Posted by · 11:30 am · March 26th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Years of frustration over how to precisely train my dragon will be resolved today as Paramount has released the informative documentary, “How to Train Your Dragon.” There’s one of these bawdy animated titles every March and they usually do pretty damn well. “Monsters vs. Aliens” debuted with $60.5 million last year and “Horton Hears a Who!” snagged $47.7 million the year before.

I think “Dragon” will fall closer to the latter than the former since it has no famous source material and failed to put the one word in its title that would have excited young boys:  Vikings! Hello? Who makes an animated movie about Vikings and doesn’t put that in the title? It’s like naming “Toy Story” “Escape From the Room.”

Now, the movie is in 3D and on over 4,000 screens so it’s almost impossible for it not to be huge. I’m just thinking somewhere around $45 million for this one.

The only other movie opening wide is “Hot Tub Time Machine” from MGM. The studio hasn’t released a movie since “Fame” and is more or less dead and bankrupt. They’d like you to think that this is the new “The Hangover,” but the concept is way more wacky and esoteric.

Everyone can relate to a bachelor party getting out of control. Nobody can relate to traveling back in time through a hot tub. Now that’s not to say that the movie won’t be funny and popular with those who see it, but it does mean that it’s much more likely to be a “Half Baked”“Harold and Kumar” type cult hit on DVD and not in theatres. That’s why I’m saying $12 million.

Sony Classics gets aggressive with “Chloe,” releasing the film on 306 screens straight out of the gate. That’s the widest opening they’ve ever had, beating the 284 screen launch of “Mute Witness” in 1995. Since then, the widest they ever attempted was the 70 screen debut of “Rudo y Cursi.” Needless to say, this is uncharted territory for the studio and could mean they’re really high on Atom Egoyan’s erotic thriller or really low on it. With a couple of legit movie stars, it should be able to be the company’s first $1.0 million+ opener in history.

So, what are you guys seeing this weekend?

→ 15 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

15 responses so far

  • 1 3-26-2010 at 12:50 pm

    Joe said...

    “It’s like naming Toy Story, ‘Escape from the Room’.”

    You, sir, should win an Oscar one day.

  • 2 3-26-2010 at 4:25 pm

    Josh said...

    I’d cry foul on the Hot Tub Time Machine guess, but seeing as a similarly wacky movie title did poorly (Snakes on a Plane, of course) as opposed to its buzz, I’m willing to be proven wrong in my own assumptions.

    But your issue with the How to Train Your Dragon title…well, I’m not seeing it. Yeah, boys love Vikings, but…they don’t like dragons? Does not compute.

  • 3 3-26-2010 at 5:09 pm

    tony rock said...

    Saw Hot Tub…pretty damn funny, surprised me. Hoping it does well.

  • 4 3-26-2010 at 6:30 pm

    Harmonica said...

    “failed to put the one word in its title that would have excited young boys”

    Hmmm….dragon? Hello?

  • 5 3-26-2010 at 8:05 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I don’t know if anyone else is having this problem, but the site is taking forever to load and all posts after the Carey Mulligan one don’t even show up.

  • 6 3-26-2010 at 11:06 pm

    Blowithand said...

    I just got back from “How to train your Dragon” and must say that this is a damn good movie. Actually a really, really damn good movie. I liked it more than UP, sorry for my taste but I have to say it.

  • 7 3-26-2010 at 11:25 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    English: No problem on my end. What browser are you on?

  • 8 3-27-2010 at 5:48 am

    JJ said...

    Blowithand, funny, I also anticipate loving this; and probably moreso than “Up”.

    Aside from the lovely first 10 minutes of Up, Kevin the Bird, and the last few minutes, I found portions of Up to be somewhat annoying, juvenile, and unoriginal.

  • 9 3-27-2010 at 6:57 am

    Bing147 said...

    In my experience, I’ve never seen a young boy into vikings but they all like dragons..

  • 10 3-27-2010 at 9:38 am

    Jørgen Pedersen said...

    I assume you know that “How to Train Your Dragon” is based on a children’s book by Cressida Cowell. I’m not saying they’re famous books, but then again….I’m not a child. Just wanted to throw that at ya.

  • 11 3-27-2010 at 11:19 am

    Speaking English said...

    Guy: Firefox

  • 12 3-27-2010 at 9:50 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Well, nevermind. It’s appeared to fix itself somehow.

  • 13 3-27-2010 at 9:51 pm

    j said...

    Movies that in Q1 2010 on multiple weekends made 10k+ avg w/1+ mil total:
    Avatar 5, Alice 2
    Next month’s best chance of course is a 3rd 3-D film, Clash of the Titans.

  • 14 3-28-2010 at 4:53 am

    Adam Smith said...

    Also, Chad, your assumption that “Dragon” won’t do as well because it’s not based on famous source material is not backed up by the examples you gave–in those examples, the film based on famous source material (“Horton Hears A Who”) made LESS bank than the film not based on famous source material (“Monsters vs. Aliens”).

    P.S. I just found out (via IMDb) that Wallace Wolodarsky (AKA Kylie from “Fantastic Mr. Fox”) was one of the writers for “Monsters vs. Aliens”). Fancy that!

  • 15 3-31-2010 at 7:21 am

    MovieMan said...

    “Chloe” is pretty solid, even though the ending is kinda floppy. The performances by Moore, Neeson, and especially Seyfried were excellent.

    “Greenberg” is further proof after “Margot at the Wedding” that Noah Baumbach’s usual style of extremely awkward, acidic comedy is getting old.

    “Hot Tub Time Machine” is goofy and wacky, but I think it needed more of a heart to work better. It was successful some of the time at getting laughs, but not enough.

    “How to Train Your Dragon” is a bit unremarkable and convention conceptually and thematically, but its animation and high-flying style are indeed too good to ignore.