With a franchise-best debut, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has revitalized a lackluster 2019 box office and earned the biggest opening of the year so far—animated or otherwise.
Surpassing all projections, the latest—and final—installment in Dreamworks’ series grossed an estimated $55 million at the U.S. box office during its opening weekend. Additionally, the Dean DeBlois-directed film had already brought in $2.5 million from Fandango sneak previews that took place a few weeks ahead of the wide release. Its $57.5 million total also makes The Hidden World the second best debut for a fully-animated feature in February, behind the unexpected 2014 hit The Lego Movie, which opened to $69 million.
Conservative early projections pointed to a $40-$45 million U.S. opening for The Hidden World , but the movie blew those numbers out of the water thanks to a targeted marketing campaign that included advertising on major networks during popular shows, a reachout to the Hispanic market, and online strategies that engaged its audience. Deadline offers more details on the film’s marketing efforts here.