It was the calm before the Hunger Games storm this weekend at the box office, but that didn't stop people from going out to the movies. With three top-tier releases in theaters, people flocked to theaters. Universal's Dumb and Dumber To led the pack with a strong $38 million, which is quite an impressive debut. I was really low on the film, since I had already seen it and knew that it wasn't very good. However, the lesson here is that we should never underestimate comedies. There hasn't been a mainstream comedy in a very long time, so people dashed to see the sequel to the 1994 hit. But that doesn't mean people liked what they saw. The film received a "B-" Cinemascore, which means that this movie will fizzle rather quickly. Nonetheless, this was the best opening ever for The Farrelly Brothers and a very strong outing for Jim Carrey. As long as this film had a relatively low budget, it should be alright.
Disney's Big Hero 6 finished in second place this weekend, falling only 36% and pulling in another $36 million. The animated hit has now grossed $111.6 million, which is very impressive. It's pacing ahead of both Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled at this point. All in all, this film should make as much as $200 million and will be one of the biggest hits of the season.
Interstellar also had a fantastic hold, grabbing $29.1 million in third place. The divisive space opera fell only 39% this weekend, which is very impressive. This film has generated a lot of discussion and I'm not surprised to see that it held well. So far, Interstellar has grossed $97.8 million domestically and its worldwide total is over $230 million. That's fantastic for an original sci-fi film. Look for Interstellar to keep going strong throughout the rest of the month.
The other new wide release this weekend was Relativity's musical drama Beyond the Lights. The film snagged $6.5 million in just under 1,800 theaters. Not awful, but I'm sure the studio had hoped for better. However, the film received an "A" Cinemascore, which indicates stellar word of mouth. This film should finish with around $20 million. Gone Girl finished in fifth place with $4.6 million. The dark psychological thriller is nearing the end of its run and has made $152.6 million so far. Pretty spectacular for a violent adult drama.
In sixth place was St. Vincent with $4 million. The light family dramedy has made $33.2 million thus far, which is very good. The Bill Murray-starred film has connected with audiences and will probably finish with around $45 million. Fury finished in seventh place this weekend with $3.8 million. The violent war dram has now made $75.9 million domestically and is currently sitting at a worldwide total of $127.4 million. With a $68 million budget, not to mention marketing and distribution, this film may have a hard time breaking even.
In the limited release world, Rosewater led the pack with $1.2 million. The Jon Stewart-directed film opened in only 371 theaters and should expand in the coming weeks. Foxcatcher made $288,000 in six theaters, for a per theater average of $48,000. The film will have a very slow rollout over the next few weeks. And finally, Tommy Lee Jones' The Homesman grossed $48,000 in only 4 theaters.
Next weekend sees the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1. Here are my predictions:
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1- $150 million
2. Big Hero 6- $26 million
3. Interstellar- $21 million
4. Dumb and Dumber To- $15.7 million
5. Beyond the Lights- $4.9 million
6. Gone Girl- $3.4 million
7. St. Vincent- $3 million
8. Fury- $2.7 million
9. Birdman- $2.5 million
10. Nightcrawler- $1.9 million
Image Credits: Huffington Post, Movie Pilot, Mashable, Flickering Myth