You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Big Hero 6’ Eye Record-Breaking Weekend

Interstellar” and “Big Hero 6” collide at the multiplexes this weekend, igniting one of the fiercest box office battles of the year.

Both films are eyeing debuts in the $55 million range, with “Big Hero 6” maintaining a slight advantage. Some analysts expect that the animated Walt Disney release will hit or even pass $60 million in domestic receipts.

“It’s finally a weekend to be excited about for moviegoers,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There hasn’t been this much fervor about going to the movies since ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ opened.”

If projections hold, it will be only the fourth time in history that two films have opened to north of $50 million on the same weekend. In each case, the films have opened in the summer and the two pictures have been a live action film and an animated one. The family friendly productions always ultimately prevailed. The most recent example was 2013’s match-up between “World War Z” and “Monster’s University.”

The competition should galvanize the fall box office, trumping the same period last year when “Thor: The Dark World” opened to $85.7 million.

Interstellar,” director Christopher Nolan’s meditation on wormholes, ecological disaster and the enduring appeal of Matthew McConaughey’s surfer-bro cadence, is getting an early jump on the weekend by opening in late-night screenings Tuesday. By the weekend it will be in 3,500 locations, 369 of which are Imax. Audiences will also be able to see the picture on film stock instead of digital projection in 250 film locations and 42 Imax locations.

Fanboys transformed Nolan from an indie favorite into an above-the-title brand after the success of “The Dark Knight” trilogy and “Inception,” and should turn out in force for his latest big screen epic. The thing that could clip “Interstellar’s” wings is an ongoing critical debate that’s erupted. Some reviewers, such as Variety’s Scott Foundas have hailed the film as a visual marvel, while others such as the New Yorker’s David Denby, found it ponderous and long-winded.

“It probably won’t hurt mid-week sales, but it foreshadows that the word-of-mouth is going to be mixed,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com “It indicates this is artsier and more out there than maybe people expected.”

Paramount Pictures is distributing the $165 million production Stateside, with Warner Bros. handling the foreign rollout. “Interstellar” will debut simultaneously around the world, with a few exceptions. It premieres in China on Nov. 12, Japan on Nov. 22 and Venezuela on Dec. 5.

Despite cinephiles’ excitement for “Interstellar,” “Big Hero 6” will be able to shine because it caters to a different, younger demographic. Loosely based on a Marvel Comics series of the same name, the film follows a science prodigy and his lovable robot as they stumble upon a criminal conspiracy. Co-directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”) the film’s voice cast features Scott Adsit, Damon Wayans Jr. and Maya Rudolph.

It debuts in 3,761 theaters and, like “Interstellar,” carries a production budget of $165 million.

Overseas, the film got a jump on its U.S. debut by opening in Russia last week. It picked up $10.3 million, while taking advantage of school holidays in the country. The film’s setting — a mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo — should help boost its overseas appeal. The going will be slow, however. “Big Hero 6” will begin to hit foreign territories in earnest in December and will continue debuting internationally into 2015.

After being obscured by the success of Pixar for the better part of a decade, Walt Disney Animation has reemerged, putting together an impressive series of hits such as “Frozen” and “Wreck It Ralph.” “Big Hero 6” should be another entry in the win column.

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at the The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content