Weekend Box Office (November 14 - 16, 2014)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND 20 years after the release of the original, the Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels sequel Dumb and Dumber To ruled the box office while last weekend's biggest hits had small falls. The rest of the box office was mediocre at best.
1994 was the year of Jim Carrey. While he had appeared in a handful of films previous to '94, it was the launch of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective in February to a surprise #1 opening that really made the world sit up and take notice. He quickly followed that up with The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, both of which also opened at number one. There aren't a lot of actors who can say they opened three films in a calendar year at the top of the charts. Fast forward 20 years and here we are in 2014 and once again Carrey (with Daniels) has taken pole position with Dumb and Dumber To which opened this weekend to an estimated $38M from 3,152 theaters for a per screen average of $12,073. It's Carrey's biggest live-action opening since 2003's Bruce Almighty which opened to $68M on its way to a final total of $243M, Carrey's second biggest hit of all-time. A mediocre B- Cinemascore won't help its overall box office prospects, but it's a strong opening from a former comedy champ. Carrey spent many years making smaller, more dramatic films chasing that elusive Oscar nomination, but I'm hoping he's finally decided to make sequels to all of his former hits and we'll get to see that zoot suit loving Stanley Ipkiss one more time.
Strong matinee sales made this a close race for first with last weekend's champ, the Disney animated Big Hero 6 holding up well in its second weekend, falling 36% to an estimated $36M, bringing its total to a robust $111.6M after only 10 days. There are a couple of films aimed towards kids coming out over the next few weeks with Penguins of Madagascar, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie, but none of them are currently generating any significant buzz, which means Big Hero 6 could end up with a final gross in the $250M range. The acquisition of Pixar not only gave Disney the premiere animation studio in the world, it also revitalized Disney's own animated division with last year's Frozen conquering the world and now Big Hero 6 performing strongly.
After leading most of the mid-week, Paramount's Interstellar settled for third place this weekend, falling a slim 38.6% to an estimated $29.2M, bringing its cume to $97.8M after 10 days. The hold is smaller than your typical sci-fi film, so while it's not playing out like last year's big sci-fi extravaganza, Gravity (which opened stronger and had a better second weekend hold) Interstellar is holding up better than other sci-fi films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes which opened to $54M this summer but fell nearly 50% in its second weekend. Interstellar seems to be playing out more like an adult drama than a sci-fi film, which can only help its long-term prospects. A final total in the $200M range is definitely doable, though next weekend's lurking behemoth The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 may have something to say about it.
Opening in fourth place was the Relativity romantic drama, Beyond the Lights which stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Danny Glover, and Minnie Driver. The film generated $6.5M this weekend, according to estimates, from 1,789 theaters for a per screen average of $3,633. Reviews were generally pretty positive, and an A Cinemascore shows the audiences liked what they saw. It should find a much wider audience on home video in the upcoming months.
Fifth place belonged to the long-running Gone Girl which brought in an estimated $4.6M in its seventh weekend, a drop of only 25%, bringing its total to $153.7M. Typically if an original film does this well you'd see a sequel rushed into production, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not likely to happen with this one. But can you imagine the story author Gillian Flynn would have to come up with to top the original?
Also falling a slim 25% was Bill Murray and company's St. Vincent which landed in sixth place as the Oscar-hopeful took in another $4M, according to estimates, bringing its total to $33M after six weeks. Seventh place went to the war drama Fury which made an estimated $3.8M this weekend, bringing its total to a solid $75M after five weeks.
Jake Gyllenhaal's Nightcrawler fell 43% and brought in an estimated $3M this weekend for an eighth place finish, bringing its total to $25M. Horror film Ouija fell 48.5% to $3M as well, bringing its total to $48M after a month. And rounding out the top 10 was art house darling Birdman which added nearly 400 screens and went up 6% from last weekend, bringing in an estimated $2.45M this weekend for a current total of $11.5M with many award nominations to come, which should help its final totals.
A couple of Oscar hopefuls opened in limited release this weekend with opposite results. The heavily-promoted Jon Stewart directed Rosewater opened on 371 screens to an estimated $1.2M for a per screen average of only $3,235. With the nearly non-stop press over the last couple of weeks, and his own show on Comedy Central, you would have thought this opening would have been much stronger. On the other end of the spectrum was Steve Carell's Foxcatcher which took in an estimated $288K from only 6 theaters for a per screen average of a sizzling $48,000. Reviews for both films were generally positive.
The top ten films grossed $130.7M which was up 13% from last year when Thor: The Dark World remained at #1 for a second weekend with $36.6M; and down 45.6% from 2012 when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 had a gargantuan $141M opening, which was the 8th biggest opening ever at the time.
Compared to projections, Dumb and Dumber To surged ahead of Gitesh's $28M projection while Beyond the Lights came in a little under his $9M prediction.
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|#||Title||Nov 14 - 16||Nov 7 - 9||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Dumb and Dumber To||$ 36,111,775||3,154||1||$ 11,450||$ 36,111,775||Universal|
|2||Big Hero 6||34,662,707||56,215,889||-38.3||3,773||2||9,187||110,306,598||Disney|
|4||Beyond the Lights||6,200,284||1,789||1||3,466||6,200,284||Relativity|
|6||St. Vincent||3,768,670||5,405,967||-30.3||2,332||6||1,616||33,001,354||Weinstein Co.|
|12||Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible...||1,614,223||3,539,920||-54.4||1,633||6||989||62,392,236||Disney|
|14||The Judge||1,053,266||1,759,172||-40.1||803||6||1,312||44,378,146||Warner Bros.|
|16||The Book of Life||963,947||2,754,003||-65.0||1,006||5||958||47,352,516||Fox|
|17||The Theory of Everything||735,398||208,763||252.3||41||2||17,937||1,030,870||Focus|
|19||The Best of Me||692,600||1,402,036||-50.6||722||5||959||25,740,344||Relativity|
|20||The Maze Runner||632,918||1,236,615||-48.8||524||9||1,208||100,062,313||Fox|
|Top 5||$ 109,843,824||$ 121,432,288||-9.5|
|Top 20 vs. 2013||136,511,522||124,008,330||10.1|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: November 16, 2014 at 3:00PM ET
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