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‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Roars to Year’s Best Opening With $55 Million

”The Hidden World“ earns the best opening of the DreamWorks Animation trilogy

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” has provided a bit of respite to movie theaters starving for moviegoers, as it has opened this weekend to a $55.5 million launch from 4,259 screens.

While “Captain Marvel” will likely beat that mark in two weeks, this start for the Universal/DreamWorks Animation release has blown by the $40.3 million start by “Glass” to become the best opening weekend of 2019 so far. Overseas, where the film has already made $216 million heading into this weekend, “The Hidden World” added $34.7 million for a $90.2 million estimated global weekend total and a global cume of just under $275 million.

It’s a big success for Universal, as “Hidden World” is the first DreamWorks Animation title it has released since buying DreamWorks in 2016. With both DWA and Illumination now in its IP stable, Universal is becoming a regular challenger for Disney in the world of animation, having already topped “Ralph Breaks the Internet” at the holiday domestic box office with Illumination’s “The Grinch,” which earned $270 million to “Ralph”‘s $199 million. The studio’s next animated release will be “The Secret Life of Pets 2” on June 7, two weeks before the release of Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 4.”

In second is Fox’s “Alita: Battle Angel,” whose strong audience approval last weekend is not translating to more word-of-mouth-fueled interest this frame. The James Cameron-produced sci-fi film fell 58 percent this weekend to a second weekend total of $12 million and a domestic total of $60 million.

News is slightly more positive in China, where numbers for the film’s opening have yet to be released but are estimated to be north of $60 million. The film is estimated to have had a net production budget of around $170 million.

In third is “The Lego Movie 2” with $9.6 million in its third weekend and a domestic cume of $83 million, putting it 38 percent behind the pace of 2017’s “The Lego Batman Movie.” In fourth is MGM/WWE Studios’ “Fighting With My Family,” which is opening wide this weekend after a four-screen limited release and is performing a step above tracker expectations with an $8 million opening from 2,711 screens.

Completing the top five is WB’s “Isn’t It Romantic,” which dropped 49 percent for a $7.3 million second weekend total and a domestic cume of $33.5 million.

Overall, the combined estimated $121 million box office total for this weekend is only a one percent increase over last weekend’s total, which was the worst Presidents’ Day box office weekend in over 15 years. But “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” which is accounting for approximately 45 percent of all moviegoing revenue this weekend, is at least stemming the tide until “Captain Marvel” arrives in two weekends with a projected $125 million-plus opening.

Next weekend will see most studios steer clear of releasing new films in anticipation of a more robust March that will include titles like “Captain Marvel” and “Us.” The top release next weekend is Lionsgate’s “A Madea Family Funeral,” the final installment of Tyler Perry’s “Madea” series that is projected for a $20 million opening.

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