It’s been a slow year thus far at the box office. The LEGO Movie 2 underperformed. Alita: Battle Angel staggered. We’re nearly done with February, and the only film to crack $100 million in North America has been M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass—and it needed a whole month to do so. Last year, Black Panther earned twice that in its first weekend.
But the wait is over. The year’s first real hit is here. And it proved that the How to Train Your Dragon franchise sure isn’t … toothless.
Well, technically, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World had plenty of Toothless, given that’s the name of the movie’s primary dragon. But you get my drift. The third and reportedly last film in the How to Train Your Dragon series scaled the movie industry’s monetary cliffs and planted itself as this weekend’s box-office Alpha. It earned $55.5 million according to early prognostications, more than quadrupling the take of its nearest competitor. It also set a high-water mark for the franchise itself: The original How to Train Your Dragon opened with $43.7 million, while the sequel earned $49.5 million in its first weekend. I know that the makers have said that this closes the book on the saga of Hiccup and Toothless, but it’s rare for Hollywood to turn its back on a rare franchise that’s trending up.
Fighting with My Family, another newish release (it technically opened two weekends agao, but played in only four theaters), pinned down No. 4. It notched $8 million to push it just ahead of fifth-place Isn’t It Romantic. The Rebel Wilson romcom earned $7.5 million during its second weekend outing.
Before we leave you, another film to note: Run the Race, a Christian film produced by sports celebrity Tim Tebow, finished 10th with $2.3 million. No great shakes you say? Given that it opened in fewer than 900 theaters (compared to the 3,000-4,000 theaters that most blockbusters snag), it did quite respectfully, thank you very much.