How To Train Your Dragon movies aren't exactly an annual event, but they are definitely a consistent force at the box office. All the way back in 2010 the franchise got off to a very hot start, making nearly $500 million at the global box office, and while its sequel took four years to arrive, it ultimately made $621.5 million itself. Now, after another five years, we finally have the trilogy capper, Dean DuBlois' How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and it turns out that audiences were more than happy to wait for this adventure. The money it made this weekend means that it's off to the best start of any title in the series so far domestically, and the overseas numbers are already pretty crazy. Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!
Admittedly this is a case where ticket price inflation has a role to play, but that really shouldn't do much to undermine the impressive performance by How To Train Your Dragon 3 this weekend. The $55.5 million it made is more than either of its previous predecessors made in their respective first three days - $43.7 million and $49.5 million - and it's definitely something to celebrate. There is always concern when franchises take things slowly, with prognosticators and industry trackers fearing that audiences will move on and lose interest after X number of years, but this series from DreamWorks Animation shows that as long as the quality is of a certain level, folks will be happy to wait.
I teased the overseas numbers earlier, and part of the reason why they are so impressive is because How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World got a head start in some foreign markets. The movie was available to see in some places right at the start of the new year (it was out in Australia on January 3rd), and its success in those places have led to a global total of $274.9 million so far. It's been playing in places all around the globe, from Europe to Asia to South America, and it has sold a ton of tickets all over the place - with the key markets being Mexico ($17.3 million), Australia ($16 million), the United Kingdom ($14.9 million), Brazil ($13.7 million), and France ($12.5 million).
Naturally, though, the United States is expected to be the biggest national contributor to the overall total, if that isn't clear from the figures mentioned above.
How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was almost certainly also helped by the fact that it was the only new wide release in theaters from Friday to Sunday (more on that in a second), as well as the fact that it was marketed as the end of the story - meaning that those who invested interest from the start would be attracted back to see how the whole thing would end. Based on the audience reaction, the film is also being incredibly well-received, with a strong 91% holding on Rotten Tomatoes, and discussions all around social media about intense emotional reactions.
While the third How To Train Your Dragon movie was technically the only new wide release that arrived this past Friday, you'll notice that there are two other new titles that appear on the Top 10: one because of a theatrical expansion, the other because of a successful limited showing over the last three days.
First there is Stephen Merchant's Fighting With My Family, which came out last week in 40th place, mostly because it was only playing in a grand total of four theaters (and it still managed a $34,695 average). MGM put the movie in more than 2,700 additional theaters this weekend, though, and it was enough to get the wrestling comedy pushed up to fourth place. The movie has been hailed by critics, matching How To Train Your Dragon 3's Rotten Tomatoes score, and has the benefit of support from Dwayne Johnson (who has a small role and executive producers), so it may potentially stick around in the Top 10 for a bit if the buzz works in its favor. It probably won't rise in the ranks, but it could stick around for a few weeks.
Then there is Chris Dowling's Run The Race, which, strangely enough, is another sports-based feature backed by the support of a former professional athlete (in this case it is Tim Tebow who both cameos as himself and executive produces). The film was released in less than 900 theaters around the country on Friday, but the fact that it is a faith-based film almost surely helped boost ticket sales (churches have been known to buy out screenings for their parishioners). Unlike Fighting With My Family, this is a release we almost surely won't see back on the Top 10 next week, but it can perhaps be happy with the brief moment in the sun.
As for the rest of the group, this past weekend didn't see any massive shifts - though it is worth noting that because M. Night Shyamalan's Glass fell to 12th place, this is the first weekend in quite a while that there isn't a superhero movie featured in the Top 10 (not counting Mike Mitchell's The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, which features superheroes, but isn't specifically about them). It's not exactly a status that is going to be lasting a long time, as Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's Captain Marvel is right around the corner, but still a noteworthy occurence that we're probably not going to see happen many more times as we continue to get deeper and deeper into 2019 and closer to releases like David F. Sandberg's Shazam!, Neil Marshall's Hellboy, Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Endgame, David Yarovesky's Brightburn, Simon Kinberg's Dark Phoenix, Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Far From Home, Josh Boone's The New Mutants, and Todd Phillips' Joker.
Next week we'll see the arrival of two more potential box office disruptors, with the arrival of Neil Jordan's stalker thriller Greta, and the comedic end of Mabel "Madea" Simmons in Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral. Be sure to come back next Sunday to see how it all shakes out.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.