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Box Office: ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Laughing Its Way to $40 Million Weekend

Harry and Lloyd are back. According to early estimates, Universal’s “Dumb and Dumber To” is heading for a solid opening weekend of $36 million to $40 million at the U.S. box office.

The PG-13 sequel, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, charged out of the gate Friday in a dominant position with forecasts between $13 million and $16 million for the day.

Universal’s comedy is playing at 3,154 locations.

The Farrelly brothers’ “Dumb and Dumber” sequel, replete with gross-out gags, is turning out to be review-proof as moviegoers ignored its 27 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The original “Dumb and Dumber” opened 20 years ago with a $16 million weekend and went on to finish with $127 million in the U.S.

Universal is launching “Dumb and Dumber To” amid an extensive promo campaign into a marketplace that hasn’t seen a wide-release comedy aimed at adults open since Fox launched “Let’s Be Cops,” which has grossed $82 million, in mid-August.

Friday’s launch of “Dumb and Dumber To” — including $1.6 million from Thursday night — left Disney’s “Big Hero 6” and Paramount’s “Interstellar” in the dust on Friday. But both tentpoles looked likely to wind up the weekend impressively with declines of less than 40 percent.

“Hero” was on track to take in $8 million on Friday, then double that figure on Saturday and finish the weekend at about $34 million. That would give the Disney toon a 10-day total of about $110 million.

The second weekend of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” was heading for an $8.5 million Friday and a $29 million weekend — leaving the space epic with nearly $98 million in its first dozen days.

On the foreign front, “Interstellar” took in $14.1 million on Thursday to boost its international cume to $135.5 million — with Warner Bros. noting that the total is on par with “Inception” and “Gravity” at the same point in time of release.

“Interstellar” saw $10.4 million in its first two days in China, 10 percent ahead of “Gravity.” Korea is the leader with $22.5 million, followed by the U.K. with $13.3 million.

Relativity’s launch of romancer “Beyond the Lights” at 1,789 locations failed to strike many sparks with Friday estimates at under $2 million for an opening weekend in the $5 million range.

The production budget is only $7 million, however, so “Lights” probably will break even.

Fox’s seventh weekend of “Gone Girl” will probably battle “Beyond the Lights” for fourth place, finishing somewhere around $4.6 million. The Ben Affleck-Rosamund Pike vehicle will finish the weekend at about $152 million, making it the 13th highest domestic grosser of 2014.

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