×

Box Office: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Soaring to $50 Million-Plus Launch

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is soaring toward a $53 million launch weekend at 4,259 North American locations, early estimates showed on Friday.

That estimate is well above Universal’s forecast in the $40 million range at 4,259 sites — and ahead of its predecessors, 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” which made $43.7 million for Paramount, and 2014’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which earned $49.4 million for Fox.

The third entry in the franchise is the first DreamWorks Animation title to be released by Universal since it acquired the animation studio for $3.8 billion in 2016. If the estimate holds, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” will become the top three-day domestic opener of 2019, eclipsing the $40.2 million reeled in by Universal’s “Glass” on Jan. 18-20.

The final entry in the “Dragon” trilogy follows the young Viking Hiccup and his companion Toothless as they seek a dragon utopia called the Hidden World. Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, and F. Murray Abraham lend their voices to the pic.

“The Hidden World” has a 91% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes. The first two “How to Train Your Dragon” films grossed a cumulative $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office and both were nominated for best animated feature Oscars. Dean DeBlois directed all three films.

Fox’s second weekend of “Alita: Battle Angel” will probably lead the rest of pack in the $11 million to $12 million range at 3,830 venues. The fantasy-adventure, starring Rosa Salazar as a cyborg with no memory, has generated $47 million in North America in its first week, along with $103 million internationally.

Warner Bros.’ third weekend of the animated comedy “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is heading for third place with about $10 million at 3,830 sites. The sequel should reach about $84 million by the end of the weekend.

MGM’s wrestling comedy-drama “Fighting With My Family,” starring Florence Pugh, is expanding to 2,711 screens and should earn about $8 million.

Overall domestic box office for 2019 has plunged 25% to $1.26 billion as of Feb. 20, according to Comscore. That’s due to the combination of a lack of a major hit this year and last year’s mega-hit “Black Panther,” which took in $292 million in its first week. That trend should begin to reverse when “Captain Marvel” opens on March 8 amid expectations of a $100 million-plus launch.

More Film

  • Ryan Simpkins

    Ryan Simpkins Joins Fox-Disney's 'Fear Street' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Simpkins has joined Fox-Disney’s second installment of 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Fear Street” trilogy, based on the novels by R.L. Stine. Leigh Janiak is helming all three films. Previously announced cast includes Gillian Jacobs, Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, McCabe Slye, Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Ashley Zukerman, Fred Hechinger, Julia [...]

  • MPAA Logo

    Motion Picture Association of America Hires Emily Lenzner as Communications Chief

    The Motion Picture Association of America has appointed veteran public relations executive Emily Lenzner as its executive VP of global communications and public affairs. She will report to Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin and oversee the trade group’s communications team in the U.S. and internationally. Lenzner will start Aug. 1 and be based at the MPAA’s [...]

  • See Taylor Swift Unveil Feline Moves

    See Taylor Swift Unveil Feline Moves for First Time in 'Cats' Behind-the-Scenes Teaser

    Taylor Swift fans finally get to see some of the results of all those years spent studying her roommates Meredith and Olivia — and also, not incidentally, some time with a choreographer — in a new behind-the-scenes teaser for the movie “Cats.” The three-and-a-half-minute featurette has footage of Swift striking crouching feline moves as well [...]

  • CGR’s Immersive Premium Format Set for

    Immersive Theater Technology Set for US Debut in Los Angeles

    French multiplex company CGR Cinemas has selected the Regal LA Live as the first U.S. theater to use its Immersive Cinema Experience technology. The ICE format will be unveiled in the fall at the downtown location in a partnership between CGR and AEG. The companies made the announcement Wednesday but did not reveal which title [...]

  • Amazon Developing Original Series Based on

    Amazon Studios Buys 'Selah and the Spades,' Will Develop Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Selah and the Spades,” a gripping look at a prep school drug dealer, Variety has learned. The film marks the feature debut of writer and director Tayarisha Poe and had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was a favorite with critics. Amazon has [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • The Wound African Cinema Berlin Film

    Finance Forum Brings African WIP Into Focus at Durban FilmMart

    The 10th edition of the Durban FilmMart, which unspools parallel to the 40th Durban Intl. Film Festival, will feature 10 fiction and 10 documentary works-in-progress taking part in its annual Finance Forum. The leading co-production market on the continent, the Forum brings together producers, distributors, sales agents, broadcasters, funding bodies, and other industry players from across the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content