Box Office Report: 'Dumber To' No. 1 for Farrelly Brothers, but Will the Laughs Last?

Box Office Report: 'Dumber To' No. 1 for Farrelly Brothers, but Will the Laughs Last?

Nov 16, 2014

Here are your estimated three-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Dumb & Dumber To - $38.0 million ($38.0 million total)

2. Big Hero 6 - $36.0 million ($111.0 million total)

3. Interstellar - $29.1 million ($97.8 million total)

4. Beyond the Lights - $6.5 million ($6.5 million total)

5. Gone Girl - $4.6 million ($152.8 million total)

6. St. Vincent - $4.0 million ($33.2 million total)

7. Fury - $3.8 million ($75.9 million total)

8. Nightcrawler - $3.03 million ($25.0 million total)

9. Ouija - $3.02 million ($48.1 million total)

10. Birdman - $2.4 million ($11.5 million total)

The Big Stories

It has been 20 years since we first met Harry and Lloyd, and 10 years after we were reintroduced to them as kids. Could a reateaming of the original cast and directors two decades later prove successful enough to knock off last week's box office titans? 

 

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

It's no secret that the name of Jim Carrey does not carry the same cache as it did in the late '90s. He may have recently boosted ratings of Saturday Night Live, but supporting turns in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Kick-Ass 2 did nothing for audience interest no matter how good he was in either, with each grossing less than $30 million. The good news for Carrey is that the Dumb & Dumber sequel will gross in three days more than either of those films, nearly equaling or surpassing some of his attempts at drama (including Man on the Moon, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Number 23.) In Carrey's breakout year of 1994, along with The Mask, the original Ace Ventura opened to $12.1 million in February and December's release of Dumb & Dumber opened to $16.3 million. Its final gross of $127.1 million is still the fourth best of his career when taking top billing in the flesh.

Where does this opening rank in Carrey's live-action career?

Bruce Almighty ($67.9 million), How the Grinch Stole Christmas ($55.0), Batman Forever ($52.7), Dumb & Dumber To ($38.0), Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls ($37.8), The Truman Show ($31.5), Liar Liar ($31.4), Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events ($30.0), Me Myself & Irene ($24.2), The Mask ($23.1)

We'll see if the numbers hold enough to pass the Ace Ventura sequel. Either way, number two opens with the best start of the Farelly brothers' career (a duo that could also use a solid hit) with their previous best being Carrey's Me, Myself & Irene. These are the brothers who ruled the back half of the summer of '98 with the word-of-mouth sensation There's Something About Mary, a film which ultimately took the number one spot at the box office on Labor Day weekend, its eighth week of release. Its $176.4 million in the U.S. is by far their greatest success and one of only two films of theirs to break $100 million. Kingpin -- which many consider to be their best film -- grossed just $25 million in the summer of 1996; their second lowest gross ahead of Osmosis Jones. Based on these numbers, the Dumb and Dumber sequel could be headed for roughly $79-80 million total (though that seems low end), making it only the second film of 2014 (along with Annabelle) to open with over $35 million and not crack $100.

 

Big Hero 6 vs. Interstellar vs. the World

Interstellar is handily beating Big Hero 6 on days when kids are still in schools (save for last Tuesday.) Five of the first eight days were won by Christopher Nolan's film, including both Fridays. But the weekend matinees and extra showtimes are catching up, putting the Disney/Marvel production $12 million ahead. Big Hero 6 is also ahead of the pace of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph ($109.2 vs. $93.6) while Interstellar trails last year's sci-fi spectacular Gravity ($122.3 vs. $97.6). Alfonso Cuaron's film also had the benefit of being 80 minutes shorter, have a 3D surcharge and was challenged by the likes of Runner Runner and Machete Kills in its first two weeks. OK, Captain Phillips also opened as well. Meanwhile, Interstellar has had direct competition by Big Hero 6 and Dumb & Dumber To and it gets no easier next week when The Hunger Games opens. Of the films that have opened to $35 million or more this year, both of these films have had some of the best second-week holds:

The Lego Movie (-27.8%), Gone Girl (-29.6%), Big Hero 6 (-35.9%), Interstellar (-38.6%) Rio 2 (-43.7%), Neighbors (-47.9%), Ride Along (-48.7%), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (-50.0%), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (-51.0%), Maleficent (-50.6%)

 

Tales of the Top 10 (and Beyond)

Relativity's Beyond the Lights opened to very little fanfare. Its $6.6 million puts it in between the studio's openings of The Raven and Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. St. Vincent continues to be one of the word-of-mouth stories of the fall. Another $11 million and it will pass The Artist to become the 10th highest grossing U.S. release in Weinstein Co. history. Gone Girl is now David Fincher's highest grossing film by $25 million. Fury still needs roughly $82 million worldwide to turn a profit for Sony while Universal's Ouija is approaching $50 million in the U.S.

In limited release, Jon Stewart's Rosewater opened to $1.1 million on just 371 screens. By contrast, A Most Wanted Man opened to $2.68 million on 361 screensBut Rosewater did do better than Kill the Messenger with Jeremy Renner ($941,809 on 374), The Good Lie with Reese Witherspoon ($841,422 on 461) and Kevin Smith's Tusk ($846,831 on 602). Samuel Goldwyn is happy about Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas grossing $1,011,880 on 410 screens.

Awards contender Foxcatcher started with $288,000 on just six screens, which is the fourth best opening for a start on under 10 screens behind The Grand Budapest Hotel ($811,166) Birdman ($424,397) and Boyhood ($387,618)-- all hoping for awards kudos this season.

Another Sony Classics hopeful, Whiplash, upped its theater count from 88 to 419 (and is getting some commercial airtime as well) and managed $801,000, bringing its total to $2.48 million over six weeks. Last week's big limited release The Theory of Everything jumped up 36 screens and added $738,000 to bring its tally over a million. Weinstein's Edward Snowden documentary, Citizenfour, added 16 screens but dropped 12% to bring its total to $951,000. But Fox Searchlight's Birdman got its widest launch yet this weekend (857 screens) and snuck into the top 10, bringing its tally to over $11.5 million.


Erik Childress can be seen each Thursday morning on WCIU-TV's First Business breaking down the box office on the Movies & Money segment.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

 

 

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