BOX OFFICE: “Hallelu-Yer!” Madea dope-slaps “How to Train Your Dragon 3”


There are a lot of cartoons in cinemas this weekend — “Lego Movie: The Second Part,” “Into the Spider-Verse.”

And let’s be brutally blunt, “How to Train Your Dragon 3” isn’t all that. Once audiences started seeing it, those comically endorsement-happy reviews were going to induce head-scratching. I said as much, and damned if that hasn’t turned out to be the case.

“Joyless” is not a great word-of-mouth recommendation.

Second weekend numbers show “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” falling off the box office cliff. The $30-35 million second weekend projections of many are over 30% off, unless Saturday (traditionally the big take-the-kids-to-the-cartoon day) turns it around.

Bearing that in mind, may be off in projecting “A Madea Family Funeral” winning the weekend with a $25 million+ take, with “Dragon 3” fading in a plummeting fashion to $23 and change. Deadline is notorious for under-counting Saturday animation box office takes. But if this holds, that’s a 60% drop from “Dragon’s” opening weekend.

I saw “Madea” with a paying late afternoon matinee crowd in rural NC. Half-full house at 4:30? That’s telling. As Tyler Perry is giving the character her curtain call here (he’s not playing Madea again, he insists), longtime fans (older, female) are checking out her final bows.

“Greta,” the other new wide release, doesn’t have any branding or supernaturalism to make it appeal to today’s horror audiences — just a screen legend, Isabelle Huppert, abusing a beloved starlet (Chloe Grace Moretz) via stalking, kidnapping, etc. It’s not bad, but a $5 million+ is all she wrote for this Neil Jordan thriller.

“Alita: Battle Angel” will have to break even with its overseas take — down to $6 million this weekend.

“Green Book” is getting a decent Oscar bounce. No word yet on how re-issues of “Spider-Verse” and “Favourite” and “A Star is Born” are faring.



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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