How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World set a new franchise record during its opening weekend at the box office. One of DreamWorks Animation's trademark properties, How to Train Your Dragon has been a critical and audience favorite since the first film debuted in 2010. Nearly a decade later, the trilogy comes to a close with an emotionally rousing entry buoyed by stunning animation and a heartfelt story. The Hidden World generated positive word-of-mouth leading up to its theatrical release, establishing it as one of the better offerings in the early part of 2019.
As encouraging as those reviews were, it wasn't necessarily a guarantee The Hidden World would be a box office hit. Just a couple weeks ago, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part underwhelmed commercially, despite earning widespread acclaim. The box office as a whole has been down this winter, with the worst Super Bowl weekend and Presidents Day weekend in some time. Fortunately, the return of How to Train Your Dragon provided a spark and gave the multiplex a much-needed shot in the arm.
According to Box Office Mojo, The Hidden World grossed $55.5 million in its opening weekend. When coupled with the grosses from advanced Fandango screenings earlier this month, the animated sequel has made $58 million Stateside. That's the highest debut in the history of the franchise, topping How to Train Your Dragon 2's $49.4 million. It's also the largest opening weekend of 2019 so far.
This shouldn't really come as a surprise, but it's still a nice development to see. As alluded to above, a number of films have faced rough sledding at the box office. Glass, 2019's first real event film, stumbled and won't match the totals posted by predecessor Split (even though it was profitable on its own accord). LEGO Movie 2 was a shocking turn of events, seeing as that was the followup to one of the decade's most beloved family titles. And while Alita: Battle Angel managed to exceed expectations, it didn't break any records either. The manga adaptation fell a steep 57.9 percent during its second weekend and has only made $60.6 million domestically. It will need a strong showing overseas (particularly in China) to turn a profit. At the end of the day, The Hidden World will likely go down as the first proper hit of the year.
There are still a couple of weeks left until Captain Marvel opens, so How to Train Your Dragon should be set up for a fruitful run. It's already turned a profit, as it's earned $274.9 million against a $129 million production budget. Several of the holdovers aren't generating much interest, so there isn't anything that poses a direct threat until the MCU's latest arrives. Universal picked a good weekend for The Hidden World, finding a soft spot in the release calendar and taking full advantage of minimal competition.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) release date: Feb 22, 2019