DreamWorks Animation’s Home upended expectations this weekend—including those of the studio itself—by snagging first place and an estimated $54 million in its opening domestic weekend.
The studio, whose shares fell to a new 52-week low last January after it announced plans to restructure, had predicted a $35 million opening weekend for the Tim Johnson-directed Home, its only release this year. Analysts expected that the film would suffer in competition with Disney’s Cinderella (itself holding on to fourth position and passing the $150 million mark domestically this weekend).
But after grossing a respectable $19.2 million in international markets last weekend—including a robust $9.3 million U.K. opening—Home opened with the strongest domestic weekend for DreamWorks Animation since 2012’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted ($60.3 million). It’s also one of the strongest launches ever for an original DreamWorks film, trailing just Monsters vs. Aliens ($59.3M) and Kung Fu Panda ($60.2M). By comparison, last year’s summer hit How to Train Your Dragon 2 launched with $49.5 million, while Penguins of Madagascar scraped in $35.5 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend.