If anyone didn’t know DreamWork’s How to Train Your Dragon came out this weekend, you clearly haven’t watched television in the last two months. The unprecedented marketing blitz during the Olympics – including controversial product placement tied in with the sports broadcasts themselves – was rather overwhelming and, in my opinion, off-putting. It doesn’t help that the movie just didn’t look that good. Regardless, the marketing expenses for this family film had to be huge – and How to Train Your Dragon didn’t open huge.
The movie, which is receiving stellar reviews (apparently it’s better than what the marketing shows), earned $13.5 million on Friday, which should put it at approximately $47 million for the weekend, if estimates hold. The number is by no means bad – once international figures are factored in, the movie should be on its way to some kind of profit – but it was expected to make $60 million or more this weekend. Frankly, for the amount of money that was spent on marketing the film, DreamWorks has to be disappointed with this opening.
Second place will go to Alice in Wonderland, which, for some reason, continues to rake in money. The movie lost 3D theaters to How to Train your Dragon this weekend, earned $6.2 million on Friday, which should be good for approximately $22 million for the weekend. Box office analysts were expecting it to be hit harder by its 3D competitor.
John Cusack’s The Hot Tub Time Machine was expected to weigh in at $20 million, in line with other recent R-rated comedies. It did not. The movie opened to $4.5 million on Friday, which should be good for only $13.5 million.
Last weekend’s The Bounty Hunter made $4.2 million on Friday while Diary of a Wimpy Kid made $3.1.