Disney streaks to the stars! I’m Realistic Fish Head. Their animated hit Big Hero 6 rocketed past expectations against Paramount’s Interstellar at the box office with 56 million. This also beats Wreck-It-Ralph’s debut at 49 million 2 years ago. How did Baymax fair well against Ralph Gene?
Disney’s Big Hero 6 led the way at the box office this weekend with an estimated $56.2 million. That gave the 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios a relatively comfortable win in its battle with Interstellar this weekend to kick off the holiday movie season. Big Hero 6 opened in line with its lofty expectations and is set to represent another strong recent performer for Walt Disney Animation, joining the likes of last year’s Frozen, 2010’s Tangled and 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph. Big Hero 6 opened an impressive 15 percent stronger than the $49.04 million debut of Wreck-It Ralph.
Big Hero 6 opened in a close second with $15.83 million on Friday (which included $1.4 million from late night shows on Thursday), moved into first place on Saturday by surging 52 percent to gross $24.06 million and is estimated to fall 32 percent on Sunday to gross $16.31 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.55 to 1. Big Hero 6 received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which is a very good sign for the film going forward.
The audience breakdown for Big Hero 6 was evenly split between genders and skewed towards moviegoers under the age of 25 (58 percent). Family audiences made up a sizable 72 percent of the film’s overall audience. 3D grosses accounted for 29 percent of this weekend’s overall grosses.
Paramount’s Interstellar was considered the favorite by many heading into the weekend, but ultimately had to settle for second place with an estimated $50.0 million. The highly anticipated Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film has grossed $52.15 million to date, after an additional two days of limited release on Wednesday and Thursday. Interstellar opened 10 percent below the $55.79 million start of last year’s Gravity (which did have the advantage of higher priced 3D admissions) and 20 percent below the $62.79 million debut of 2010’s Inception. Given the comparisons, it appears that the high level of anticipation for Interstellar among Nolan’s fanbase didn’t really transfer over outside of the fanbase. The film’s mixed critical reviews likely played a significant part in that.
Interstellar took first place on Friday with $17.00 million (which included $2.7 million from late night shows on Thursday), increased a modest 8.5 percent on Saturday to fall to second with $18.45 million and is estimated to fall 21 percent on Sunday to gross $14.55 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.94 to 1. While the film’s nearly three-hour run-time will likely lead to some natural back-loading, it remains to be seen if Interstellar will hold up as well as Gravity and Inception did. The film’s B+ rating on CinemaScore, while solid, also leaves a bit to be desired, though it should be noted that Interstellar also received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.
The audience breakdown for Interstellar was nearly evenly spit between genders (52 percent male, 48 percent female) and skewed heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (75 percent). With that in mind, the relative lack of appeal with teens and young adults was a key component of the film’s softer than expected start. Interstellar received a significant boost from its strong IMAX performance this weekend.
With the weekend’s box office being dominated by the battle between Big Hero 6 and Interstellar, holdovers took a clear backseat. In addition, holdovers were especially bunched together, as just $600,000 separated third place and seventh place this weekend. As a result, final rankings could still change a bit when actual grosses are released on Monday.
Fox’s Gone Girl claimed third place with an estimated $6.1 million. The critically acclaimed David Fincher directed film continued to hold up well as it was down just 28 percent from last weekend. The hold was especially impressive given the new competition from Interstellar. Gone Girl has grossed an impressive $145.43 million in 38 days, which leaves it $4.57 million away from reaching the $150 million domestic mark.
Ouija followed closely behind in fourth with an estimated $6.0 million. The low-budget horror film from Universal and Platinum Dunes was down a very respectable 44 percent. After opening on the low end of expectations a few weeks ago, Ouija has held up surprisingly well for a horror film. The 17-day total for the film stands at $43.46 million.
The Weinstein Company’s St. Vincent placed in fifth with an estimated $5.71 million. The well-received comedy starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy had another strong hold this weekend, as it was down only 21 percent. Thanks in part to continued strong word of mouth, St. Vincent has grossed $27.36 million to date.
On the heels of last weekend’s close second place start, Open Road’s Nightcrawler fell to sixth place this weekend with an estimated $5.51 million. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal was down a significant 47 percent, which suggests that the film isn’t going over as well with audiences as it has with critics. Nightcrawler has grossed $19.76 million in ten days, which is in line with expectations.
Sony’s Fury landed in seventh place with an estimated $5.5 million. The World War II film starring Brad Pitt was down a solid 38 percent from last weekend. Fury is on the verge of clearing the $70 million mark with a 24-day take of $69.27 million.
On the platform front, Focus’ The Theory of Everything was off to a noteworthy start with an estimated $207,000 from 5 locations in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. That gave the James Marsh directed biopic of Stephen Hawking a per-location average of $41,400 for the frame.
To recap, Big Hero 6 zooms past 1st beating the favorite Interstellar in 2nd, Gone Girl moves 3rd, Ouija, who was out spooked by Nightcrawler in the Halloween box office drops 4th, and St. Vincent marks his place in 5th.
During the summer months, there were rumors of the title for Star Wars episode 7. This past week, the title was officially revealed. Did J.J. Abrams manage to ward off of those rumors Jim?
Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Putting some speculation to rest and kick-starting a new round of interpretation, the newest Star Wars movie now officially has a title.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the title of the J.J. Abrams-directed film, Disney announced Thursday. The studio also confirmed that it had wrapped principal photography, which had been widely reported over the weekend.
The cast and crew of the film, which reunites the original trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, was said to have gathered at London’s Science Museum on Nov. 1 to celebrate the shoot.
The cast also features new additions that include John Boyega, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver and familiar names to fans like Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca).
Also this past week after the official title was unveiled, Disney and Pixar revealed the next chapter of the Toy Story franchise, Toy Story 4. After the success of Toy Story 3, it was time for John Lasseter to be at the helm again. Will he get the chance to do it again Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via Entertainment Weekly)- The Pixar chief who changed the animation game with his innovative use of computer technology in 1995’s Toy Story will return to the directing chair to make a fourth movie about the adventures of Woody, Buzz, and the gang, Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger announced Tuesday.
The film is set to hit theaters in June 16, 2017, and in a somewhat surprising twist it will be written by Rashida Jones, formerly of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and her screenwriting partner Will McCormack (who penned the 2012 indie romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever.)
The story was conceived, however, by the Pixar brain trust: Lasseter, Finding Nemo‘s Andrew Stanton, Up and Monsters Inc.‘s Pete Docter, and and Toy Story 3‘s Lee Unkrich.
Iger who revealed the news in a quarterly earnings call for investors late Thursday afternoon, did not say whether Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn or any of the other actors who voice the toybox crew will be returning, but it’s inconceivable that a movie would be made without them.
Fans reacted to the news with what can only be described as uncertainty, taking to Twitter to wring their hands in worry. Most people, including many within Pixar, felt Toy Story 3 was a perfect close to a beloved trilogy, and are hesitant about anything that might sully that legacy.
In a statement, Lasseter tried to calm those nerves: “We love these characters so much, they are like family to us,” he wrote. “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before.”
He acknowledged that Toy Story 3 “ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie — and I wanted to direct it myself.”
FOUR YEARS ON THE SHELF
In the time since Toy Story 3 came out in 2010, Woody and Buzz haven’t exactly been strangers — the characters have turned up in a series of short films and television specials, which picked up with the family of playthings after grown-up and college-bound Andy handed his toys over to a new child, the sweet little girl Bonnie.
The first of these was 2011’s Hawaiian Vacation, playing before Cars 2, in which Barbie and Ken (voiced by Jodi Benson and Michael Keaton) are treated to a trip to the islands without ever leaving their new owner’s bedroom.
That same year, The Muppets was preceded by Small Fry, in which spaceman Buzz being left behind at a fast-food restaurant, and 2012’s Finding Nemo 3-D featured Partysaurus Rex, in which Shawn’s timid plastic dinosaur discovers his wild and crazy size in a bathtub rave.
Last year, a grade-school friendly horror film was produced as a Halloween broadcast for ABC. Toy Story of Terror followed Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the rest getting lost at a scary hotel during a family trip.
Although these characters were clearly not going away, and remain omnipresent among Disney’s consumer products and theme parks, there was never a guarantee that we’d see them in a feature film again. Few were even speculating about it — until this afternoon.
THE GOLDEN GOOSE IN A HAWAIIAN SHIRT
Iger’s announcement is potentially good news for lovers of Toy Story, it’s potentially nervous-making news for investors in the company, which is probably why he chose to reveal it in an earnings call as opposed to a fan gathering. Lasseter reigns as the supervising animation guru for three divisions: Pixar, Walt Disney Studios Animation, and DisneyToon Studios, which makes predominantly home-video titles such as the Tinker Bell movies and Planes.
In the eight years since The Walt Disney Co. bought Pixar for more than $7.4 billion, inheriting him in the process, Lasseter (as chief creative officer alongside Ed Catmull as president) has overseen a renaissance at Walt Disney Studios Animation — which went from making flops like Treasure Planet and under performers like Chicken Little to blockbusters like Wreck-It Ralph and last year’s Frozen.
Frozen not only collected the Best Feature Animation Oscar — which, astoundingly, was company’s first — it was the No. 1 movie of the year, earning north of $1.27 billion globally.
Still, every movie to emerge from the studio, be it shorts like Paperman or Feast, to Disney Animation’s latest feature, Big Hero 6, hits theaters with filmmakers talking about Lasseter’s hands-on approach.
TURNING OVER THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
He hasn’t directed a film himself since Cars 2 in 2011. Last March, in a similar earnings call, Iger revealed that Cars 3 was in development, and although no release date was set, it now seems unlikely Lasseter would direct that unless it were pushed back until around 2020.
He has handed off the directing reigns before, turning over Toy Story 3 to Lee Unkrich, his co-director on 1999’s Toy Story 2, who went on to make arguably the most acclaimed film in the series.
With Unkrich, who also collected a Best Animated Feature Oscar for No. 3, busy on an untitled Dia de los Muertos movie for Pixar, Lasseter is returning to the toy box — though there’s no telling how that will influence his other work producing the dozens of other theatrical, short and home-video releases he oversees.
There’s not going to be any playing around for him.
Checking the Penguins tally, 2,034 fans sign in as Team Skipper is 2 weeks away from the official untold backstory.
There’s still a lot of episodes to look for this week as Turkey Week comes less than 2 weeks. With signs of progress being made in time for the holidays, it will possibly mean more holiday wishes from our toon friends. The hunt continues this week! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, make sure you find some gobbling pointers this week!