Toothless Beats Laughless At the Weekend Box Office

It was a tight race for first place between Universal/Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral at the North America box office this weekend. In the end, however, matinee crowds helped the Dragon threequel surge past Perry’s latest comedy. The week’s other wide release, Focus’ Greta, was a non-starter down in eighth place.

Decent late-winter numbers generated by Dragon 3 and Madea aside, the 2019 box office continued to lag behind last year by a sizable margin. For the weekend, the top ten was down nearly 30% from a year ago. Hollywood is holding its collective breath that Captain Marvel can give the flaccid film scene a much needed jolt when it arrives in cinemas worldwide starting this week.

In its second weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World eased 45% to score an estimated $30 million from 4,286 theaters. The ten-day total for the critically acclaimed Universal/Dreamworks is $98 million. The Hidden World will cross the $100 million mark by early Tuesday, which would make it the third film of 2019 to do so after The Upside and Glass.

The 45% decrease for The Hidden World is more than the 33% drop of the 2010 original in its second round and lower than the 50% decline the 2014 sequel encountered in its sophomore session. Should The Hidden World withstand the arrival of Captain Marvel and Paramount’s upcoming cartoon Wonder Park in two weeks, it could finish its domestic run between $160-170 million.

Overseas, The Hidden World has pocketed a healthy $278 million so far. $33 million of that came from a first place debut in China this weekend.

After 11 films that spanned a decade and a half, filmmaker Tyler Perry is saying “goodbye” to his cinematic alter ego – and consistent box office earner-, Madea. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral began to say its goodbyes to moviegoers this weekend on 2,442 theaters, kicking off things with a lively $27 million. The $11,077 per screen average for the Lionsgate release was the biggest in the top ten this weekend.

If estimates hold, the opening for Madea Family Funeral will become the fifth-biggest opening for Perry as a filmmaker and the fourth biggest for the Madea franchise.

As he has with every other film he has produced, Perry kept Family Funeral’s production costs on the cheap. The critics hated it, but Perry’s reliable contingent of fans that showed up on opening weekend loved it.

In third place with an estimated $7 million from 3,096 venueswas Fox’s sci-fi epic Alita: Battle Angel. Alita slipped a moderate 43% in its third round, which pushed the domestic total for the pricey Robert Rodriguez up to an estimated $72 million. Captain Marvel should knock out whatever box office wind Alita still has left in it starting Thursday, which will keep the $170 million production’s final North America gross far below the $100 million mark.

Fortunately for the future puppet of Disney, Alita has been performing well overseas. With China’s $112 million gross leading the way, Alita has earned $278 million so far. While it won’t hit the coveted $500-600 million Fox may have been hoping for, it should pass $400 million globally by the end of its theatrical run.

Warner’s The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part slowed its box office descent this weekend to land in fourth place with an estimated $6.6 million from 3,458 theaters. Down 32%, LEGO Movie 2 has cleared $92 million after one month. The sequel should finish between $105-110 million, close to 60% lower than the $257 million earned by its 2014 predecessor.

After 15 weeks of theatrical release, Universal’s Best Picture winner Green Book finally made its way into the box office top five. With a Best Picture Oscar firmly in hand, the controversial Oscar winner added 1,388 venues to its theater count Friday, which is now 2,641. That increased theater count helped push Green Book’s business up a whopping 121% to an estimated $4.7 million. Green Book has now brought in $76 million.

The film’s Oscar-fueled second wind should push Green Book’s box office past the $90 million mark, which would be considerably higher than the final hauls of recent Best Picture winners The Shape of Water ($63.8 million), Moonlight ($27.8 million), Spotlight ($45 million) and Birdman ($42 million).

Green Book opened in China this weekend to a fantastic $17.1 million, which helped push the international total up to $112 million.

Other big Oscar winners from last Sunday night that also saw their ticket sales rise considerably this weekend: Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse ($2 million; +137%), A Star Is Born ($1.9 million; +209%), Bohemian Rhapsody ($975,000; +56%) and The Favourite ($825,000; +48%).

  1. Fighting With My Family (MGM) $4.7 million (-40%); $15 million
  2. Isn’t It Romantic (Warner/New Line) $4.6 million (-35%); $40.2 million
  3. Greta (Focus Features) $4.6 million (NEW)

The latest thriller from Crying Game director Neil Jordan landed with a colossal thud both with the critics and the public.

  1. What Men Want (Paramount) $2.7 million (-49%); $49.7 million
  2. Happy Death Day 2U(Universal) $2.5 million (-48.5%); $25.2 million

Finally, just outside the top ten was the arrival of Neon’s superb documentary Apollo 11. The unanimously praised look at the 1969 moon landing opened exclusively on 120 IMAX screens Friday where it took in a big $1.3 million. Apollo 11 will expand nationwide to non-IMAX venues this upcoming Friday.

Next weekend, it’s all about Captain Marvel, which is looking at an opening frame north of $120 million.

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