While that number is good for a cerebral, nearly three-hour film with mixed reviews, it is still somewhat disappointing that it debuted about 20% lower than another heady sci-fi flick from the director, 2010’s Inception. Although Nolan has a big fan following, the film did not generate as much excitement with general audiences as some of the director’s other hits. Its opening weekend was less than a third of the initial takes of his latter two Dark Knight films. Interstellar‘s B+ CinemaScore is also the same as Inception‘s, yet word-of-mouth seems more muted than the 2010 film. At this point, it would be surprising if Interstellar got to $175 million at the North American box office.
On the other hand, the film had a breathtaking debut in IMAX, taking in a whopping $13.4 million (or 27% of its opening weekend) from the big-screen format. Due to not losing those screens over the next month, the film could be in for smaller drops than expected for the sci-fi genre, as audiences continue to pack the $20-per-ticket IMAX auditoriums.
As estimates hold, this is the fourth weekend in box office history where two films opened to more than $50 million. In all prior instances, the animated film (Monsters University, Madagascar 3, Wall-E) triumphed over the action thriller (World War Z, Prometheus, Wanted). However, the estimates are a bit deceiving: Interstellar is predicted to drop only 21% from Saturday to Sunday, which would be a miraculous achievement. However, that seems very low – especially with football on Sunday drawing a lot of eyeballs. Gravity dropped 34% on its Sunday, which seems more likely for Interstellar. A final opening weekend will probably be at around $48 million or so.
With so much attention given to Big Hero 6 and Interstellar, the race for the bronze position was very close, with only $600,000 separating the third-place film from the seventh-place title. (Positions could change when actual numbers come out on Monday.)
As estimates hold, Gone Girl continued its excellent run, dropping just 28% to earn another $6.1 million in its sixth weekend. With a $145.3 million tally, a finish with nearly $160 million seems like a good bet. Ouija, meanwhile, continued its better-than-average run for a critically drubbed film in the horror genre, dipping 44% to earn $6 million. The PG-13 flick could earn $50 million in North American – or ten times its production budget. Jumping into the top five for the first time with $5.7 million was the Bill Murray comedy St. Vincent. Exceptional word-of-mouth has kept this title going strong among adults, and it should finish its run with around $40 million, or more than five times its wide-release opening.
In limited release, the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything had a dazzling debut, earning $207,000 from only five theaters. The Oscar hopeful should continue to expand throughout the month.
Here are the numbers for the Top 10 films at the North American box office for the weekend of November 7 through 9, 2014:
1. Big Hero 6 – $56.2 million (NEW)
2. Interstellar – $50 million (NEW)
3. Gone Girl – $6.1 million ($145.4 million total)
4. Ouija – $6 million ($43.5 million total)
5. St. Vincent – $5.7 million ($27.4 million total)
6. Nightcrawler – $5.5 million ($19.8 million total)
7. Fury – $5.5 million ($69.3 million total)
8. John Wick – $4.1 million ($34.7 million total)
9. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – $3.5 million ($59.2 million total)
10. The Book of Life – $2.8 million ($45.2 million total)
NOTE: These numbers are weekend estimates based on Friday and Saturday’s estimated takes. Actual numbers for the three-day weekend are reported on Monday afternoon.