Home > Vulture News > FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ & ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Disappoint With Less Than Expected Openings

FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ & ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Disappoint With Less Than Expected Openings


How to Train Your Dragon took over as the reigning 3-D champ, taking in $43.5M. It was enough to easily take the number one spot, although its earnings were chump change compared Alice in Wonderland, which  took in over $116M in its debut weekend. When the less than projected opening caused shares of Dreamworks SKG to drop, Jeffries & Co. analyst Brian Shipman sent a note to worried investors to reassure them that there was still hope that the movie (which cost a staggering $165M) could post stronger earning potential in the long haul. Although he said that the opening was less than the $64M that had been projected he thought there was a possibility of a turnaround. He wrote:

Word of mouth and strong reviews could partially offset the light weekend.

A spike in ticket sales in the coming weeks is doubtful, as next week it will lose highly sought after 3-D screens to Clash of the Titans. Another problem is that the movie doesn’t have the broad appeal of Alice in Wonderland, which has been doing great business in its fourth week in release, even after getting replaced in many 3-D locations. Dreamworks may have followed the Pixar blueprint, too closely with the story of a young boy who defies convention and ultimately saves the day despite opposition from everyone around him. It’s a plot that’s been used in almost every kids movie that’s been released in the last ten years.

These days, even Pixar is subverting their format with movies like Wall-E and Up with great success. Dreamworks Animation Chief Jeffrey Katzenberg was one of the main executives to spearhead the 3-D revolution, but he seems behind the curve when it comes to producing titles that live to the potential he saw in the format. Along with Monsters vs. Aliens, How to Train Your Dragon can be added to Dreamworks’ growing list of lackluster performing 3-D titles.

It wasn’t the only disappointment this weekend. MGM/UA’s Hot Tub Time Machine starring John Cusack earned much less than its expected $20+M opening. It only took in $14M, which begs the obvious question of whether it makes any sense to spend over $50M to make a gross out comedy about a guy getting transported to the 80s in a hot tub? It’s no surprise that MGM went bankrupt on the heels of expensive flops like the Fame remake and the Bruce Willis actioner Surrogates.


1. How to Train Your Dragon (Dreamworks) $43.7M

2. Alice in Wonderland (Disney) $17.7M, Cume $294M

3. Hot Tub Time Machine (MGM) $14M

4. The Bounty Hunter (Columbia) $12M, Cume $38.4M

5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Fox) $10.1M, Cume $35.9M

6. She’s Out of My League (Dreamworks SKG) $3.51M, Cume $25.6M

7. Green Zone (Universal) $3.38M, $30.5M

8. Shutter Island (Paramount) $3.19M, Cume $121M

9. Repo Men (Universal) $3.01M, Cume $11.3M

10. Our Family Wedding (Sneak Preview) $2.35M, Cume $16.9M

*Bold indicates the weekend’s new releases.
Source: Box Office Mojo

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