Long Range Tracking: ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’

The final report of 2018 takes an early look at the weekend of February 22, 2019 — currently slated with three wide releases. We’ll offer up forecasts on the other two at a later date, but here’s our first analysis on the weekend’s marquee opener.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Opening Weekend Range: $40 – 50 million


  • The franchise has proven very successful with two critically and commercially successful chapters in 2010 and 2014, earning a combined $395 million domestically.
  • Opening two weeks after The LEGO Movie 2 should provide just enough breathing room for this to serve as a strong family-friendly winter tentpole, likely opening well along the lines of the studio’s own Kung Fu Panda 3 ($41.3 million in January 2016).
  • The promise of a trilogy-capper helmed by returning director Dean DeBlois should bring back most fans of the series, especially the considerable adult segment of that audience.
  • Early social media buzz and Trailer Impact metrics are very encouraging.


  • If LEGO Movie 2‘s word of mouth proves comparable with its own direct predecessor, that may cut slightly into Dragon 3‘s potential.
  • Similarly, Captain Marvel opens in Hidden World‘s third weekend and could leech some of the target younger audience.

8-Week Tracking

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Release Tracking % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Forecast % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
1/4/2019 Escape Room $13,000,000 $32,000,000 2,700 Sony / Columbia
1/11/2019 A Dog’s Way Home $12,000,000 $40,000,000 2,900 Sony / Columbia
1/11/2019 Perfect Strangers n/a n/a n/a Lionsgate / Pantelion Films
1/11/2019 Replicas n/a n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
1/11/2019 The Upside $13,000,000 $39,000,000 3,000 STX
1/18/2019 Glass $67,000,000 $180,000,000 Universal
1/25/2019 The Kid Who Would Be King $15,000,000 $50,000,000 Fox
1/25/2019 Serenity (2019) $10,000,000 $30,000,000 Aviron
1/25/2019 Untitled STX Action/Thriller n/a n/a STX Entertainment
2/1/2019 Jacob’s Ladder n/a n/a LD Entertainment
2/1/2019 Miss Bala $10,000,000 $28,000,000 Sony / Columbia
2/8/2019 Cold Pursuit $13,000,000 $40,000,000 Lionsgate / Summit
2/8/2019 The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part $60,000,000 $213,000,000 Warner Bros.
2/8/2019 The Prodigy n/a n/a Orion Pictures
2/8/2019 What Men Want $25,000,000 $63,000,000 Paramount
2/13/2019 Isn’t It Romantic $14,000,000 $54,000,000 Warner Bros.
2/14/2019 Alita: Battle Angel $14,500,000 $41,000,000 Fox
2/14/2019 Fighting with My Family n/a n/a MGM
2/14/2019 Happy Death Day 2U $24,000,000 $52,000,000 Universal
2/22/2019 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World $44,000,000 NEW $155,000,000 NEW Universal
2/22/2019 Rhythm Section n/a n/a Paramount
2/22/2019 The Turning n/a n/a Universal / Amblin

Tracking and forecasts are subject to change each week as marketing, reviews, and other factors are taken into consideration.

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Shawn Robbins


  1. Avatar
    Revan December 29, 2018

    Add $100 million+ to How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’s domestic prediction to be accurate.

    • Avatar
      Leo December 31, 2018

      Why? The last one didn’t even make $200m

      • Avatar
        Revan January 01, 2019

        Just because the last one didnt make 200m (domestic) doesnt mean this one wont… the last one was released in a very crowded summer in 2014 with… The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Lucy, and Hercules all in that 3 month time frame along with multiple minor films and it ended up making over $621 million worldwide – and only made $40 million less domestically then the first… This one not only has the dragon romance and trilogy finale going for it but critical and audience esteem going for it the previous two films – not since toy story has an animated trilogy been so well reviewed… Also How to Train Your Dragon 3 only has – Glass, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Alita: Battle Angel, Captain Marvel, and Dumbo to deal with as major films are concerned in a 3 month time frame…. It will make $750+ million worldwide if not $800 million considering the upward trajectory of the previous films… the first made $495 million worldwide which jumped $126 million to $621 million worldwide for the second… a similar jump would be $747 million worldwide.

  2. Avatar
    night walker January 02, 2019

    First off, yes the reviews for the franchise has been great and early reviews for the third film are currently at 100%, but reviews don’t mean as much for an animated film as they do for a live action film. Ralph breaks the internet has an 88% compared to the Grinch’s 58% and the Grinch has made a lot more than Ralph. Next you can’t expect the franchise to end on a high note just because the sequel made more worldwide than the first. Kung Fu panda 2 made more worldwide than the first, but the third ended up being the lowest in the franchise both world wide and domestically, and its reviews were as good as it’s predecessors. Plus there are a number of franchises where the sequel out-grossed the first just to have the final installments gross less, for example the Hunger games, Shrek, and terminator franchises. Also the competition you named for winter and spring of 2019 is much bigger than the competition of summer 2014 was, especially when you consider that the( THREE month frame like you said)-contains Shazam, Hell boy, and Avengers Endgame along with all the other titles you mentioned. the months of February till the the end of July in 2019 are very crowded. On a last note the Lego movie made a lot more domestically than the how to train your Dragon movies have. the Lego batman movie spin off made almost as much domestically as how to train your dragon 2. I’m not saying this third installment in the how to train your dragon franchise cant surprise us but $255 million domestic is a bit to far of a prediction, this film has a 50/50 shot at beating the first domestically, and the sequel worldwide.

    • Avatar
      Revan January 04, 2019

      good point – however the three month time frame refers to january – march… the month before it is released, the month during it its release, and the month after… although i guess it is almost technically released in march…. but i have to add the toy story trilogy, hotel transylvania trilogy, despicable me trilogy, and the ice age trilogy for movies that made more each time around worldwide. So while shrek and kung fu panda made less on the final movie for animated films… there is in all more likeliness that this will make tons more then the last 2 worldwide ($730-$820 million worldwide… and around $200-$260 million domestic finale.

      • Avatar
        night walker January 04, 2019

        What you said is true but I’d also just like to point out that the Toy story, Hotel Transylvania, Despicable Me, and ice age trilogies had an increase both domestically, and worldwide when their direct sequels came out wile how to train your dragon, and Kung Fu panda had decently large domestic drops, but decent worldwide increases. Just something to consider. By the way I expect How to Train your Dragon 3 to make $190-$230 million domestic and $600-$700 million worldwide, with possibility of going higher, I just wouldn’t count on it.

    • Avatar
      Shakerxxoo January 05, 2019

      $700m plus worldwide not 100% but 1000000%
      domestic numbers don’t matter, Universal is already starting to open this movie in international markets & the US will be one of the LAST ones to get it, they trust in this movie, it already broke the opening day record for DreamWorks in Australia

  3. Avatar
    night walker January 07, 2019

    How to train your dragon broke an opening weekend record in Australia, but still it barely beet aqua-man in its second weekend in Australia. this win is a good sine, but not an instant win for the movie. the film still only opened in 2 markets with $5.3 million.


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