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Tag: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (1-10 of 11)

Peek behind the scenes of 'How to Train Your Dragon,' past and future


How to Train Your Dragon is different than your typical animated franchise. While there have been more-successful blockbusters that yielded sequels—like Toy Story or ShrekDragon was slightly more ambitious from the outset because it almost immediately mapped out a heroic multi-picture arc for its main character, Hiccup, treating him like Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker.

In the second film, which arrives as a digital download on Oct. 21 and on DVD on Nov. 11, Hiccup is five years older than when he first met Toothless, his jet-black Night Fury dragon, and director Dean DeBlois and his team of animators spent lots of time working on their hero’s physical transformation. In a behind-the-scenes documentary on the Blu-ray, Where No One Goes (see an exclusive clip below), DeBlois talks about resisting the temptation to turn Hiccup into a six-pack-abs Viking warrior. “Even though he is the hero of our story, so much of his charm lies in how gangly and awkward and dorky he is,” he says.

The documentary features animators toying with the characters’ aging process, DeBlois’ script and character notes, and additional storyboards and early sketches that became crucial elements of the sequel’s adventure. In the film, Hiccup meets a mysterious dragon-whisperer named Valka, voiced by Cate Blanchett, who says, “It really is the best entry I think a character’s ever had in cinema history.” READ FULL STORY

Summer box office: Why didn't 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' fly higher?

It was a rough summer at the box office, with the industry trailing 2013’s record-breaking season by nearly 15 percent and selling the fewest tickets in more than 20 years. There were winners and losers, pleasant surprises and stinkers, but as the analysts push films in one column or the other, what to make of How to Train Your Dragon 2? It’s the year’s second-biggest animated hit (behind The LEGO Movie) and a likely Oscar nominee for Best Animated Film. And yet DreamWorks Animation sequel, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is the rare critical success to gross $172 million and feel like a disappointment. What else to call a sequel that makes $45 million less than its predecessor and $196 million less than last summer’s top animated film, Despicable Me 2?

And yet. How to Train Your Dragon 2, written off in July for its underwhelming box-office in the U.S., is now an enormous international blockbuster, with upwards of $413 million and counting. By the time its international run is complete, Dragons 2 might double the foreign take of the franchise’s original film ($277 million). Hiccup’s second cinematic adventure, which reunites him with his long-lost mother (voiced by Cate Blanchett) and pits the dragon-riding Vikings against a power-mad dragon slaver named Drago Bludvist, will ultimately rake in more than $600 million globally, dwarfing the overall take of the first film—no matter if it’s in more Chinese renminbis, Russian rubles, and British pounds than American dollars. So which is Dragon 2, an unqualified success or a curious underachiever? And what to make of the drastically different receptions from American and foreign audiences? READ FULL STORY

Just how bad is this summer's Hollywood box-office slump?


In addition to its truly patriotic purpose, Independence Day weekend is typically a celebration of Hollywood bombast and spectacle, with huge CG blockbusters playing non-stop in air-conditioned multiplexes around the country. It’s often the halfway point in the year where studio executives can look at the grosses and their bottom lines, exhale, uncork a nice bottle, and think, “We’re going to be alright this year.”

Not this year.

In fact, the financial data for July 4-6 was downright terrifying. Not only were grosses down 45 percent from last year’s holiday, according to, but it was Hollywood’s worst July 4 weekend since 1999. (And that’s not taking into account inflation. In fact, this was the worst July-holiday weekend for ticket sales since the summer of Dragnet in 1987.) The Melissa McCarthy comedy Tammy scored $32.9 million in its first five days—not shabby for a movie that cost only $20 million to make, but hardly a summer savior and nothing close to her last two hits, Identity Thief and The Heat. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' destroys competition with $100 million

Optimus Prime is back in full force.

Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction (A- Cinema Score) earned an estimated $100 million across the weekend, making it the top debut of the year. It’s also a career high for star Mark Wahlberg, who leads a new cast in telling the story of what happened five years after Chicago was nearly destroyed in the last film.

Paramount’s $200 million film may not have charmed the critics, but audiences didn’t seem to take that, or the daunting run time, into account this weekend. Moviegoers were predominately male, accounting for 64 percent of audiences. Also of note: IMAX screens made up $10.7 million of the weekend grosses.

But, the domestic business isn’t the only good news. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: Can 'Think Like a Man Too' top '22 Jump Street'?

Kevin Hart is back in the box office running this weekend with Think Like a Man Too. The star comedian had two early 2014 hits: one modest (About Last Night) and one a veritable smash (Ride Along). He’s his own bar for success.

Sony’s $12 million Think Like a Man opened in April 2012 to $33.6 million — a surprise only to some in the industry. Based on Steve Harvey’s popular self-help book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the Tim Story-directed comedy boasted an all-star cast including Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, and Taraji P. Henson and went on to gross $91.5 million domestically. A sequel was a no-brainer, and Story re-assembled most of his cast for this latest installment, which brings the couples to Las Vegas for a wedding and some hijinks.

The questions for the weekend are whether Hart’s increased visibility will help Too beat the first, how last weekend’s No. 1 pic 22 Jump Street might affect its debut, and where Clint Eastwood’s barely promoted jukebox musical Jersey Boys will factor into the mix.

Here’s how things might play out: READ FULL STORY

'How to Train Your Dragon 2': How Guillermo del Toro earned his post-credits 'Thank you' -- SPOILERS


Craig Ferguson owes Guillermo del Toro a very nice dinner.

The late-night host and the voice of How to Train Your Dragon‘s Gobber has never worked with the Pacific Rim director — though they’ve met on The Late Late Show — but he owes him his life. Or, more correctly, Gobber’s life. Click below for the story, if you don’t mind major Dragon 2 SPOILERS. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: '22 Jump Street' is the big winner; 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' solid #2

Neither the World Cup nor the Stanley Cup finals kept moviegoers out of the theater this weekend as a pair of box office newcomers both opened strong.

22 Jump Street was the big winner, grossing an estimated $60 million its opening frame—a massive 65% higher than the original’s $36.3 million in 2012. The bumbling cop duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum turned in the second-highest-grossing opening weekend for an R-rated comedy, ranking just below Hangover II ($85.9 million), but besting both Ted ($54 million) and Sex and the City ($57 million).

How to Train Your Dragon 2 brought the heat as well, with an estimated $50 million opener. That’s 14% above the original’s opening gross of $43.7 million from 2010. The well-reviewed film from Dreamworks also earned an A Cinemascore from audiences and should hang on well as families flock to the movies over the next couple of weeks.

In third place Maleficent only fell 45% despite the arrival of the dragons. The re-imagined fairy tale, which didn’t score too high with critics but resonated with moviegoers, now has a three-week cume of $163.5 million. It even topped last weekend’s two debuts, outgrossing the Tom Cruise-starrer Edge of Tomorrow, which lost only 44% of its traffic in its sophomore session, coming in at an estimated $16 million. (The film’s strong reviews have surely helped it hold its value.) That puts its two-week total at an estimated $56.6 million. Then there’s last weekend’s top earner, The Fault in Our Starswhich saw its ticket sales drop by 67%. It earned an estimated $15.7 million for a 10-day total of $81.7 million.

X-Men: Days of Future Past landed outside of the top five this weekend, yet with an additional $9.5 million, it surpassed the $200 million mark. Twentieth Century Fox is the big winner this weekend, with three of the six top movies belonging to the distributor.

In limited release the Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce-starrer The Rover performed strong, grossing $14,000 per theater for a $70,000 cume, proving that Pattinson is a draw outside the Twilight franchise. That said, the real test will come next weekend when distributor A24 expands the film nationwide.

Here is how your top five looks this weekend.

1. 22 Jump Street — $60 million

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — $50 million

3. Maleficient — $19 million

4. Edge of Tomorrow — $16 million

4. The Fault in Our Stars — $15.7 million

Despite this being only the fourth time the box office has had two films grossing more than $50 million in their debuts, the overall yield was down 7% compared to the same weekend last year, when Man of Steel had a $116.6M debut and This is the End bowed to $20.7M.

Yet the strength of these two openers (22 Jump Street also scored well with audiences, earning an A- Cinemascore) coupled with minimal drop-off from previous weeks’ releases has done a lot to keep the summer box office happy and healthy. The year-to-date total is up 3% from last year.

Check back next weekend when Think Like a Man Too and Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys debut.

'How to Train Your Dragon 2': Is Gobber really gay? -- SPOILERS

In the How to Train Your Dragon films, Craig Ferguson voices Gobber the Belch, Hiccup’s Viking mentor and a comic sidekick whose early belligerent encounters with dragons cost him an arm and a leg. Stomping around on his peg-leg and wielding a variety of interchangeable tools as arm prostheses, Gobber is more useful in the armory forging weapons than he is in the fight. But he’s brave and loyal and enjoys a place of distinction and respect in the community of Berk. So why hasn’t he married?

In the new sequel, which reunites Hiccup’s parents, Gobber lets slip that settling down with a good woman was never in the cards for him. As Hiccup’s father Stoick (Gerard Butler) has his first little quarrel with Hiccup’s mother Valka (Cate Blanchett), Gobber mutters, “This is why I never married. This and one other reason.”

When Dragon 2 premiered at Cannes last month, audiences raised an eyebrow at the remark. Had battling dragons cost Gobber an appendage even more important than his arm and leg? Or… is Gobber gay? READ FULL STORY

Box office update: '22 Jump Street' in early lead with a huge $25 million Friday

Two very strong sequels — 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 — are battling for a top spot at the weekend box office, but early indications put the bumbling cop comedy in the lead. Not surprisingly, the R-rated sequel starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum won the derby Friday night with estimates putting the film at $25 million for the day. Sony Pictures, who co-financed the film with MGM, is now predicting 22 Jump Street will gross $60 million for the weekend, putting it above other R-rated summer comedies like Ted ($54.4 million) and Sex in the City ($57 million.)

“This one feels really good,” says Sony’s distribution prez Rory Bruer of Jump Street when reached Saturday morning. “It’s our highest-tested R-rated comedy ever at our research screenings. Focus groups loved it — thought it was hilarious and funnier than the first. We’re going to end up being the second-highest R-rated comedy ever.”

Jump‘s numbers solidly beat out Dreamworks’ animated family film How to Train Your Dragon 2, which nabbed an estimated $18.5 million for the second slot Friday. But things could all turn around today, when families start mobilizing their troops to the dragon flick featuring voice talent from Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, and Gerard Butler.

Third place on Friday went to the three-hankie weeper The Fault in Our Stars, which continues its impressive run. The $12 million film based on the popular John Green novel nabbed an additional $6.4 million its second Friday in release, putting its total at $72.3 million.

Disney’s Maleficient is likely to take a tumble with so many young ones opting for Toothless the dragon in its opening weekend. But the reimagined Disney fairy tale starring Angelina Jolie earned an estimated $5.84 Friday, putting its gross at a solid $144.5 million.

Tom Cruise’s starring vehicle The Edge of Tomorrow is likely to suffer the worst in its second weekend. The film took in only $4.56 million on Friday, for a domestic total that now stands at $45 million.

Here’s the top 5:

1. 22 Jump Street — $25 million

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — $18.5 million

3. The Fault in Our Stars — $6.4 million

4. Maleficient — $5.8 million

5. The Edge of Tomorrow — $4.56 million

Check back Sunday morning for a more comprehensive report.

Box office preview: Sequel showdown

Here’s an interesting conundrum: This weekend we have two sequels opening wide — 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Both of the first films did well critically and at the box office, and both sequels are pretty much guaranteed a terrific debut and a healthy life thanks to the enormously positive reviews. They’re even tracking similarly, with analysts predicting openings in the $50 million to $60 million range.

But, in this box office horse race, there has to be a winner, even if in this case second place isn’t going to be bad. At all. We could be lame and call it a tie, but what would be the point of that?

Here’s how things might play out: READ FULL STORY

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