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'Dragon' flies to top of box office

Category: How to Train Your Dragon News
Article Date: March 28, 2010 | Publication: Variety | Author: ANDREW STEWART
Source: Variety

Posted by: admin


Paramount and DreamWorks Animation's 3D toon "How to Train Your Dragon" saw healthy returns this weekend at the domestic B.O., but failed to set the frame ablaze, with an estimated $43.3 million at 4,055 playdates.
The frame's other wide release, MGM's laffer "Hot Tub Time Machine," debuted with $13.7 million at 2,754. Pic, starring John Cusack and Rob Corddry, played best among its targeted demo, mainly older males, repping 65% over 25.

Meanwhile, the specialty market offered auds a wide-range of titles from well-known filmmakers, led by Focus Feature's holdover "Greenberg," starring Ben Stiller, with $1.1 million at 181 engagements and Sony Pictures Classics' launch of the Atom Egoyan-directed "Chloe," grossing $713,542 at 306 Stateside locations.

Overseas, "Dragon" claimed an estimated $31 million on 5,594 screens in 54 territories, accounting for 62% of the international market. Added to revenue from early bows last week in three markets, including Russia, toon's international cume now stands at $42 million.

"Dragon's" 3D component repped a sizeable portion of the toon's overall domestic take, accounting for 65% of the weekend gross.

Leading up to its release, some circuits raised 3D ticket prices by as much as 8%, which could have affected the toon's overall performance. Ticket hikes typically hit family-friendly films hardest, and in the case of 3D films, families have to shell out more coin for multiple admissions.

DreamWorks Animation's 3D toon "Monsters vs. Aliens" launched with $59.3 million during the same weekend last year at 1,550 3D locations out of a total 4,104. With fewer 3D locations than "Dragon" -- and cheaper tickets -- "Monsters" drew 56% from its 3D runs.

Total 3D count for "Dragon" stands at 2,178 locations, with an additional 186 3D-equipped Imax locations.

Imax reported its share at $5 million, repping 11.5% of the pic's domestic earnings on less than 3% of the pic's total runs. "Monsters" accounted for an 8% share.

Still, "Dragon" had enough spark to singe Disney's reigning 3D champ "Alice in Wonderland," which earned $17.3 million at 3,384 locations, dropping to the No. 2 spot in its fourth frame. "Alice" has cumed $293.1 million, domestically.

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