Nov 11, 2014

    Big Hero 6 beats lengthy Interstellar at box office


    IT WAS by no means a crash landing, but Christopher Nolan's aggressively promoted Interstellar had some engine trouble nonetheless, losing the weekend box office race to the animated Big Hero 6.

    Based on an obscure Marvel comic series and backed by a similarly omnipresent marketing campaign, Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Studios) took in an estimated US$56.2 million (S$72.4 million) at North American theatres, according to Rentrak, which compiles box office data.

    Disney spent US$165 million to make the movie, which received reviews that were 91 per cent positive, according to; audiences gave Big Hero 6 an A grade, according to the CinemaScore exit polling service.

    Interstellar (Paramount Pictures), which received softer reviews and a B-plus CinemaScore, managed US$50 million, for a domestic total of $52.2 million since opening in limited fashion on Wednesday.

    Nolan's film, which also cost US$165 million to make, was probably hurt by its nearly three-hour running time. Theatres could play Big Hero 6 more often. But the space epic (unlike Big Hero 6) also had all of Imax's up-charge muscle behind it.

    Imax contributed US$13.4 million of the Interstellar weekend gross, or 26 per cent. Warner Bros, which is distributing Interstellar overseas, said the film's foreign ticket sales contributed an additional US$80 million, calling that figure "outstanding".

    Third place for the weekend went to Gone Girl (20th Century Fox), which sold about US$6.1 million in tickets, for a hefty six-week total of US$145.4 million.

    The horror film Ouija (Universal Pictures) was a close fourth, taking in about US$6 million, for a three-week total of US$43.5 million.

    Rounding out the top five by selling US$5.7 million in tickets was the quirky Bill Murray comedy St Vincent (The Weinstein Co). It has taken in US$27.4 million over five weeks.

    Of note at the art house: The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features), an Oscar hopeful, earned total ticket sales of US$207,000.