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Box office: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ opens strong during slow Oscars weekend

Box office: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ opens strong during slow Oscars weekend
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World." (Dreamworks)

On the weekend of the Oscars, Universal's "How to Train Your Dragon" sequel handily topped the box office charts as last week's newcomers saw significant drops in another sleepy weekend at the movies, with ticket sales down 34.6% from last year.

"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" opened well above analyst predictions of $40 million with $55.5 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. It’s the highest opening weekend thus far in 2019 and a franchise best.

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A finale to the DreamWorks Animation's "Dragon" trilogy, "The Hidden World" out-earned both its predecessor, "How to Train Your Dragon 2," which was released by Fox and earned $49 million in 2014, and the original "How to Train Your Dragon," which was released by Paramount and earned $44 million in 2010.

The $129-million movie got a head start internationally last month and has already grossed $274.9 million globally. It was also a hit with critics with a 91% "fresh" rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

At No. 2, Fox's "Alita: Battle Angel" added $12 million in its second weekend (a 58% drop) for a cumulative $60.7 million.

Warner Bros.' "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" came in third, adding $10 million in its third weekend (a 52% drop) for a cumulative $83.6 million.

In fourth place, MGM's "Fighting With My Family" expanded into wide release, earning $8 million and a cumulative $8.2 million. The PG-13 comedy currently stands at 90% "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rounding out the top five, Warner Bros.' "Isn't It Romantic" added $7.5 million in its second weekend, a 47% drop, for a cumulative $33.8 million.

In sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively, were Paramount’s “What Men Want” with $5.2 million and $45 million total in its third weekend, Universal’s “Happy Death 2U” with $5 million and a cumulative $21.6 million in its second weekend, and Lionsgate’s “Cold Pursuit” with $3.3 million and $27.1 million in its third weekend.

In ninth place and its seventh weekend, STX Entertainment’s “The Upside” kept rolling with $3.2 million for a domestic total of $99.7 million and is expected to cross the $100 million threshold Monday.

Also new this week, Roadside Attractions' drama "Run the Race" landed at No. 10, debuting in 853 locations with $2.3 million, a per-screen average of $2,665. It earned a 40% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Among the best picture nominees still in theaters, Universal's "Green Book" earned $2.1 million (for a cumulative $69.6 million), Fox's "Bohemian Rhapsody" added $645,000 (for a cumulative $213.1 million), Annapurna's "Vice" collected $731,391 (for a cumulative $47.2 million), Warner Bros.' "A Star Is Born" added $700,000 (for a cumulative $210.9 million) and Fox Searchlight's "The Favourite" earned $540,000 (for a cumulative $32.1 million).

Next weekend, Focus Features opens the thriller "Greta" and Lionsgate premieres the comedy "Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral."

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