Universal's How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World debuted atop the North American box office, taking in $55 million (Sh5.5 billion), industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said Monday.
The animated film ended the weekend ahead of the two earlier instalments in the "Train Your Dragon" series -- neither of which hit $50 million (Sh5 billion) -- making it the top domestic opener of the year, according to Variety magazine.
Voiced by Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett and F. Murray Abraham, the new instalment tells the story of young Hiccup and his dragon Toothless, as a surging dragon population forces them to seek a "Hidden World" supposed to be a utopia for the winged creatures.
Last weekend's box office leader, Fox's Alita: Battle Angel, clung to the second spot but only after dropping sharply to take in just $12.3 million (Sh1.2 billion). The sci-fi fantasy stars Rosa Salazar as a cyborg who has lost her memory.
In third was The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part from Warner Bros., which took $9.7 million (Sh970 million). The animated story of love and chaos in an apocalyptic toyland features the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett.
MGM's Fighting With My Family placed fourth at $7.8 million (Sh780 million). The semi-serious wrestling comedy stars Florence Pugh as a young woman struggling, along with her family, to make it big in the pro-wrestling world. Dwayne Johnson as The Rock encourages her on her quest.
Fifth place went to Isn't It Romantic from Warner Bros., which did $7.1 million (Sh710 million). It stars Rebel Wilson as a rom-com hating New Yorker who, after suffering a blow to the head, finds herself living in her own romantic comedy.
Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:
What Men Want ($5.2 million)
Happy Death Day 2U ($4.9 million)
Cold Pursuit ($3.2 million)
The Upside ($3.2 million)
Run the Race ($2.2 million)