Welcome to March! Superhero season is starting this month, but first we have to say goodbye to two franchises. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World opened last week as the final film in that trilogy, and this weekend Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral ends the Madea series. Who will top the March 1-3 box office?
Well, it's almost certainly going to be How to Train Your Dragon 3. Or at least, it looked certain to box office analysts by Friday morning. But Madea's final film is ready to surprise us and could make it close, or even take over the lead by the end of the weekend.
The Hidden World broke records for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise last weekend. It did even better than expected. To Box Office Mojo, it's just a question how how much -- or how little -- the film will dip in its second weekend. The first How to Train Your Dragon film dropped 33.7% in its second weekend, and the second dropped 50%. Mojo is predicting a drop in the middle around 42%, giving the film a second weekend domestic gross around $32 million. (Deadline initially estimated it could make around $35 million or more, then tempered that expectation later on Friday. Variety went with anywhere from $27M to $36M.)
It's possible How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World could pass $100 million at the domestic box office this weekend, after 10 days in release. It has already made more than $217 million at the foreign box office, for a current total of $283.1 million.
In terms of A Madea Family Funeral, box office prognosticators initially predicted an opening from $18M-$20M, but it will probably be a lot higher. Funeral already earned a series record $1.1 million in Thursday night previews, so its weekend could skew high rather than low. Most of the Madea films have opened over $20 million, and since this is the final film, that may draw extra opening weekend attention -- possibly above $25 million. Unlike the Dragon films, Madea makes most if not all of its money at the domestic box office. The highest grossing film so far is Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, which made $90.5 million in 2009.
At this point, it's still looking like Dragons will probably top the first weekend of March's box office, followed by Madea, but we'll see. After them, we should see two returnees -- Alita: Battle Angel and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part -- with the new release Greta probably making the top five with an opening around $5 million.
All of these films are going to need this weekend to make as much money as they can, because on March 8, the MCU's Captain Marvel arrives to officially open superhero season. Wonder Park opens March 15, and Dumbo on March 29, before Shazam! continues superhero dominance April 5, and Avengers: Endgame takes all the money on April 26. After that, it's blockbuster after blockbuster pretty much for the rest of the year, with some mini breaks here and there after the heart of summer.
Check out our weekend box office rundown on Sunday for the results of The Hidden World vs. Madea, and keep up with everything heading to the big screen with our 2019 movie release date schedule.