There’s not much surprise in what took the top spot on the last weekend of February, the surprise is in how much it earned. How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, the third and supposedly final entry into the trilogy scored huge numbers this weekend, racking up $55.5 million to give it the second best February opening ever for an animated film behind only The LEGO Movie‘s $69 million opening (and narrowly ahead of the $55.3 million of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water). Unusually for a trilogy, the $55.5 million haul actually improved on the opening weekends for the first entry ($43.7 million) and the second ($49.4 million), meaning that the How to Train Your Dragon franchise is picking up viewers along the way.
Amazing reviews (91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and excellent word of mouth (an A Cinemascore) buoyed the pic, although it may have gotten a head of steam from overseas audiences, which spent $185 million in tickets last weekend. With over $240 million worldwide already, it looks it should make a hefty profit after its $125 million budget is accounted for. Exit polling also shows that Hidden World seems to be beloved among all age groups, all genders, and across all regions of the country. With a huge opening like that, Dreamworks might want to reconsider ending the franchise.
The news wasn’t quite as good, unfortunately, for Dwayne Johnson’s Fighting with My Family, a wresting pic about the origins of the WWE’s Paige that The Rock produced and starred in. It was a passion project for him, and wouldn’t have been made without his involvement. Directed by Stephen Merchant, the film opened at number four this weekend with $8 million, a mediocre result despite excellent reviews and a great Cinemascore (like Hidden World, it also received a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an A Cinemascore). It’s not a terrific number, but then again, it was a small-scale film that only cost $11 million to produce, so it’s likely to turn a profit, and seems especially well suited to the digital market. Word of mouth may also help improve those numbers in the coming weeks.
The only other new entry this weekend was the faith-based Run the Race produced by Tim Tebow and starring Mykelti Williamson, aka Bubba Gump. It picked up solid $2.23 million, good enough for tenth place.