Under its new home at Universal, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World took off in its first day at the overseas B.O. with $1.68M from Australia and New Zealand. DWA is launching the threequel early in both countries to take advantage of the peak summer holiday season there. The Dean DeBlois-directed film doesn’t open in U.S./Canada until Feb. 22.

In Australia, Hidden World set an opening day record for DWA making $1.5M at 286 theaters, outstripping the previous high held by Shrek 2. The pic’s first day was also the third-biggest opening day of all time for an animated title and the second-biggest January opening day ever. The figure was also more than 4x the opening day of How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Universal’s sixth-biggest opening day of all time in the territory. Hidden World ranked No. 1 in the market, ahead of the second Thursday of Aquaman and more than double the opening Thursday of Mary Poppins Returns. The latter had its first day of trading on New Year’s Day and has grossed $3.04M (US$2.14M) prior to its official opening day.

In New Zealand, Hidden World grossed $173K at 90 locations and ranked as DWA’s second-biggest opening day behind Shrek 2, and it’s the third-biggest animation opening day of all time. Hidden World also notched the second-biggest January opening day, and the best debut in the Dragon trilogy more than 3x part 2.

Hidden World will open in 48 off-shore markets ahead of U.S./Canada including Brazil (Jan. 17), Italy (Jan 30), Mexico (Jan. 30), the UK & Ireland (Jan. 30), France (Feb. 6) and Germany. The animated feature is also timed to the summer holidays in South America, and the Lunar New Year holiday (Feb. 5) in South Korea and South East Asia. European early dates are timed to half-term school holidays. Hidden World teed off in Brazil with an activation at the São Paulo Comic Con, where a standing room only crowd of more than 3,5K fans were treated to exclusive clips from DeBlois.

The How to Train Your Dragon franchise through two movies counts $1.11 billion at the global B.O. and three Oscar nominations. Both the 2010 and 2014 installments earned noms in Oscar’s best animation category.