A new leader at the box office is on the horizon, DreamWorks Animation’s latest is expected to open with a bang this weekend fulled mainly by 3D and all around glowing reviews.
How to Train Your Dragon is a movie based on the 2003 children’s novel written by British author Cressida Cowell, first in a total of 9 books, 8 “How to” and one “Guide”, all following the adventures of the young Viking named Hiccup. So could DreamWorks have struck gold with this one? Well it seems they think so since this is opening in no less then 4055 theaters around North America. In case you are wondering, that’s a lot, one of the biggest openings ever when it comes to theaters. So what else do we have? Well a huge $180 million budget that only Pixar or DreamWorks would ever green light and the best fresh rating (97%) on Rotten Tomatoes I have seen since The Hurt Locker last summer.
As you can probably tell, DreamWorks has a lot ridding on this movie, so can it deliver the goods financially so that we may see more sequels in the “How to” franchise? Well, if it’s helped by international markets it could. It has IMAX 3D and normal 3D raising ticket prices to ensure a larger box office, but in 7 days Clash of the Titans also opens in 3D taking away a lot of screens. Basically the movie has to ride on its legs in the long run, 3D will help but not as much as it did with Monsters Vs Aliens last year. It’s hard to say exactly how high it will open but one thing is for sure, it will be first, say $40-$50 million, hopefully leading to $180 and maybe even over $200 million at the end in North America.
The other new wide release of the week has probably one of the strangest, if not the strangest name you’ll see this year, Hot Tub Time Machine. That name can either drive people to look the other way or make them curios, I’ll go with curios because that’s what it made me when I first say the title. Previews looked good, they have John Cusack in it and that’s always a plus and reviews are positive, 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, that’s very good for a comedy like this. It might not make The Hangover money but really, it doesn’t need that much. It will probably open around $20 million and may go on to make I Love You Man business among similar “guy flicks”, about $70 million.
Alice in Wonderland should have a big drop this weekend with the loss of most 3D screens. But then again, it already made back every last dollar Disney invested and then some ($575.8 million worldwide), so no big deal for Buena Vista there. The Bounty Hunter (surprisingly) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid should make for strong holdovers based on how well they fared on weekdays.
- How to Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks/Paramount) $46M (NEW)
- Hot Tub Time Machine (MGM) $21M (NEW)
- Alice in Wonderland (BuenaVista) $15M ($290.8M)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Fox) $11M ($36.7M)
- The Bounty Hunter (Sony) $10M ($36.4M)