“Big Hero 6” smashed the weekend box office with $56.2 million in earnings in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. Christopher Nolan’s space adventure, “Interstellar,” ended up at second place with $50 million in estimated earnings.
Walt Disney’s animated superhero film reportedly brought in $1.4 million during Thursday's preview shows, while Paramount’s space saga received a total of $52.2 million over its five-day run starting Wednesday. According to The Associated Press, or AP, this was the fourth time when two movies opened with over $50 million in box office earnings on the first weekend.
"It's just ahead of what we said we thought we'd do coming into the weekend. It sets us up in a really great way for a run ahead," Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution, reportedly said. "It's encouraging to have been ahead of a movie like 'Interstellar', which is obviously made by one of the great filmmakers of my lifetime."
“Big Hero 6,” which is inspired by a Marvel comic of the same name, features robot Baymax and his prodigy friend Hiro Hamada. The movie is reportedly set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo.
Hollis told Reuters that the film got "a great response from kids, from parents and from non-parents," adding: "You need to transcend the family audience in order to a get a number like this."
"Interstellar," which stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, and cost nearly $165 million to make, did not match Nolan’s last film, “Inception.” The 2010 sci-fi movie reportedly received $62.8 million on its first weekend at the box office.
"Both movies were able to do well without cannibalizing each other's audiences," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak, a box-office tracking firm, said according to AP. "By opening a diversity of product against each other, the industry can expand the marketplace. It's a perfect example of counterprogramming. It paid off for the industry, and it just doesn't happen that often."
David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” starring Ben Affleck, came in third with an estimated collection of $6.1 million. The film has reportedly received a total of more than $145 million since opening on Oct. 3.
Low-budget film “Ouija” made $6 million this weekend while the Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy comedy flick "St. Vincent" came in No. 5 with $5.7 million.