Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World claimed the top spot at the US box office and set a new record for the franchise. The final adventure for Hiccup and Toothless has scored an estimated $55 million for its first three days, besting the $49.4 million the second movie opened with back in 2014.
The How To Train Your Dragon franchise has changed distributor with each entry, back in 2010 Dreamworks was set up with Paramount, for the 2014 sequel they were with Fox, and The Hidden World comes to us via Universal. Changing tact from the previous release strategy, Universal decided to put the movie out internationally ahead of its domestic launch. The Hidden Wolrd has already banked more than $216 million internationally and arrived with a wealth of positive reviews.
Another animated franchise that waited five years for a sequel, The Lego Movie 2, continues to underperform. After three weeks the sequel has made $83 million domestically, that's less than half the amount the first movie generated after the same number of days. For added insult, The Lego Movie 2 is performing significantly below the first spin-off The Lego Batman Movie, but it is doing better than The Lego Ninjago Movie.
After a modest opening last weekend, Alita generated $12 million from its second frame taking its domestic total to an underwhelming $60 million. However, thanks to a massive $65 million debut in China(a new record for a Fox title in the Middle Kingdom), Alita has made more than $200 million outside of the US. A strong run in China will help James Cameron's ambitious project get to the breakeven point, but there is still a long way to go before that happens.
Fresh from its limited release, Stephen Merchant's Fighting With My Family came in fourth place with $8 million for the weekend. Produced by and co-starring Dwayne Johnson, the well-received fact-based comedy also stars Nick Frost and Lena Headey. Even though his role in the movie is a supporting one, I'm sure MGM were expecting a bigger turnout. Finally, Meta rom-com Isn't It Romantic slipped to fifth place for a domestic running total of $33 million. The Rebel Wilson led comedy will be released internationally on Netflix with subscribers worldwide being able to stream it from February 28.