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Box Office Breakdown: “How to Train Your Dragon 3” Opens Strong With Franchise Record

Oscar weekend has come and gone and with it came a few new entries at the box office trying to help pump up what has been a slow start to 2019 for cinema. Two new movies entered the chart over the weekend both with great critical scores while holdovers worked to grab any attention they could before the winter movie season ends and the spring rolls in. So who was the top dog over the weekend? Let’s take a look in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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Scoring the top spot over the weekend was the third and (reportedly) final entry in the “How to Train Your Dragon” series, “The Hidden World”. With around $55.5 million domestically, “The Hidden World” had the largest debut of all three films in the franchise so far and is also the highest debut for any film released to date in 2019. Received well by both fans and critics, “The Hidden World” is on point to earn over $200 million in its domestic run. It has already topped that overseas where it has earned $216.9 million after seven weekend. The film also carries the lowest price tag of the franchise and is the first film released by DreamWorks since being acquired by Universal. You can read my review of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” here.

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In second place was “Alita: Battle Angel” which followed up its better-than-expected debut with only $12 million in its sophomore weekend. The pricey manga adaptation still has a ways to go to turn a profit but its second weekend brought its domestic total to $60 million while globally it has earned $263 million. In third was “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” which took in $10 million as it continues to struggle to reach performance expectations both domestically and internationally. You have to drop to fourth to find the only other new entry in the top five, “Fighting with My Family”. The comedy-driven biopic about the WWE’s Paige opened in wide release to $8 million after earning great reviews from critics. You can read my review of “Fighting with My Family” here. “Isn’t It Romantic” rounded out the top five while the rest of the top ten consisted of (in order) “What Men Want”, “Happy Death Day 2U”, “Cold Pursuit”, “The Upside” and the Tim Tebow-produced religious film “Run That Race” which made its debut with $2.27 million in 853 theaters.

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This weekend poses an interesting situation with two smaller but still potentially popular films challenging “The Hidden World”. Tyler Perry’s resilient “Madea” series, and the potential final installment, “A Madea Family Funeral” will debut along with the thriller film “Greta”. Depending on buzz either one could end up at number one but “Madea” is the more likely of the two. Of course strong word of mouth and carryover audiences could give “The Hidden World” a second weekend at the top. We’ll find out the final results this time next week.

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