httyd2-500million httyd2-500million
Box Office Report

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Overtakes ‘Rio 2’ As Top-Grossing Animated Film of 2014


As we wrote in last weekend’s box office report, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 was set to surpass $500 million at the global box office sometime this week. Dragon did so yesterday, thanks to a $5.6 million opening in China. The film also exceeded Rio 2′s $494.1 million gross to become the top-grossing animated feature of 2014 to date.

The film’s box office performance follows the pattern of other DreamWorks franchises, like Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar, in which the second film of the series earned less money in the United States than the original, but its overall global box office was still up due to strong international performance.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 has already opened in most international territories, but it will open in Italy this weekend.

For reference, here is how the Dragon films stack up against the global box office performance of other DreamWorks franchises:


How to Train Your Dragon: $494.8 million
How to Train Your Dragon 2: $500+ million (still in theaters)


Shrek: $484.4 million
Shrek 2: $919.8 million
Shrek 2the Third: $799 million
Shrek Forever After: $752.6 million


Madagascar: $532.7 million
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: $603.9 million
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: $746.9 million


Kung Fu Panda: $631.7 million
Kung Fu Panda 2: $665.7 million

  • Aaron

    it better get recognized at the Annies and Oscars.

    • tt

      of course it will. its one of the highest rated film of this year. but we still haven’t seen the rest of the animated films yet (Book of Life, Boxtrolls, Big Hero 6). but Lego and Dragon r definitely nominees for the Oscars and the Annies.

      • Alex Dudley

        Those five you mentioned are the most likely Oscar contenders (especially if Book of Life lives up to its potential), unless a foreign animated film ends up nominated that will end up losing to a Hollywood feature regardless!

  • Pedro Nakama

    But you know… it’s not making any money.

    • William Bradford

      Well, if I’m following this correctly, studios get roughly 50% of box office earnings: slightly more then that in domestic and a fair amount less then that internationally. If a film does “well” the profits to the studio are higher then if the film does badly… er that is to say the percentage is more then the standard if the film is doing well overally, not just that they get more money if the film makes more money haha. Therefore, the rule of thumb is that if a film makes more then double it’s budget, it makes a profit. Of course that’s not factoring in merchandise and home media and all that… NO idea how that works. Of course I believe the film budget on Wikipedia doesn’t include marketing, but then I suspect there’s also lots of hidden profits that aren’t posted either….

  • Alex Dudley

    It’s amazing. The movie doesn’t do as great as they hope as soon as it comes out, leading to stocks dropping and people getting laid off, yet in the end, the film is a success.
    I really wish investors and the company executives would stop these knee jerk reactions to their film’s early performance. Films are a long term investment, and always end up being profitable eventually.

    • starss

      Films need long-term productions schedules, so the studios need long-term reactions to the box office results!

    • Fried

      Take into consideration that studios do not get 100% of the box office profit, some of the profit needs to go into various projects (Not just their next feature film but also technology development, some of their YouTube channel content, and so forth) and, yes, they do need to pay people including the high-salaried executives, $500 mil is not a whole lot for an overly ambitious and big-league studio like Dreamworks.

      Films yield in long term profit but the investment really is expected to be instant. If they aren’t, then there are lay-offs during that downtime the film isn’t racking in money and once it does, expect an abrupt amount of job and internship openings for Dreamworks.

      Whether or not you agree with executive salaries or Dreamworks doing too many films or whatever is irrelevant, this is pretty much how every “blockbuster” studio thinks (Disney, Marvel, FOX, MGM). Opening weekend is nearly everything for a film because the profit can only get lower from there. So very rarely does it pick up and just because it happened once to Dragon does not mean it’s a good strategy to hope it happens again.

  • I can’t help but feel that it would’ve done better domestically if there wasn’t a series currently on air and if the trailers weren’t full of major spoilers.

    • Fried

      I don’t think the series really harmed the film. TV series that have gotten films did very well in theaters (Simpsons, Spongebob, South Park).

    • Schmebulock

      Not to mention the whole gay viking controversy that erupted just before the film’s premiere. Think that didn’t hurt it? Don’t be so naive.

      • blah

        the only place i heard about that “controversy” was on cartoonbrew… did it really blow up that much?

        • Jeffrey Gray

          Honestly, I think another, much more important scene hurt it more. Those of you who saw it know what scene I mean.

          And it’s not like it’s the first darker, more mature, more serious, more action-oriented DreamWorks sequel to disappoint in America. I think this basically played to domestic family audiences like Kung Fu Panda 2, Part 2.

  • tt

    So…….how about those STAFFS WHO WERE LAID OFF?????? These things pisses me off a lot. A massive hit, yet still lay offs…..

  • bob

    this is why i said for people to wait 3ish months after it came out… just because it doesn’t have opening numbers like transformers 4 doesn’t mean it’s a failure.

    In the bigger picture however, DW is still in the hole quite a bit.

    • Schmebulock

      Because Dragon 2 still isn’t profitable, despite the 500 million take. That’s the glory of Hollywood accounting for you.

  • Martin Cohen

    Just remember the old saying that the most creative part of Hollywood is the accounting.

  • Marketing Champions

    It also holds the Record for “Most Annoying Banner Ad Taking over the Top of Cartoon Brew” Congrats Dreamworks.

  • k

    There is a petition going on in to bring HTTYD2 to theatres in Japan. 20 century fox has no plan so far to bring this film to JAPAN. It’ll be great if we can get a few signatures.世紀フォックス映画-ヒックとドラゴン2-仮題-原題-how-to-train-your-dragon-2-の日本での劇場公開を求めます#share