‘How to Train Your Dragon 3′ Flies Toward Series’ Best Box Office Opening

DreamWorks Animation adventure is on pace for the best opening weekend of the year so far

How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World
Universal Pictures

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is providing the box office with some much needed good news. After earning $17.5 million from 4,259 theaters on Friday, the Universal/DreamWorks animated film is on pace for a projection-beating $58 million opening.

While “Captain Marvel” will break this mark in two weeks’ time, “Hidden World” is on pace for the best opening total of 2019 so far, topping the $40.3 million 3-day start of another Universal release, “Glass.” It’s also better than the $43.7 million opening made by the first “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2009 and the $49.4 million opening made by its 2014 sequel.

In fact, should this result hold, “Hidden World” will earn the highest opening for DreamWorks Animation since “Madagascar 3” opened to $60 million in 2012. The film is also one of the best received DreamWorks movies ever, as critics and audiences alike are hailing it as the best film in the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy. It currently has a 91 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and has earned an A on CinemaScore.

In second place is Fox’s “Alita: Battle Angel,” which is falling 60 percent in its second weekend to an $11 million weekend total. It’s not what this sci-fi film was looking for as it tries to push towards profitability, as it means that the film’s A- CinemaScore is not translating to large enough word-of-mouth support beyond hardcore sci-fi fans. Overseas, the film is looking at a $60 million opening in China, on par with the $61 million opening earned by “Ready Player One” last year.

WB’s “The Lego Movie 2” is in third with an estimated $9.6 million third weekend to push its total to $83 million. Completing the top five are MGM newcomer “Fighting With My Family” and the second weekend of WB’s “Isn’t It Romantic,” both estimated to hit the $7 million range this weekend.

“Fighting With My Family” is hitting tracker projections with a $7.8 million total from 2,711 screens after opening on four screens in Los Angeles and New York last weekend. “Isn’t It Romantic” is just behind, falling 48 percent from its opening weekend for a $7.3 million total and is estimated for a two-weekend total of $33 million.