Box Office: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON Ends February on a High Note

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up!

After a generally slow month of February, DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World helped turn things around with an estimated $55.5 million opening, putting it in the same realm as other February animated hits like The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and The LEGO Batman Movie.  This is higher than many projections for the animated film but right in line with my own projection earlier this week.

Distributed by Universal, the animated threequel, loosely based on Cressida Crowley’s book series, came into the weekend with more than $172 million grossed from its overseas release, and its domestic total of $58 million (including $2.5 million in early North American previews) brings its worldwide gross to $275 million, so it’s already profitable for Universal.

Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel took a massive plunge in its second weekend, dropping out of first place with an estimated $12 million (down 58%) to bring its domestic total to $60.7 million. That drop isn’t too surprising for a fan-driven movie, and it also continues to get a boost from overseas money. This weekend, it opened in China to $62.3 million ($9 million from IMAX showings) compared to the $3.2 million it made in Japan (the originating country of the Manga source material), which brings its international total to more than $200 million with $263.4 million globally. That’s definitely a sign that the James Cameron-produced FX-heavy action movie will make back its hefty production budget eventually, contrary to earlier rumors. It’s also Fox’s best showing in China so far.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part also took another sizable plunge with the entrance of another strong family film, down nearly 52% to third place with $10 million estimated. Shockingly, it hasn’t even hit the $100 milestone yet in North America with just $83.6 million in three weeks, and it only has maybe one more weekend to make a mark before Captain Marvel comes along. It’s also only done around $53 million overseas, which doesn’t help matters.

MGM and WWE Films’ Fighting with My Family expanded into 2,711 theaters on Friday where it grossed an estimated $8 million, again right in line with my earlier projection and a strong showing for WWE Films, who haven’t released many recent movies theatrically let alone nationwide.

Written and directed by The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant, the comedic biopic looks at the story of WWE superstar Paige (played by Florence Pugh) and her emergence as a professional wrestling star. The actual Paige has mostly starred and lent her voice for WWE Films’ straight-to-DVD releases.

The rest of the returning movies also had larger-than-expected drops this weekend, possibly in conjunction with the Oscars presumably taking precedence with film fans on Sunday night.

Roadside Attractions’ faith-based sports drama Run the Race, exec. produced by former footballer Tim Tebow, opened in tenth place with $2.3 million in 853 theaters, about $2,665 per theater.

Outside the top 10, the Bollywood film Total Dhamaal took in $950,000 in 202 theaters for 14th place.

This Week’s Top 10:

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 New How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World DreamWorks/Universal $55.5 million N/A $58 million
2 1 Alita: Battle Angel 20th Century Fox $12 million -58% $60.7 million
3 New The LEGO Movie 2 Warner Bros. $10 million -52% $83.6 million
4 N/A Fighting with My Family MGM/WWE $8 million +5673% $8.3 million
5 Isn’t It Romantic New Line/WB $7.5 million -47% $33.8 million
6 3 What Men Want Paramount $5.2 million -51% $45 million
7 4 Happy Death Day 2 U Universal $5 million -48% $21.6 million
8 5 Cold Pursuit Summit/Lionsgate $3.3 million -45% $27.1 million
9 6 The Upside STXfilms $3.2 million -42% $99.7 million
10 7 Run the Race Roadside Attractions $2.3 million N/A $2.3 million

The top 10 grossed an estimated $112 million which is down over $60 million from the same weekend last year when Black Panther was #1 for a second weekend in a row with $111.7 million. The New Line comedy Game Night opened in second place with $17 million and the sci-fi thriller Annihilation opened in fourth with a paltry $11 million.

Come back Wednesday for this week’s Box Office Preview of Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral and Neil Jordan’s thriller Greta.