HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 Release Date Pushed to 2017

     September 2, 2014


DreamWorks Animation has opted to delay the How to Train Your Dragon 3 release date by a full year.  Originally slated to open in theaters on June 17, 2016, the studio announced today that the third How to Train Your Dragon film is being delayed to June 9, 2017.  That moves it away from squaring off directly against Pixar’s Finding Dory on the 2016 weekend, but its new release date is two weeks after The LEGO Movie 2 and a week before an untitled Pixar film.  Hit the jump for more on this How to Train Your Dragon 3 release date change.

how-to-train-your-dragon-2-riderThe new release date news comes courtesy of Dark Horizons, who source DreamWorks Animation with the announcement.  While How to Train Your Dragon 2 opened earlier this year to swell reviews, its box office performance was a bit disappointing.  It lost its opening weekend to the R-rated 22 Jump Street and ended up grossing over $40 million less than its predecessor at the domestic box office.  Worldwide, however, Dragon 2 is nearing the $600 million mark, which is $100 million higher than the $494 million worldwide total of How to Train Your Dragon.

Overall the franchise is in fine shape, but it may be that DreamWorks Animation is slightly retooling its plans for How to Train Your Dragon 3 after the domestic performance of the sequel.  I just hope that doesn’t mean changes behind the scenes, as writer/director Dean DeBlois has crafted the first two entries of this series with a degree of compassion and heart that is rare in the world of filmmaking.

DeBlois always envisioned the franchise as a trilogy, but DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg was apparently looking to make How to Train Your Dragon 4 as recent as this past May.  A fourth film has yet to be officially announced by DreamWorks Animation, but the desire is there.  The primary focus now, though, is on making How to Train Your Dragon 3 the best film it can be.  I loved How to Train Your Dragon 2 nearly as much as the first movie, so my hopes are high for Dragon 3.

How To Train Your Dragon 3 Release Date

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  • Marissa Evans

    Is the dollar fluctuating against foreign currencies or something? Why do international grosses not leave as big an impact?


      Although worldwide numbers are huge, you have to remember is these movies are originally made in America for America. No one (especially at the studio) hope the movie fails here but explodes in Belgium. Also remember although its made almost 600 million Worldwide, thats 600 million in over a dozen countries, where as the US alone it made over 100 million.

    • Lex Walker

      The primary reason is that much of the revenue from international box office doesn’t make it back to the studios. Studios might get a third or even less of box office from China or England. By contrast in the US they tend to get at least 50% of the revenues (if not more) from theatrical showings (which is the reason theaters ream you with snack prices, because that’s most of their profit).


    Disappointing but I hope and I’m sure it will be for the better. HTTYD might want to try a November December release, family movies have been rare in the Holiday season with so many “oscar” films pushing for spots, but that could also make it a tough sell with people so busy around the holidays.

    One thing that I noticed DW doing that they may want to reconsider is putting out so many spin off films and TV shows. Pixar didn’t make any spin off shows until the final Toy Story series was for sure done with. Where has Shrek, Madagasscar, Kung Fu Panda and Dragon all have spin off shorts/ and tv shows. With the cost of ticket prices parents might want to settle for watching the shorts on Netflix or nickelodeon and waiting for a movie to hit digital or blu-ray later. Besides I know pleanty of families who kids have entire movies on repeat several times a day and they don’t seem to mind.

  • Drake

    HTTYD 2 is, in my opinion, probably the best animated sequel to date. I’m kind of pleased with this release date change. Give the filmmakers time to really put in the right amount of effort. A two year turn-around isn’t enough. Especially considering how there was a four year wait in-between the first and second. Quality before quantity, in this case.

    • lee

      Really? I’m the only one here that was incredibly disappointed with HTTYD2?

      It was markedly more cheesy, sappy and predictable than the original. That quirky uniqueness was gone, or at least a shadow of itself. The dialogue was generic, the mom’s reasoning for staying away was ridiculously unconvincing (didn’t any parents work on this movie??) and that reunion dance was awkward. When Astrid hit Hiccup at the end and he said, “Oh you” it was cheesy as hell. The emotional beats were off (especially ones that should’ve left the audience sobbing) and Hiccup’s facial expressions managed to get stiffer despite the improvements in technology. I will admit that Toothless’ characterization at least remained solid.

      Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it and love the franchise. But I’d been so excited about it and expected better. As a fan, I was let down and emotionally disconnected. As a fan of storytelling I was cringing. I actually had to apologize to the friends and family I dragged to watch it. I swore to the uninitiated that the first movie was excellent.

      Also, one point this article missed is that Dean DeBlois co-wrote and co-directed the first one with Chris Sanders. The sequel was all him. I suspect that may be the reason for the difference but it could easily be other factors. Either way, I hope they take this extra time to make this next one better.

  • Tyler

    Dragon 2 was even better than the first one, it’s a real shame and disappointment that despite the series’ obviously large fanbase that it got that low of numbers in the domestic box office.

  • Lewida Funji

    Well, since the second one did VERY good at the box office…

  • Manuel Orozco

    I rather just see the series end as a trilogy then four films

  • YouTube

    I knew this would happen if they hit 600 million they make a HTTYD4 then do something stupid with the third movie release date for 2017 really!!!.. Well I guess there making a fourth movie Dragon fans And seasons 3,4 etc. Dragons in 2015 spring. :/

  • Radikum

    HTTYD 2 went 0 to 100,000,000 real quick!

    • Pernell Whitaker

      Bet it had Dreamworks doing the Schmoney Dance…

  • Atlasshruggedmyass

    So “Jeffrey Katzenberg” is still playing release date games I see. What the hell is the matter with him?! The new date comes out just a week before a disney/pixar film. instead of that fool always intentionally dating his films the same time as a Pixar flick hoping they will move he should just choose a summer date that will have the family animation crowd all to itself.

    I mean honestly Hollywood, summer movie season is a huge 3-4 month period so you don’t need to just release big-budget animated films on Father’s Day(mid-June) weekend of every year, Geesh!

  • tarek

    HTTYD 2 was a commercial sequel. It lacked in originality. many parts made no sense at all.

    -Why dragons kidnapped hiccup’s mother ? Was she on wire ?
    -Why Hiccup’s mother abandoned her son and family when she was able to make it?
    -Who is Drago and why was he obsessed to rule the planet ?
    - How come a 6 feet man tames a 100 feet Alpha dragon ? with his terrible voice ?

    Lot of non sense…

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