The Best Picture Oscar wasn’t the only surprise this weekend in the film industry, as ‘How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World’ shocked the Box Office with a franchise-record opening of $55m.
The Universal release beat out predecessor ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’s $49.5m from 2014 to land as the biggest opening in the $1bn series so far. DreamWorks, the studio behind the success, and director Dean DeBlois have both hinted at ‘Hidden World’ being the last instalment of the critically-acclaimed trilogy, but with the film likely to break the $200m domestic barrier, it’s a decision that won’t be taken lightly.
‘Hidden World’s opening marks the biggest of 2019 thus far, smashing the opening of another of this year’s sequels in ‘Glass’ ($40.3m), and now stands as the 3rd biggest February animated opening ever, behind ‘SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water’ and ‘The LEGO Movie’. Internationally, it’s faring even better, sitting on $216.8m from 53 overseas markets after opening 2 weeks ago. Its $275m global total makes it the 2nd biggest film in the world, after China’s ‘The Wandering Earth’ ($560m).
‘Hidden World’ sees the return of Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, who must battle against the evil dragon-hunter Grimmel (voiced by newcomer F. Murray Abraham). America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, and Craig Ferguson also return to the film which boasts a strong 91% on the Tomatometer, and an A on Cinemascore.
Wrestling for the scraps was Stephen Merchant’s ‘Fighting With my Family’, which opened wide to $7.8m off its $11m budget. It’s a start closer than expected to sports biopic ‘Eddie The Eagle’ ($6.1m) which finished on $15.8m back in 2016, and while ‘Fighting’s small cinema count of 2,711 doesn’t help its cause, having The Rock star and produce definitely does in its pursuit of profit.
It couldn’t beat ‘Alita: Battle Angel’s 2nd weekend however, as the James Cameron/Robert Rodriguez production earned $12.3m for a $61m running total. The $170m Fox production, who won last time around with $28.3m, may be struggling domestically, but internationally is on the right path, after opening to $62m in China. Its worldwide gross stands at $264.8m, and with the potential to break the $400m barrier, things aren’t looking too bad for Cameron and co.
Finally, from just 853 cinemas saw Christian drama ‘Run the Race’ turn the tables to surprise ‘Green Book’ in finishing 10th. Its $2.2m grossed from Friday to Sunday scrape past the Best Picture winner by just $100k.