It’d be pretty hard if not impossible to find any anime lover that hasn’t at least heard of the Dragon Ball saga, being one of the most famous titles released over three decades ago. Being as iconic as Dragon Ball is, many fans and onlookers wonder how much money the Dragon Ball has made as well as how much it is worth at the time of writing.
The Dragon Ball franchise has made a reported total revenue of at least $24 billion, most of which comes from the manga and anime sector within the franchise. However, considering the additional projects that are inspired by Dragon Ball, the total revenue could be closer to $30 billion.
Although the estimated revenue for the Dragon Ball franchise’s creations is absolutely staggering, it’s really no surprise since the Dragon Ball saga is considered a favorite for plenty of anime or manga fans out there, as well as a veteran title within the industry. Stick around to find out everything you need to know about the Dragon Ball franchise, what projects the franchise has under its belt, as well as how much money the Dragon Ball franchise has made since its initial creation.
Dragon Ball Franchise
Dragon Ball is a Japanese media franchise, initially created by Akira Toriyama way back in 1984, meaning that it’s been around for going on 40 years at the time of writing. The Dragon Ball saga started off in the form of a manga, much like many other similar anime franchises out there, after which it was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump between 1984 and 1995, with the 519 individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, its publisher.
Dragon Ball was actually inspired by a classical 16th-century Chinese novel named “Journey to the West”, topped off with various elements of martial arts and techniques that stem from legendary Hong Kong films. The original Dragon Ball manga was transformed into two anime series, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which were jam-packed with some seriously powerful Saiyans and produced by Toei Animation and broadcast between 1986 and 1996 in Japan.
But, the Dragon Ball franchise also expanded into other media forms, being developed into twenty-one animated Dragon Ball feature films and three television specials. In addition, a revised version of the Dragon Ball Z anime was aired from 2009 to 2015 under the name Dragon Ball Kai, which is considered to be more similar and faithful to the original manga.
The franchise released two anime sequel series named Dragon Ball GT, which aired from 1996 to 1997, and Dragon Ball Super manga and anime which aired from 2015 to 2018. In addition to all of the media projects that the Dragon Ball franchise has created and released, there are also tons of additional creations that could still be considered part of the Dragon Ball franchise.
Although, the creators and developers are not the same as the original makers of Dragon Ball. There are countless merchandise, branded products, trading card games, action figures, and even live-action performances that all revolve around the Dragon Ball universe.
Plus, there are tons of amazing Dragon Ball-inspired video games for fans to enjoy as well, created by various talented developers from all over the world. The Dragon Ball saga has even begun collaborating with some seriously iconic names in the gaming world, with the potential for Dragon Ball to be released in Fortnite at some point in the future.
How Much Money has the Dragon Ball Franchise Made?
The Dragon Ball franchise has been at the top of the list for Toei Animation’s income over the past few years, steadily being in first place in terms of gross earnings or at least close to the top. It’s safe to say that each of the Dragon Ball franchise releases has been successful from a broad perspective, with each title making sales in the millions.
Below is an overview of some of the Dragon Ball franchise’s most popular titles to date, as well as how much each title has made in sales according to the DVD and Blu-Ray reviews and sales tracked by The Numbers:
|Dragon Ball Title||Domestic Video Sales|
|Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’||$8,561,440|
|Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters||$1,507,604|
|Dragon Ball Super||$14,718,764|
|Dragon Ball Z: Seasons 1-9 Collection||$19,327,541|
At the time of writing, the Dragon Ball franchise has amassed a total revenue of at least $24 billion, which accounts for just about every aspect of the franchise. Below is a summarized infographic on how the Dragon Ball franchise has made the majority of its earnings, thanks to Title Max:
Other aspects of the Dragon Ball franchise are definitely influential as well, although most of the money is always made through manga and anime. For example, Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle by Bandai NAMCO has been really successful out of all Dragon Ball games to date, bringing in a peak of $620 million in 2018 with user spending of up to $566 million in 2019, according to Sensor Tower.
The same can be said for other Dragon Ball games, including the Dragon Ball Legends game on mobile. Dragon Ball Legends was only released in May 2018 but has racked up over $300 million in gross revenue at the time of writing, meaning that the total amount of money that the Dragon Ball franchise has actually made could be well over the reported estimates.
How Much is the Dragon Ball Franchise Worth?
The Dragon Ball saga has been a massive hit ever since the initial Dragon Ball manga was released – being translated into 40 different languages with over 126 million copies being sold in Japan alone by 2000. The Dragon Ball manga tankōbon volume had some seriously impressive sales, reaching well over 160,000,000 sales of volumes in circulation in Japan as of 2016, topped by approximately 143,143,554 in other regions.
As of 2022 so far, it’s been shown that the Dragon Ball franchise still sits at the number one spot in terms of Toei Animation raking in cash. The information provided by an official post on Twitter showed that Dragon Ball managed to bring in around 127 billion yen for its media and 19.7 billion yen for toys and other merchandise sold in Japan, as seen below.
It’s really no surprise, especially since the sales and popularity of Dragon Ball seemed to spike after the release of Dragon Ball Super. The Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie made records worldwide by earning nearly $2 million on opening weekend alone, and actually managed to rake in around 7 billion Japanese Yen, which amounts to approximately $51.6 million.
With that being said, there is room for plenty of unaccounted income since many sources base estimated totals on factors such as reviews and reported sales – many of which may go without being tracked. Some sources report that the total income that Toei Animation has made from Dragon Ball could be closer to around $30 billion.
Although the Dragon Ball franchise has seen ups and downs over the years, the same can be said for just about any other major franchise out there – regardless of the industry. Dragon Ball has been around and has been well-loved by countless dedicated fans for decades, continuously building on the storyline and our favorite Dragon Ball characters with no sign of stopping anytime soon.