Studio heads likely celebrated; it was a healthy box-office all around this second weekend of November, and the top three films took in a collective $103 million alone. Despite reuniting Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels and directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly twenty years after the fact, Universal’s “Dumb & Dumber To” took the weekend slot with an impressive $38 million; much higher than most original estimates that pegged the film for around a $25 million opening. And the number is a huge increase from the $16.3 million “Dumber & Dumber” grossed its opening weekend in 1994 (adjusted for inflation that’s about $31 million). Impressively, 47% of the audience was under the age of 25, which was a surprise since many thought this was a comedy that skewed much older to the nostalgics (which is probably why it was underestimated in the first place). Will this mean Paramount will dust off the long-delayed “Zoolander 2” sequel? Or are they still cautious after the middling performance of “Anchorman 2”? Time will tell if nostalgic comedy sequels are still in vogue and if ‘To’ has legs.
"Big Hero 6" had another terrific weekend, falling only 35.9% and scoring an extremely impressive $36 million second-week gross. The movie has grossed $111.6 million in two weeks, which means Disney is likely about to announce a sequel any minute now. It’s incredible how this film had much less heat than Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” but caught on like wildfire nonetheless. Speaking of Nolan’s Paramount sci-fi mindbender, it failed to debut at #1 last weekend and put up opening stats that seemed to underperform compared to some of the director’s previous movies, even non-super-hero ones. But neither Paramount nor Warner Bros. (who is distributing overseas) are worried, because “Interstellar” is putting up fabulous numbers, especially internationally. At home “Interstellar” only fell 38.6% and the movie is now just shy of $100 million in its second week (if the past Monday-Thursday grosses for the film are any indication, it should cross that mark by Tuesday).
While “Interstellar” is not quite doing the business of past Christopher Nolan films, the sci-fi drama had added another $18 million to its tally between last Monday and Friday, that’s opening weekend numbers for some films. Internationally, the film is playing like gangbusters and the movie opened to a massive $42 million in China alone in five days. That’s WB’s biggest China opening outside of “Pacific Rim.” In total, the movie added another $100 million this weekend from overseas box-office receipts and it has reached a stellar $321 million worldwide in two weeks. At this rate, “Interstellar” should easily be able to clear $400 million from overseas grosses for a total that could veer close to $700 million worldwide (which would still be far below the $825 million “Inception” grossed in 2009, but that’s Leonardo DiCaprio worldwide clout for you). Internationally, “Interstellar" is tracking 13% ahead of “Inception” right now and 6% ahead of “Gravity.” Domestically, “Interstellar” will be another story. “Inception” did almost $300 million, and Nolan’s latest should probably land near $200 million.
Relativity‘s urban modernization of "The Bodyguard," “Beyond The Lights” was met with surprisingly glowing reviews by critics — at least those who had a chance to see it. The company’s strategy was to barely screen the film for critics, but that plan seemed to backfire, because strong word of mouth could have helped. On 1789 screens, the movie could not even crack $7 million in its opening weekend, which is a bit unfortunate because by all accounts it’s very good and stars two very excellent and underrated African-American actors: Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker. 20th Century Fox’s “Gone Girl” still hasn’t fallen outside the top 5 after seven weeks of release, and the movie only dropped 25.5% this weekend. That’s an outstanding hold. If someone (who is not me) does the collective math, I’m sure “Gone Girl” will boast some of the stickiest numbers of the year in terms of its week over week drops. It is far and away David Fincher’s highest grossing film in North America ever ($152 million) and is about two or three weeks out from becoming the filmmaker’s highest grossing film ever worldwide (currently it stands at $318 million).
The rest of the top 10 held up well too. Weinstein Co.’s "St. Vincent," Sony‘s "Fury," Open Road‘s "Nightcrawler" and Uni’s "Ouija" all fell less than 50%. "St. Vincent" still had the best hold with only a 25% drop and its $33 million gross bodes well for a long run that can last up until awards season where it’s almost guaranteed at least some Golden Globe nominations. In limited release, Fox Searchlight’s slow roll out release for “Birdman” is picture-perfect platforming. The film cracked the top 10 this weekend, grossed $2.4 million, and it’s in its fifth week of release. But “Birdman” is still on 857 screens, so as it slowly goes wide, word of mouth and anticipation seems like it will only build and build. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s picture has grossed over $11 million so far, which is fantastic considering it hasn’t been in over 1,000 theaters yet. As the Oscar hopeful drums its way up to award season, its long tail game should work both financially and with voters of many different kinds of awards guilds.
The specialty market was jam-packed this weekend with a flood of new releases from Sony Pictures Classics‘ "Foxcatcher," to Open Road’s "Rosewater" and Roadside Attractions‘ "The Homesman." On 371 screens, Jon Stewart‘s "Rosewater" opened to $1.2 million for an OK $3,235 per screen average. But the highest per screen average went to “Foxcatcher.” It grossed $288,113 from 6 screens for a very excellent $48,000 per screen average, which was even higher than last week’s superb limited opening for “The Theory Of Everything,” making for the fifth highest per screen average opening of 2014. Speaking of Focus Features, Oscar contender ‘Theory’ also performed splendidly in its second week of release. The film added 36 theaters and grossed $738,000 — an increase of 253.5% from last weekend, with a strong second week PSA of $18k. It seems like Focus and SPC will follow the same slow roll outs of “Birdman” and “St. Vincent,” and why not? These campaigns are absolutely working. Expect all of these films to be part of the Oscar conversation come nominations time. Tommy Lee Jones’ “The Homesman” took in $48,000 from 4 theaters and that $12,000 PSA is definitely solid.
1 Dumb and Dumber To — $38,053,000
2 Big Hero 6 — $36,010,000 ($111.6M)
3. Interstellar — $29,190,000 ($97.8M)
4. Beyond The Lights — $6,500,000
5. Gone Girl — $4,625,000 ($152M)
6. St. Vincent — $4,025,000 ($33.2M)
7. Fury — $3,810,000 ($68.5M)
8. Nightcrawler — $3,038,000 ($25M
9. Ouija — $3,025,000 ($48.1M)
10. Birdman — $2,450,000 ($11.5M)