“How to Train Your Dragon” Sizzles, Tops Box Office

DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” surged to the top of this weekend’s box office, ending the three-week reign of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.” However, the $43.3-million earnings of “How to Train Your Dragon” was well below the $59.3-million haul of DreamWorks’ “Monsters vs. Aliens,” which also ruled the box office over the same period last year.

“Alice” continued to get a significant share of ticket sales, increasing its domestic earnings to $293.1 million with $17.3 million this week, good enough for second place. John Cusack’s 1980’s comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” failed to generate enough heat, landing in third spot with a less-than-stellar $13.7 million.

“Dragon,” which plays in 3-D in most theaters, is the third 3-D film to top the box office this year, following “Avatar” and “Alice.” A 3-D movie has now topped the box office nine out of 13 weeks this year. “Dear John,” “Valentines Day,” and “Shutter Island” are the only none-3-D films to win the box-office battle this year. The 3-D trend is expected to hold strong at least until the coming weekend as the much-awaited “Clash of the Titans” is due to open this week.