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Late in “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” the 20th Japanese anime feature in a 35-year-old franchise that also has spawned scads of TV series, trading cards, video games, mangas, and limited-edition collectibles, a supporting character complains, “I don’t understand a single thing you’ve said the whole time.”
If you’re among the heretofore uninitiated drawn to this new Dragon Ball extravaganza, which has been dubbed into English and booked into 1,440 North American theaters, you may often find yourself experiencing similar frustration as you struggle to make sense of a patchwork plot that seems derived from various strands of the ongoing mythos, and is filled with apparently major characters whose backstories are only fuzzily defined.
Hand - Box - Office - Weds - Jan
On the other hand, the impressive opening-day box office — more than $7 million on Weds., Jan. 16 — for “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” indicate that, if this is indeed strictly a members-only attraction, well, anticipation must have been strong among the initiated to compel that kind of turnout on day one. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
Scripted by series creator Akira Toriyama and direced by Tatsuya Nagamine (a veteran of the “Dragon Ball Super” TV show), this latest movie begins as the evil Frieza — introduced here as an undisciplined adolescent who takes over the family business of intergalactic tyranny — destroys the planet Vegeta because its inhabitants, known as Saiyans, might pose a future threat. Broly, a Saiyan infant with super-warrior potential, gets away before the big bang, and spends...
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