Box Office: Kids Have Final Say As Big Hero 6 Bests Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar

It used to be “In Nolan We Trust.” Well, it’s looking like the cult of Nolan isn’t drinking the Kool-Aid like it has in the past. The director, who once had the Midas touch as a filmmaker, seems to be losing his touch. Interstellar was projected to zoom past $60 million, but it narrowly reached $50 million. That is a strong opening, yet not strong enough to outperform Disney’s animated Big Hero 6, which families flocked to and which ended its three-day opening with $56 million.

Interstellar‘s $50 million opening is Nolan’s lowest-grossing opening since Batman Begins in 2005. Inception opened with $62 million four years ago, and this was without the extra help from IMAX or early 35MM/70MM openings. Last year’s Gravity, which opened in the same time frame, even grossed more than Interstellar ($55 million). Overseas, Nolan’s 2001: A McConaughey Odyssey opened with $80 million to bring its worldwide gross to $132.25 million.

Disney’s Big Hero 6 is the studio’s best non-Pixar opener since Wreck-It Ralph (for the record, Frozen opened in limited release before a $67 million second weekend). Be sure that a sequel is going to be announced soon. This one will have legs well into the holiday season. It’s only major challenge are those dang Penguins of Madagascar.

Outside of these monster openings, the box office remained in check. Last week’s #1 and #2, Ouija and Nightcrawler dropped (though the cheapie horror had a decent hold). Gone Girl is coming up on close to two months in theaters and the film is still holding well in the third slot. The Weinstein Company’s St. Vincent starring Bill Murray, has been a great platform release – not just for the studio but for the year overall. Expect it to linger further should it pick up some award nominations. It is a shoe-in for the comedy category at the Golden Globes.

John Wick, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and The Book of Life are nearing the end of discussion of top 10 talk, having played in theaters for three, five, and four weeks respectively.

The two big stories of films in limited release are the performance of Fox Searchlight’s Birdman, which almost cracked the top 10 despite playing in less than 500 theaters. The Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything opened to huge per-screen numbers. In only five theaters, the docudrama grossed $207k ($41.4k per screen).

01. Big Hero 6 — $56,200,000
02. Interstellar — $50,000,000 ($52.1M)
03. Gone Girl — $6,100,000 ($145.4M)
04. Ouija — $6,017,000 ($43.4M)
05. St. Vincent — $5,707,000 ($27.3M)
06. Nightcrawler — $5,512,000 ($19.7M)
07. Fury — $5,500,000 ($69.2M)
08. John Wick — $4,075,000 ($34.7M)
09. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — $3,495,000 ($59.2M)
10. The Book of Life — $2,800,000 ($45.2M)

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