The Dreamworks/Universal animated film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third installment in the trilogy, is now the highest-grossing film in the franchise with a $55.5 million domestic box office debut.
Hidden World also secured the best weekend debut among all 2019 releases, according to Variety. The Dean DeBlois-directed animation surpassed M. Night Shamalyan's Glass which previously held the record at $47 million, and the Lego Movie sequel which performed well under box office expectations.
"We’ve been eagerly awaiting our first DreamWorks Animation release, and it’s great to celebrate this milestone with a No. 1 opening," said Jim Orr the head of domestic distribution for Universal. "Audiences have seen these characters develop and grow over the years in a way that’s particularly unique in the animation landscape. Throughout the journey, the franchise’s loyal fan base continues to show their support and really true dedication, which is clear from this weekend’s result."
In addition to its domestic success, Hidden World has also grossed $216 million at the international box office since it began premiering early in January. That number is anticipated to grow substantially once the film is released in China on March 1. The new film's cast includes Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, and F. Murray Abraham.
It's uncommon for a threequel to have a more profitable debut than its predecessors. The first film in the trilogy premiered at $43.7 million in 2010, with the second How to Train Your Dragon surpassing at $49.9 million in 2014. Hidden World has effectively exceeded expectations in addition to being welcomed by positive reviews.