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Weekend Predictions: Does it Pay to be Dumb?

November 13th, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To poster

It is a slower weekend at the box office than last weekend. Granted, there are two films opening wide, but neither of them are expected to be a huge hit. Dumb and Dumber To is earning terrible reviews, but it is expecting to earn first place at the box office. Beyond the Lights is earning much better reviews, but it will likely only become a midlevel hit at best. As far as holdovers are concerned, both Big Hero 6 and Interstellar will continue to be big factors at the box office, but only these four films have a shot at $10 million or more at the box office. This weekend last year, Thor: The Dark World led the way with $36.59 million while The Best Man Holiday opened in second place with $30.11 million. I think the one-two punch this year will be better, plus we will have a lot more depth leading to 2014 earning a win in the year-over-year comparison.

Big Hero 6 opened in first place last weekend and it is on track to do the same this weekend. There are a lot of reasons to be bullish, including its target audience, as well as its reviews. Family films tend to have much better legs than most other genres, especially when there is no direct competition, like with this film. At the high end, the film will only fall 33%, which would give it a sophomore stint of $38 million. On the low end, it will fall just over 40% to $33 million. I'm going with $35 million.

According to Fandango, Dumb and Dumber To is leading the way in advanced ticket sales, albeit by a tiny margin over Big Hero 6. However, I don't think it will come out on top, because the target audience for this film is much more likely to pre-order tickets online than the target audience for Big Hero 6. Additionally, the reviews are awful at just 27% positive. I was expecting between 40% and 60% positive, so while it will open in first place on Friday, it could fall as far as third place by Sunday. Overall, look for $32 million over the weekend, which is enough to keep the studio happy, but not enough to be a major hit.

Interstellar's opening was good, but not great, especially when compared to its production budget. It was the worst opening in Christopher Nolan's career since The Prestige. Likewise, its reviews are good, but not great. Fortunately, there's not a lot of direct competition, as Dumb and Dumber To is aiming for a less mature target demographic. The film will likely fall between 45% to 50% giving it a range of $23 million to $26 million. $25 million seems like a safe bet.

Fourth place will go to Beyond the Lights. This film is a romantic drama with an African-American cast, which isn't a genre that we see too many of. Romantic comedies are certainly more common. Its reviews are currently 85% positive, which bodes well for its box office chances. On the other hand, the film's buzz is clearly quieter than the three films above it, so much so that I'm afraid it might get lost in the crowd. On the low end, the film will fail to reach $10 million. On the high end, it will top $15 million. I want it to reach the high end, but $11 million is more likely.

There will be a glut of films vying for fifth place, but it looks like Gone Girl will win out with $4 million, more or less.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Interstellar, Big Hero 6, Gone Girl, Dumb and Dumber To, Beyond the Lights, Christopher Nolan