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Weekend Wrap-Up

Nerds Unite! Big Hero 6, Interstellar Take Off

By John Hamann

November 9, 2014

I think Baymax takes a size 3XL in that.

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For both Big Hero 6 and for Interstellar, their success will not be noted by their opening weekends. Normally, studios wouldn’t release two $165 million films over the same weekend. The release strategy is all about the holiday season, and tapping into that wave that Frozen and Gravity found last year. Those two films are the imprint for this year’s two films, and both Big Hero 6 and Interstellar should be able to play with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 when it opens on November 21st. Also at play is the overseas gross, with Interstellar happening right away (it has already earned $80 million from international locations), while Big Hero 6 rolls out over the next few months.

The rest of the top ten is a bit of a joke compared to the top two, with the third to seventh spots within a million of each other. Currently, Gone Girl is third and is still holding brilliantly despite being in its sixth weekend. The Ben Affleck thriller earned another $6.1 million this weekend, dropping only 28% from the Halloween deflated frame last weekend. Gone Girl has now surpassed Good Will Hunting to become Affleck’s third biggest film of his career and has a total so far of $145.4 million. Additionally, the overseas amount has now surpassed the domestic take, which means Fox is reaping a strong profit from its $61 million feature. It should remain a top ten film until December.

Ouija is fourth, and it holds better than it has any right to. The 8% fresh Ouija earned another $6 million this weekend, dropping 44% compared to last weekend’s number one finish. The $5 million, PG-13 rated "horror" release has now pulled in $43.5 million and has earned about $13 million overseas.

St. Vincent is fifth and also continues to see decent legs. The Bill Murray dramedy pulled in another $5.7 million, dropping 21% compared to last weekend. Made for $13 million and distributed by The Weinstein Company, this smaller film now has a gross of $27.4 million.

That puts Nightcrawler down to sixth despite the fact that it finished only $300,000 away from first place last weekend. The dark crime drama that was destined to struggle to find an audience earned only $5.5 million in its second weekend and was off 47% from its opening frame. This only further shows what a good move Open Road Films made by opening Nightcrawler on Halloween. Made for $8.5 million, Nightcrawler has a domestic total of $19.8 million, as well as another $2 million from overseas.

Fury is seventh, as it earned another $5.5 million this weekend, dropping 38%. The $68 million Sony feature is a slight disappointment on the domestic side, as it has tallied $69.3 million after four weekends. It has also earned about $55 million overseas, but is going to need another $75-100 million worldwide in order to see a profit after marketing costs are thrown in.




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Eighth is John Wick, the Keanu Reeves’ revenge thriller. It earned $4.1 million and fell 49% from the previous frame. Made for $20 million, the Lionsgate release has now picked up $34.7 million stateside and $8 million from overseas cinemas.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is ninth, earning $3.5 million. Kneecapped by Big Hero 6, Alexander declined 47% and has a cumulative total of $59.2 million against a $28 million budget. Also decimated by the newcomer is Book of Life, which finishes in 10th. The Fox animated musical earned $2.8 million and dropped 66%. The $50 million Fox feature has earned $45.2 million stateside, and is approaching $35 million away from North America.

Birdman added 231 screens this weekend to pull its slow build total up to 462, and ends up barely losing a step compared to last weekend. The Michael Keaton Oscar chaser earned another $2.3 million this weekend and fell a tiny 4%. Birdman has now earned $8.1 million and has yet to earn wide release status.

In limited release, The Theory of Everything got started on five screens. The film about Stephen Hawking did $207,000 on those five screens, giving it a strong venue average of $41,400. The Focus Features release will do the slow build as November continues, but this is a strong start.

Overall, the box office was strong, but had to compete with the same weekend last year when Thor: The Dark World opened to $85.7 million. During the same weekend in 2013, five films earned more than $10 million, leading the top 12 to $160.3 million. This weekend, even with a very powerful top two, the top 12 earned $149.5 million. Next weekend brings the lowbrow and the highbrow, as Dumb and Dumber To opens in wide release along with Beyond the Lights. In limited release, Jon Stewart’s Rosewater debuts, along with the Steve Carell/Channing Tatum flick Foxcatcher and The Homesman with Tommy Lee Jones.


Top Ten for Weekend of
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated Gross
Weekly Change
Running Total
1 Big Hero 6 Walt Disney 56.2 New 56.2
2 Interstellar Paramount 50.0 New 52.2
3 Gone Girl 20th Century Fox 6.1 -28% 145.4
4 Ouija Universal 6.0 -44% 43.5
5 St. Vincent Weinstein Co. 5.7 -21% 27.4
6 Nightcrawler Open Road 5.5 -47% 19.8
7 Fury Sony 5.5 -38% 69.3
8 John Wick Lionsgate 4.1 -49% 34.7
9 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Walt Disney 3.5 -47% 59.2
10 The Book of Life 20th Century Fox 2.8 -66% 45.2
11 Birdman Fox Searchlight 2.3 -4% 8.1
12 The Judge Warner Bros. 1.3 -47% 42,6

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