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Weekend Box Office: Dumb and Dumber To Smart Enough to Come Out on Top

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By Chris Kavan - 11/16/14 at 07:25 PM CT

Proving that it's not always a bad deal to wait a long time between sequels, it turns out a long-awaited comedic duo acting incredibly stupid was enough to win the box office crown. Besides that strong showing, last weekends two big, new releases also had a good second weekend. What that all amounted to was a nice 13% increase for the top 12 films compared to same weekend last year. A handful of limited release films also continued to impress with award-caliber numbers. With Hunger Games knocking on the door, it should continue to be a very strong November.

1) DUMB AND DUMBER TO

After a 20-year stretch the duo of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are once again in the spotlight as their moronic alter-egos Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. It turns out that audiences must have had some pent-up demand for this unique brand of idiocy, as Dumb and Dumber To easily took the top spot with a $38 million opening. That represents the best live-action opening for Carrey since 2003 when Bruce Almighty opened to $67.9 million. It also topped recent comedy efforts like Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa ($32.1 million) and Identity Thief ($32.1 million) and was well in like with We're the Millers ($37.9 million) and fellow comedy sequel Anchorman 2 ($39.5 million). The breakdown for the audience was mostly male (55%) and a bit older (57% over 25). The critics weren't impressed by the film, however, and a mild "B-" Cinemascore means this probably won't have massive staying power. Still, it probably has enough dumb goodwill to ride to near a $100 million total. The movie helped Universal Pictures become the second studio behind Fox to have seven first-place movies open in 2014.

2) BIG HERO 6

The loveable marshmallow robot Baymax and Hiro's hereos had a fantastic second weekend, easing a light 36% in its second weekend out. That is a bit steeper than the 33% drop Wreck-It Ralph experienced, but above Megamind's 37% drop. The movie brought in just over $36 million, helping it muscle across the $100 million mark for a new total of $111.65 million. Even though it faces competition from Hunger Games and Penguins of Madagascar - it should be able to make it to the $200 million mark. The Big Hero 6 push was enough for Disney to cross the $4 billion mark (globally) for the year. It is the second year in a row Disney has earned that distinction - only it did it in 2014 about two weeks earlier than it did in 2013. Considering how many big films drop next year (Marvel and Star Wars among them) I would say it will probably be able to have a third $4 billion+ year next year as well.

3) INTERSTELLAR

Christopher Nolan's time-bending space opera also had a fine second weekend, dipping a light 38.6% in its second weekend out. Considering the so-so reaction, that has to be seen as a good result. The film brought in $29.2 million and the film now stands at $97.8 million total. IMAX screens continued to have a big effect on Interstellar's bottom line - with $7.4 million (or 25% of its total from the weekend) coming from the large-format screens. Once again, the looming Hunger Games film is likely to take a bite out of the audience, but Interstellar is looking to approach the $160 million mark before it leaves theaters.

4) BEYOND THE LIGHTS

A movie that was so under-the-radar, I didn't even realize it was getting a wide-release push. Sorry to the fans of director Gina Prince-Bythewood for the oversight. Anyway, the film opened to $6.5 million, lower than the director's previous two efforts Love & Basketball ($8.1 million) and The Secret Life of Bees ($10.5 million). It did earn an "A" Cinemascore from an audience that was mostly female (61%) and older (55% over 25). It also drew a widely Africa-American crowd (49%). Even if it gets some word-of-mouth, it's likely the movie isn't going to have enough steam to cross the $20 million mark.

5) GONE GIRL

Even though Gone Girl may be fallen to the fifth-place spot, it can revel in the fact it has now gone three weeks in a row with falling less than 30%. With a 25.5% loss, Gone Girl still brought in $4.62 million, and giving David Fincher's crime thriller a new total of $152.7 million. It has crossed the $150 million mark, but still has awhile to go yet and should approach the $170 million total in the coming weeks.


Outside the top five: Opening in six location, Foxcatcher brought in $288,000 for a great $48,000 per-theater average - topping the opening of The Theory of Everything from last weekend. The major awards contender is going to see increased expansion, though it may not hit national exposure until Oscar season is in full swing.

Other limited release films that saw increased exposure include Birdman, which broke into the top 10 with a $2.45 million total (10th place). The film added nearly 400 theaters for a new count of 857 screens total, but rose a light 6% week-to-week. Still, at $11.57 million - and should at least be able to match its $18 million budget in the coming weeks.

Also expanding was Whiplash and The Theory of Everything - both films added theaters (331 for Whiplash, for a 419 total screen count, 36 more for Theory for 41 total). The Theory of Everything was the clear winning adding $738,000 for an impressive $18,000 per-theater average. Whiplash may have added $801,000 but its per-theater average struggled with just $1,912 as it is having a harder time bringing in a general audience.

Finally, deep down in 19th place, Maze Runner finally crossed the $100 million mark taking in $650,000. The $34 million-budgeted film has been a boon and the hastily-greenlit sequel is scheduled to drop next September.

Next week it's all going to be Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - with the best pre-sale ticket numbers of the year, this one is going to be a monster. We'll see how it stacks up to the summer's biggest names, but chances are it's going to wind up as one of the top three biggest films of the year.

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