Weekend Box Office: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Lights Up Franchise-Best $55 Million Debut

     February 24, 2019

how-to-train-your-dragon-3-sliceThis year has so far seen several films getting hit with the sequel curse—The LEGO Movie 2 not connecting, Happy Death Day 2U getting slashed, etc etc—and yet here’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, a threequel out here earning the highest opening of 2019. The trilogy-capper written and directed by Dean DeBlois fired up $55.5 million in its debut this weekend; for comparison, How to Train Your Dragon bowed to $43.7 million and its sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 premiered to $49.9 million.

The animated film from DreamWorks is also setting the overseas box office ablaze, notching another $34.7 million to bring its international take to $216.9 million.

It’s not so breezy a story for the number two slot this weekend, where Alita: Battle Angel dropped 57% from its premiere to earn $12 million, bringing the film’s domestic total to $60 million. Robert Rodriguez‘s CGI-heavy manga adaptation is still fighting valiantly against its own $200 million price tag. Although the response has been less-than-enthusiastic here in the states, reports are hinting that Alita debuted in China to the tune of more than $60 million, with an official number on its way later today. At this point, it’s definitely the overseas audience that’s going to give Alita legs, much like a whopping 70% of Aquaman‘s $1 billion+ take came from the foreign box office.

Meanwhile, the weekend’s other new wide release, writer/director Stephen Merchant‘s Fighting With My Family, is off to a perfectly okay start with $8 million—plus a near-perfect A CinemaScore—good enough for fourth place behind The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Merchant’s film, which was produced by perennial box office winner Dwayne Johnson, tells the real-life story of pro wrestler Saraya-Jade “Paige” Bevis, played by Florence Pugh.

Check out the weekend’s top 10 estimates below, and be back here next week to see if Tyler Perry can snag another success with A Madea Family Funeral.

Rank Title Weekend Total
1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World   $55,527,000 $58,027,000
2. Alita: Battle Angel      $12,000,000 $60,681,068
3. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part       $10,015,000 $83,619,039
4. Fighting With My Family   $8,012,000 $8,227,021
5. Isn’t It Romantic      $7,510,000 $33,768,742
6. What Men Want         $5,200,000 $45,061,066
7. Happy Death Day 2U         $4,988,000 $21,611,880
8. Cold Pursuit        $3,300,000 $27,085,567
9. The Upside      $3,210,000 $99,749,409
10. Run the Race      $2,273,050 $2,273,050

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