Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels returned to the #1 spot close to 20 years after first portraying Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, as Dumb and Dumber To rode a wave of 1990s nostalgia to take an estimated $38.1 million at the North American box office. That result was slightly above expectations, beating the mid-fall starts of raunchy road trip comedies like Due Date ($32.7 million) and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa ($32.1 million). The opening is also slightly below the five-day opening of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues ($39.5 million from its Wednesday bow).
Dumb and Dumber To was a big question mark heading into the fall season. Although the original film is a big comedy hit and has remained a popular title on cable, had 20 years simply been too long between films? Anchorman 2 proved that despite a lot of fan excitement, a nine-and-a-half year gap is a lot to contend with between movies. So, expectations were more conservative. However, moviegoers flocked to the Farrelly Brothers’ critic-proof new feature, which marked the biggest opening of the directors’ career. With a B- CinemaScore and a drop on Saturday, however, do not expect this title to have very long legs. Moviegoers over 25 were an estimated 57% of the audience, which was not surprising for a follow-up of a 1990s comedy classic.
For Carrey, who has not seen much in the way of major box office hits over the past decade, this opening weekend more than doubled the first weekends of Yes Man ($18.3 million) and Mr. Popper’s Penguins ($18.4 million). In these first three days, Dumb and Dumber To also outgrossed the totals for Kick-Ass 2 ($28.8 million) and The Number 23 ($35.2 million). In fact, it was the biggest turn-out for a live-action film with the funny man since Bruce Almighty was a big $68 million #1 over Memorial Day weekend in 2003.
Just behind Harry and Lloyd’s antics was Big Hero 6, which dropped 36% to take in $36 million. With $111.7 million so far, the 3D action-adventure is running about 20% ahead of Wreck-it Ralph‘s run from November 2012. As sophomore weekends go, Big Hero 6 made more than both Ralph and Frozen. However, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 aimed for blockbuster heights next weekend, the film could tumble a bit before rebounding over the Thanksgiving holiday. A cume of more than $200 million is still likely for Baymax and friends.
Despite mixed word-of-mouth for Christopher Nolan’s latest sci-fi opus, Interstellar, that film had a relatively mild drop for a film of its stature. It dipped just 39% to place third and took in $29.2 million. The popularity of the film in the expensive IMAX format helped to mitigate the drop, as audiences continued to show up in large droves for the big-screen format. With $97.8 million in its run so far, the film is running about a third behind the pace of Inception in its first 10 days of wide release. The next test is Mockingjay, and since Interstellar is holding onto its IMAX screens, the drop should not be too hefty. A total in the neighborhood of $170 million seems like a good bet at this point.