Friday Box Office: INTERSTELLAR Leads BIG HERO 6 at Start of Competitive Weekend

     November 8, 2014

interstellar-poster

2014’s holiday movie season has officially arrived, and with it two of the year’s most-anticipated titles.  Interstellar, director Christopher Nolan’s first release since The Dark Knight Rises, took first place on Friday with an estimated $17 million from 3,561 locations.  That gives the film, which bowed in 370 IMAX locations and 249 traditional theatres on Wednesday, a domestic total of $19.1 million.  For its first weekend, Interstellar should earn close to $55 million, which is on par with both studio projections and the 2013 debut of Gravity.  But while impressive, it probably won’t be enough to secure Interstellar the weekend win.  That honor will belong to Disney’s Big Hero 6.  Based on the Marvel comic series, the animated feature earned an estimated $15.8 million from 3,561 locations on Friday and should wind up with at least $60 million on its opening weekend.

Friday’s top five after the jump

big-hero-6-baymax-posterOne week ago, it looked like Interstellar would have the edge over Big Hero 6 – at least over their first weekend.  Like Gravity, Interstellar has been marketed as a big screen ‘event’ – the kind that you need to watch on a big screen (hopefully the higher-priced IMAX format) to enjoy.  The fact that Inception, Christopher Nolan’s last original release, proved to be exactly that type of event helped push expectations for Interstellar as high as $75 million.  But reaching that figure depended on Big Hero 6 starting off slow, and that didn’t happen.

If Big Hero 6 ends up replacing Interstellar at the top of the box office this weekend it will mark the sixth time this year that a movie that opened in first place on Friday did not go on to win the weekend.  But no matter who winds up on top, the big winner is the domestic box office, which hasn’t had two film’s open above $50 million since Monsters University and World War Z debuted  more than a year ago.  The June weekend that hosted 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 came close, but the disappointing $49.4 million of the latter ultimately held the frame back.

We’ll have complete box office details and this weekend’s top ten tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Interstellar $17,000,000 $19.1
2.  Big Hero Six $15,830,000 $15.8
3.  Ouija $1,900,000 $39.3
4.  Gone Girl $1,860,000 $141.2
5.  Nightcrawler $1,695,000 $15.9
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