DreamWorks Animation’s first theatrical release during its second Universal era, , landed on tracking this morning with a $40 million-$45 million stateside opening projection; solid with moms and dads. The movie opens February 22 and its only competition is MGM’s wide expansion of the Dwayne Johnson-produced Fighting With My Family.
Already, the Dean DeBlois-directed threequel has amassed $41M abroad with big plays in Australia ($14.4M) and solid sales in Brazil ($4.5M) and Indonesia ($4.1M).
Here in the U.S. and Canada, industry comps are pegged to Warner Bros’ February 8 release The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which is also expected to do in the mid $40Ms, and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (a $44M opening in July 2018).
Another previous prolific prequel from DWA, Kung Fu Panda 3, opened to $41.2M back in January 2016 via Fox, and finaled at $143.5M.
In its opening weekend, HT3 drew 57% over 25, playing to an older Pixar-fan crowd, and the threequel was female-driven (or mom-driven) at 63%. Under-18s repped 36% of the crowd.
To date, the How to Train Your Dragon franchise counts $1.15 billion worldwide.
On April 28, 2016, Comcast officially announced that its NBCUniversal division acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. Prior, DWA had a theatrical release deal with 20th Century Fox which ran from 2013-2017, the last pic under that deal being Captain Underpants ($23.8M opening, $73.9M domestic, $125.5M global).