This winter has been a slow, semi-depressing one at the box office—Glass has been our big hit because it cost about $15 and a ham sandwich to make—so leave it to a bunch of dragons to finally add a bit of fire. DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World got off to a $17.4 million start on Friday night, trending above expectations for a possible $60+ million debut weekend. This would mark not only the highest opening of a How to Train Your Dragon movie, but also the best bow of a 2019 movie to date. I should also note that worldwide, HTTYD 3 has snagged $198 million, already making it the fifth highest-grossing film of the year so far.
Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, The Hidden World puts a cap on an animated trilogy that started in 2010 and has been the face of DreamWorks Animation ever since Shrek finally hung up his britches. Jay Baruchel returns as the voice of Hiccup, a Viking chief struggling to balance the needs of his people with the needs of the increasingly large population of rescued dragons on the island sanctuary of Berk. The voice cast also includes America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, F. Murray Abraham, Craig Ferguson, and Cate Blanchett.
Meanwhile, the Alita: Battle Angel conundrum continues, as Robert Rodriguez‘s 3D-a-palooza notched another $3 million and brought its domestic total to $51.8 million. As always, this is a perfectly respectable performance, but the wheels don’t seem to be turning fast enough to bank back the film’s $200 million (before marketing) budget.
But it’s somewhat better news over in the squared circle, where writer/director Stephen Merchant‘s pro wrestling biopic Fighting With My Family came in third place on Friday night with $2.5 million. The film, which tells the real-life story of lifelong UK grappler Saraya “Paige” Bevis (played by Florence Pugh), is currently rocking a stellar A CinemaScore.
Take a look at Friday’s numbers below and check back tomorrow for full weekend estimates. (Numbers via Box Office Mojo.)
|1.||How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World||$17,490,000||$17,490,000|
|2.||Alita: Battle Angel||$3,140,000||$51,821,068|
|3.||Fighting With My Family||$2,550,000||$2,765,021|
|4.||Isn’t It Romantic||$2,225,000||$28,483,742|
|5.||The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part||$2,185,000||$75,789,039|