Madea’s Last Ride Can’t Slay the “Dragon”


March 1-3, 2019

(estimates from


How to Train Your Dragon:
The Hidden World 
$30.0 million
A Madea Family Funeral $27.0 million
Alita: Battle Angel $7.0 million
The LEGO Movie 2 $6.6 million
Green Book $4.7 million

Even the final screen appearance of Tyler Perry's iconic Madea couldn't unseat the final chapter of the How to Train Your Dragon saga from the top spot. The animated sequel remained in first place with an estimated $30 million. It's now a little further along than either of its predecessors were in its second weekend. (It's also a bit of revenge, since Why Did I Get Married Too? dropped the original down into third place back in 2010.)

A Madea Family Funeral debuted with $27 million. That's just a notch below what Boo! A Madea Halloween opened with in 2016. It's definitely on the high end of first weekends for the character, but well below her heyday in the late 2000s, when $30 or even $41 million was in play. Perry's character is probably overdue for retirement, but it will be interesting to see what he does next, especially since pairing him with Tiffany Haddish should have been a slam dunk, but Nobody's Fool came and went last year.

Alita: Battle Angel and The LEGO Movie 2 fell further, both struggling to make a big impact on the box office, at least domestically. The former has crossed $350 million worldwide, while the latter is barely over $150 million worldwide. Green Book took advantage of its Best Picture win to enter the Top 5 for the first time. It's now made $75 million, but is likely to be like seven of the other winners this decade and gross less than $100 million.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Climax, Gaspar Noé's insane dance/drug flick. It averaged $24,331 on its five screens. That's the director's best debut ever. His next challenge: Getting a movie to more than $1 million worldwide.
  • Greta couldn't scare up much of an audience. The Chloe Moretz/Isabelle Huppert thriller only managed $4.5 million, good for eighth place.
  • Apollo 11, the documentary of the first moon landing, did great business in IMAX. It made $1.6 million on 120 screens. Next week, it will be in regular theaters. Do not miss this one in theaters, folks.

Next week:

Captain Marvel is here to save and/or destroy the MCU, depending on your viewpoint. Despite what trolls are predicting, this will have another massive debut. Still, I'm going to be a little conservative in my estimates and only go with $120 million for the first weekend. All other movies are getting out of the way – with Us even delaying a week to March 22 – so this will have plenty of time to eat up all the dollars and get audiences primed for Avengers: Endgame.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.