How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has set the North American box office alight with a $55.5 million (£42.5 million) debut to hit number one.
The final instalment in the animated adventure trilogy, featuring the voices of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, and Cate Blanchett, has scored the biggest opening weekend of 2019 so far, soaring above the previous record holder, Glass, which launched with $40 million (£30.6 million).
“We’ve been eagerly awaiting our first DreamWorks Animation release, and it’s great to celebrate this milestone with a number one opening,” reads a statement issued by Jim Orr, head of domestic distribution for Universal, which is now the parent company of DreamWorks Animation.
“(Director) Dean DeBlois has delivered a stunning film for a franchise that’s truly beloved.”
The bumper box office debut also marks the best in franchise history – the original 2010 release, loosely based on author Cressida Cowell’s 2003 book of the same name, grossed $495.8 million (£379.6 million) at the global box office, while its 2014 sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2, was an even bigger success, earning $621.5 million (£475.9 million).
The Hidden World’s strong start forces last week’s most popular film, Alita: Battle Angel, to slip to a distant second place on the new chart, picking up another $12 million (£9.2 million), while another animated sequel, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, takes third place with $10 million (£7.7 million).
Dwayne Johnson’s Fighting With My Family and satire Isn’t It Romantic round out the new top five.
Meanwhile, in the global box office chart, fantasy film Alita: Battle Angel still holds strong at number one with a total $104.4 million (£79.9 million) take, ahead of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World with $90.2 million (£69 million).
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