BOX OFFICE: “Train Your Dragon” exits with a bang, “Fighting With My Family” taps out


February has become, in Hollywood terms, when you release iffy animated fare that you don’t need or expect to become a blockbuster, a place where “Gnomeo & Juliet” and its ilk — non Oscar worthy kid-oriented fare — can make bank without a major Pixar or Disney pic sucking all the oxygen out of the box office.

A middling “Lego Movie” sequel has done OK this year, and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is adding to its worldwide take with a $60 million opening this weekend, is reporting.

It’s the third and allegedly final film in the series, the brand recognition is strong and there’s an affection for the franchise that overwhelms any rational consideration of how limp the two sequels to a charming first film have been.

James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” opened huge…in China. In the U.S., it’s fading fast enough to alarm Fox…if it hadn’t opened huge in China. It lost 60% of its opening weekend audience to garner $11 million this weekend. A dull semi-animated manga adaptation, it was lucky to open in a traditionally slow month where pictures like “Ghost Rider” can make bank because there isn’t much competition.

“Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is losing screens and losing steam. It’ll be lucky to clear $100 million in North America, with another $8 million added to its bottom line this weekend. $83 million in three weeks isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great.

fight2.jpegDwayne Johnson’s magic touch isn’t doing enough to make the engaging “Fighting With My Family” a smash. A platformed release British comedy with The Rock and the Vince (Vaughn) dressing it up, it’s only managing $7 million or so its second weekend. Go see it. You won’t have to wait in line for tickets, and it’s good.

And the faith-based sports drama “Run the Race” is cracking the top ten, with Tim Tebow’s name attached to the producer credits.

That’s barely keeping the last of the Oscar contenders, “Green Book,” out of the top ten. “Green Book” was the only nominated film to get an “Oscar bounce” from its nominations, and the best picture contender has turned into a solid low-cost hit — $70 million and counting — for Universal.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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