How to Train Your Dragon Box Office

“The Hidden World” Delivers Best “Dragon” Debut


February 22-24, 2019

(estimates from


How to Train Your Dragon: 
The Hidden World 
$55.5 million
Alita: Battle Angel  $12.0 million
The LEGO Movie 2 $10.0 million
Fighting with My Family $8.0 million
Isn't It Romantic $7.5 million

Five years may have been too long for The LEGO Movie to wait for a sequel, but it was the right amount of time for How to Train Your Dragon. The former opened with less than half the original's debut, while The Hidden World delivered that franchise's best opening weekend ever. It had already opened in several countries across the globe, giving it $274 million in the bank. That makes it the year's biggest movie worldwide so far. (Though that will change in two weeks when Captain Marvel opens.)

Everything else basically fell off a cliff. Alita: Battle Angel slipped almost 58 percent, meaning it can kiss $100 domestic goodbye. It's doing better overseas, especially in China, but this long-in-the-works project won't yield any future films. The LEGO Movie 2 dropped to third, as it has yet to cross $85 million, and isn't doing any better internationally. If there's anything left for this franchise, it will almost certainly be straight-to-video (or on Warner Media's forthcoming streaming service).

Fighting with My Family expanded to wide release, jumping from 40th to fourth place. The wrestling comedy/biopic took in $8 million. That's nothing spectacular, but it's a solid opening for a movie that doesn't have any top-name stars (aside from a brief cameo from the Rock). Isn't It Romantic didn't drop more than 50 percent, but it's only at $33 million so far. Maybe all rom-coms are destined for Netflix after all.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Iron Orchard, an adaptation of Edmund Pendleton Van Zandt's novel about the Texas oil boom. The film averaged $6,156 on its eight screens.
  • The Tim Tebow-produced Run the Race didn't go the distance. The faith-and-football drama opened in 10th place with just $2.2 million.
  • Flying under the radar, Peter Jackson's World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old has climbed the ranks of the top-grossing documentaries ever. It's already at No. 18 and should pass Oscar nominee Free Solo by next week.

Next week:

It's Greta vs. Madea, but of course, Tyler Perry's unkillable creation will keep on slaying. I don't think it will be enough to take down How to Train Your Dragon, but A Madea Family Funeral should make at least $20 million for the No. 2 spot. Enough curious folks might be in for the unsettling thrills of Greta, but I think $8 million is the best it can hope for.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.