Close Enough, Mao Mao, and OK KO being just a few examples of the series that no longer have a streaming home. Hot on the heels of this news, it was revealed that the spiritual successor to the Batman: Animated Series, Batman: Caped Crusader, was no longer being produced for the streaming service, despite having the involvement of both Bruce Timm and J.J. Abrams. While HBO Max and Dragon Ball do not cross over in any way, with the Shonen series mostly housed on Crunchyroll, there’s a lesson to be learned for the platform when it comes to the new anime movie.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero brought in a little over $20 million USD at the North American box office for its opening weekend, overtaking Idris Elba’s Beast for the top spot. While anime films such as Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train were able to shock the western box office, Super Hero is especially an interesting case in that it was a part of a series that has been running for decades while also not placing the spotlight on either Goku or Vegeta. The Shonen movie proves that there is an audience for animation, from the East and the West.
The medium of animation is not dead, far from it, with a number of series being produced during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic that helped bolster the entertainment industry during notoriously stressful times. With the success of this anime film, it’s a clear message that there is an audience for the medium, and its one that HBO Max should take to heart moving into the future.
Do you think anime will continue to soar in popularity in North America and around the world? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of Dragon Ball
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