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‘Dungeons And Dragons,’ Great Box Office, Great Reviews, Great Audience Scores

I’ll be honest, I had relatively little hope in the idea that a Dungeons and Dragons branded movie starring Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez would be anything but an not-great attempt to make a comedic Lord of the Rings-type offering.

Well, I was wrong. As it turns out, Dungeons and Dragons is apparently great, and it’s racking up box office numbers to match.

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves currently has 91% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, plus an even better 93% audience score from fans.

Then, it’s estimated that it will bring in $40 million this opening weekend, which is solid for a new IP (yes, Dungeons and Dragons is an existing IP, but not a movie series). Those numbers mean that it’s even outperformed Shazam: Fury of the Gods, the DC sequel that had just a $30.5 million opening weekend.

Dungeons and Dragons appears to the latest point of evidence for two points frequently being made in the industry:

  • Movies are “back” from their down period during the pandemic, and no, everyone did not permanently shift to wanting everything to purely stream from home. Box office totals are rising across the board, generally speaking.
  • Superheroes are not the be-all, end-all of blockbusters anymore. Dungeons and Dragons is one of many non-superhero hits that have arrived over the course of the past year, which also include Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick, Creed III and most recently John Wick: Chapter 4. Though most impressively, it’s in the same conversation despite being a franchise launch, rather than a sequel or reprisal of an older film. While many people play Dungeons and Dragons, certainly, that was no guarantee of critical or box office success for this movie, certainly, and if anything it sort of seemed like a bad idea.

But it’s great, and doing great, which is nice to see. We’ll see how word of mouth carries it across multiple weekends, but this is about as strong a start as you might have hoped for, given the genre and IP and marketing at hand.

It’s easy to expect that this kind of success here will spawn a sequel, likely with most of the cast returning. I had to look up who even directed this, as I had no clue, and that is John Francis Daley, who is, amazingly, the star of Freaks and Geeks back in 1999. His co-director is Jonathan Goldstein, who has writing credits on Spider-Man: Homecoming and Horrible Bosses, and both of them directed Game Night together. This is easily the biggest breakout success they’ve had so far, which is cool to see. And I bet they return for another one, as well.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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