The early reviews for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dreamworks Animation’s 36th film, are superb and point toward an emotional farewell for the well-liked series.
The Dean DeBlois-directed film opens in the U.S. on February 22, 2019, but for those who can’t wait, you’ve got some options. That’s because Universal Pictures is flipping the traditional playbook and launching the film in 48 international markets ahead of its stateside debut. Here are the lucky folks that are getting it earlier:
January 10: Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Indonesia, Mongolia, Norway
January 17: Brazil, Central America, Colombia, Netherlands, Pakistan
January 23: Egypt, Chile, Paraguay, Finland, Turkey
January 30: Belgium, Korea, Argentina, Bolivia, Croatia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Slovenia, Thailand, Uruguay, Bulgaria, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, U.K. & Ireland, Venezuela
February 6: France, Switzerland (French and German speaking), Trinidad, Vietnam, Germany, Austria
February 15: Ecuador, Poland
The decision to lead with international dates ahead of the U.S. has much to do with the film’s atypical launch date (it’s the first time that a Dreamworks film has ever opened in late February). Universal says that countries in South America are being launched in January to take advantage of the summer holidays south of the equator, with Brazil also benefitting from the timing of an activation with São Paulo Comic Con, where last month, director Dean DeBlois presented exclusive clips to a standing-room only crowd of more than 3,500 fans.
Meanwhile, Korea and southeast Asia are being positioned in late January to lead into the Lunar New Year holiday which falls on February 5, and European early dates are timed to mid-term school holidays.
There’s one part of the world where HTTYD3 has already launched: Australia and New Zealand, where it opened yesterday to take advantage of peak summer holiday season. Thursday’s launch in Australia delivered an estimated A$2,144,061 (US$1,509,578) from 286 locations, which marked Dreamworks Animation’s biggest opening day of all time surpassing Shrek 2, as well as being the third-biggest animation opening day of all time. It was also the biggest opening in Australia for the HTTYD franchise, generating more than four times the opening day of How to Train Your Dragon 2.
In New Zealand, the first-day estimate for Thursday is NZ$260,773 (US$173,466) from 90 locations. For that country, it’s Dreamworks’ second-biggest opening day of all time behind Shrek 2 and the third-biggest animation opening day of all time. Like Australia, it’s the biggest opening for HTTYD, more than three times the opening day of How to Train Your Dragon 2.