B.O. Roundup, November 7-9: 'Big Hero 6' Warps Past 'Interstellar' for First Place

Sunday, 09 November 2014 11:49 Written by  iamrogue
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B.O. Roundup, November 7-9: 'Big Hero 6' Warps Past 'Interstellar' for First Place

Two big-budget science fiction adventures duked it out for the top spot at the box office this weekend.

Disney's Big Hero 6 emerged victorious, pinning the "Number One Movie in America" ribbon to its lapel, while Christopher Nolan's anticipated Interstellar lived up to expectations but had to settle for that silver ribbon.

The latest from Disney Animation Studios, Big Hero 6 is inspired by an obscure Marvel comic, but it marketing has focused on its Disney pedigree, not its comic book origins.  That makes sense, since Disney is coming off of last year's Frozen, the biggest global animated movie of all time.  The fact that the animation landscape has been pretty desolate since Planes: Fire & Rescue back in July probably helped stoke the commercial fires of Big Hero 6.

The film, which pairs a young robotics prodigy with a guileless medical robot as they found a superhero team, opened in 3,761 theaters this weekend and earned an estimated $56.2 million for first place.

That's well ahead of the $49 million debut of Wreck-It Ralph in 2012 but not quite up to Frozen's $67.3 million opening frame last year. 

Interstellar, meanwhile, began rolling out on IMAX screens and in theaters capable of projecting on film last week with screenings starting Tuesday night.  That consisted of 240 screens, from which Nolan's space epic raked in $2.1 million.  When Interstellar then opened wide in 3,561 locations this weekend, from which the movie racked up $50.0 million, according to current estimates.

$13.4 million of that figure was from 368 IMAX screens, the largest percentage ever for a first-run release, surpassing 2012's Skyfall.

It's Nolan's first movie not to open in first place since Insomnia in 2002.  That includes his Dark Knight movies and his last original tale, Inception, which debuted to the tune of $62.7 million back in the summer of 2010, when it faced less competition than Interstellar.

Both Interstellar and Big Hero 6 are, ultimately, hopeful tales of science, and both secured overall solid reviews.  Critics were kinder to the latter, but don't go crediting Big Hero 6's superior reviews for its more robust performance at the box office.  Instead, it was the family crowd that allowed the warmer, fuzzier movie to dominate commercially.  70% of Big Hero 6 attendees were family, and 58% were 25 years old or younger.  75% of Interstellar's audience, by contrast, consisted of folks over 25.

This actually marks only the fourth time in box office history that two movies have opened with over $50 million.  It happened once in the summer of 2013, when Monsters University and World War Z raked it in, and it happened once in the summer of 2012 thanks to Madagascar: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus dropped.  And there was the time in 2008, when Wanted and Wall-E faced off.

Check out the top ten movies in North America:

1. Big Hero 6...................................................................$56.2 million...............New Release

2. Interstellar..................................................................$50.0 million...............$52.1 million

3. Gone Girl.....................................................................$6.1 million.................$145.4 million

4. Ouija............................................................................$6.0 million.................$43.4 million

5. St. Vincent...................................................................$5.7 million.................$27.3 million

6. Nightcrawler................................................................$5.5 million.................$19.7 million

7. Fury..............................................................................$5.5 million.................$69.2 million

8. John Wick....................................................................$4.0 million.................$37.4 million

9. Alexander and the Terrible.........................................$3.4 million.................$59.2 million

10. The Book of Life........................................................$2.8 million.................$45.2 million

Friday, November 14th sees the addition of two new heavy hitters to the box office fray, with Relativity Media's acclaimed Beyond the Lights opening nationwide and comedy sequel Dumb & Dumber To also debuting.


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