The third “How to Train Your Dragon” entry added another $38.2 million when it opened in six international territories, bringing its overseas haul to $138.7 million. The animated family film saw strong debuts in Germany ($6.9 million) and France ($6.9 million), along with Vietnam ($2.5 million).
The final chapter in the sci-fi trilogy has received high praise. Its the first iteration to be distributed by Universal since the studio’s parent company, NBCUniversal, acquired DreamWorks Animation in 2016. The first two films were released by 20th Century Fox and have grossed over $1 billion combined at the global box office. “How to Train Your Dragon 3” debuts in North America on Feb. 22.
Falling not far behind is “Alita: Battle Angel,” which launched overseas with $32 million from 11 international markets. South Korea led with $10.9 million, followed by Taiwan ($4.7 million), and the United Kingdom ($4.2 million). Directed by Robert Rodriguez and co-written and produced by James Cameron, the cyberpunk adventure based on the manga series follows a cyborg heroine who attempts to uncover her mysterious past. “Alita,” which carries a costly price tag over $175 million, opens in North America next weekend.
Meanwhile, “The Lego Movie 2” pulled in $18.1 million in 63 overseas markets. The sequel debuted with $34.5 million at the domestic box office for a worldwide launch of $53 million. That’s well behind the start of previous installments in the “Lego” franchise, but the studio is hoping its latest entry can pick up steam over President’s Day weekend when kids are off from school. Russia saw the biggest opening with $1.7 million, followed by Poland with $1.3 million, and Germany with $1.1 million.
Elsewhere, the Chinese New Year is bringing in big business in the mainland. China’s sci-fi epic “Wandering Earth” brought in a massive $172 million, bringing its box office haul just shy of $300 million. The movie has made $289 million in its first six days of release.
A slew of films opened in the Middle Kingdom this weekend. Among them are “Crazy Alien,” a comedy directed by Ning Hao that earned $77.6 million, and “Pegasus,” a fantasy film that brought in $52 million over the weekend. The two titles have generated $213.5 million and $150.6 million, respectively.