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Box Office: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3,’ ‘A Madea Family Funeral’ Vie for No. 1

The second weekend of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and the debut of “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral” are in a race too close to call for the box office crown, with each estimated to bring in about $25 million.

Should estimates hold, the number will mark a 53% decline for “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” which took in $55 million over its opening weekend. It’s totaled $291 million worldwide, including $74 million Stateside.

“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral,” which is hitting 2,442 theaters, earned $9.2 million on Friday — above earlier tracking estimates and leading studios to reevaluate their weekend estimate to the $23 million to $25 million range.

The film heralds the end of Tyler Perry’s beloved Madea character, which dates back to his 1999 play “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” It marks the 11th installment in Lionsgate’s franchise, with “Madea Goes to Jail” seeing the highest debut of the series — $41 million in 2009.

In this iteration, Perry portrays multiple characters, as usual, in a story set in backwoods Georgia where a family reunion becomes an unexpected funeral. Written, directed and produced by Perry, the comedy also sees the return of regulars Patrice Lovely and Cassi Davis.

The weekend’s other debut, Focus Features’ “Greta,” should pick up just $4 million from 2,411 locations to open at No. 5. Isabelle Huppert stars in the psychological thriller, which follows a young woman (Chloe Grace Moretz) who befriends a widow (Huppert) but soon realizes their meeting was anything but chance.

Neil Jordan directed the pic, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, from a script he co-wrote with Ray Wright. It has a 58% score on Rotten Tomatoes; critics called it campy, but also praised Huppert and Moretz’s performances.

Meanwhile, “Alita: Battle Angel” and “Lego Movie 2” will round out the No. 3 and No. 4 slots, with an estimated $6 million and $5 million, respectively.

“Alita” has totaled $66.9 million domestically and $222 million overseas, good news for its pricey production budget. Fox’s cyperbunk sci-fi film still has a long way to profitability, however, with rival studios estimating it will need to make around $500 million globally before it’s in the black.

“Lego Movie 2,” starring Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks, has grossed $139 million worldwide in its 22 days of release.

Moviegoing remains down a startling 31% compared to the same weekend last year. However, the upcoming Mar. 8 release of “Captain Marvel” should put a dent in that margin.

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