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UPDATE: Yep, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World officially had the best opening weekend of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. It topped the February 22-24 box office with $55,527,000. As you can see below, that is far and away the best of the trilogy.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the final film in the DreamWorks Animation trilogy, and it's looking like it could make the most money. You might think "Well, of course!" but up until just now it was looking like the opening weekend might be less than the first two films.
Box office tracking for How to Train Your Dragon 3 has been all over the map, and final opening weekend numbers won't come in until Sunday afternoon. There were initial predictions of around $40 million, which would be less than the previous two films. However, Deadline just updated that The Hidden World is heading toward the best debut of the trilogy with a $60 million domestic box office opening from 4,259 theaters. Variety was slightly more cautious, putting the opening around $53 million.
Either way, anything above $50 million would be a new franchise record.
Here are the previous opening weekends, and the total worldwide grosses (via Box Office Mojo) as combined from domestic (U.S./Canada) and foreign markets:
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Opening weekend: $43.7 million
Total worldwide gross: $494,878,759
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Opening weekend: $49.5 million
Total worldwide gross: $621,537,519
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has already made nearly $200 million at the foreign box office heading into this weekend. We'll have to wait for the full weekend numbers to come in to see where we stand, but if those new $50M-$60M domestic estimates hold, that would clearly be enough to take the record for best franchise opening. Could this film make the most money overall? It has to top $621.5 million for that, so we'll see.
Word of mouth has been very positive for How to Train Your Dragon 3, which has already opened to big bucks around the world and showed to critics and the lucky fans who packed early screenings and cried their eyes out. The movie currently has a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an Audience Score of 89%.
How to Train Your Dragon 3 concludes the adventures of Hiccup and Toothless. Hiccup voice actor Jay Baruchel had said the film would leave fans sad but satisfied. He seemed satisfied and proud that the film has already gotten such a big emotional reaction from moviegoers. There's even talk that The Hidden World may have a chance at an Oscar this year, unless it loses once again to a Toy Story movie (or the Frozen sequel).
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is now playing in theaters, and however this weekend's box office shakes out, it sounds like it'll be more healthy than the ones we've seen so far in 2019. Speaking of 2019, bookmark our handy movie release date schedule to keep up with everything heading to the big screen.