‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Lost World’ was sold as the end of the trilogy, but after scoring the highest opening of the three, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Dreamworks decides to pull a ‘Toy Story’ and revisit this brand with more theatrical installments. While most franchises fizzle over time, this one got stronger, with a $55.5 million opening. Not only is this the best ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ opening, but it’s also the second-best February animated movie opening as well, falling just behind ‘The LEGO Movie’s $69M. It was only projected to make $40M-$45M, so it blew past those expectations as well. With preview screenings added, ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ has made $58M.
Audiences love it, giving it an A CinemaScore and five out of five stars through PostTrak. Critics are also charmed with it averaging a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score. The film is also connecting outside of strictly families. Perhaps because the franchise is now 18 years old, some of the once-children who grew up with it, are now young adults and are still fond of the brand. Basically, it’s kind of like the Millennial ‘Toy Story’.
Audiences are also loving the low-budget charmer ‘Fighting with my Family’, produced by Dwayne Johnson who also appears as himself in the biopic of British wrestler Paige. Viewers gave the feel-good family flick an A- CinemaScore and four stars via PostTrak. Unfortunately, that isn’t translating to huge ticket sales, despite the support of the WWE and many of its stars. ‘Fighting with my Family’ clocked in with $8M on its first weekend in wide release and ranked at #4.
‘Alita: Battle Angel’ dropped 58% to make $12M in its sophomore frame and came in at #2. ‘The LEGO Movie 2’ is #3, with $10M. And below ‘Fighting with my Family’, at #5 is Rebel Wilson’s comedy ‘Isn’t It Romantic?’ with $7.5M.
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dreamworks Animation/Universal) – $55.5M
- Alita: Battle Angel (20th Century Fox) – $12M
- The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (Warner Brothers) – $10M
- Fighting with my Family (MGM) – $8M
- Isn’t It Romantic? (New Line/Warner Brothers) – $7.5M
‘Alita’ opened in China to a spectacular $64.8M, setting a record for the largest opening in that country for 20th Century Fox and the biggest February IMAX opening. Its worldwide accumulation is $263.3M and is now being projected to make $400M altogether by the end of its cinematic run. Unfortunately, its break-even number is rumored to be $500M, so it may still wind up in the red. Secondary releases (DVD, VOD, etc.) will pad that, but keep in mind, Fox will have to pay more in advertising when that time comes, driving the break-even higher.
This weekend, ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ was boosted by the fact that this is (for now) the last movie in the franchise. Will the same thing happen next weekend when ‘A Madea Family Funeral’ opens? This is supposedly the final Madea movie from one-man-money-press Tyler Perry. These low-budget comedies have made over $500M combined. If it holds to form, ‘A Madea Family Funeral’ should open somewhere between $23M-$30M.
Will that be enough to take #1? Check back to find out!