Paramount reports that Christopher Nolan's Interstellar bowed to an estimated $17 million Friday, including $2.7 million from Thursday night when it expanded nationwide following an early release in IMAX and film formats on Tuesday evening. The film's total thus far is now $19.15 million. As far as Friday alone goes, this is in line with that of Gravity ($17.5 million) and behind Nolan's own Inception ($21.8 million), although the latter somewhat benefited from a summer release and no other big opener that weekend. Friday's box office included $4.6 million (a 27 percent share) from IMAX and $1.9 million (11 percent) from other premium large format screens. BoxOffice projects a $54 million 3-day weekend, which would give it an overall start of $56.15 million through Sunday.
Early word of mouth for Interstellar is, frankly, debatable. Critics' reactions weren't as enthusiastic as one normally expects for a Nolan movie, garnering a 72 percent Rotten Tomatoes score (enough to be "Certified Fresh")--however, the film's Flixster score is a strong 89 percent as of Saturday morning. CinemaScore was a "B+", the same grade Inception received four years ago, while audiences skewed toward adults with 75 percent of Friday's audience 25 or older. Men accounted for 52 percent of the audience.
While Nolan boasts a huge online fan base that could be driving some of the positive word of mouth, these stats do suggest some possible disconnect between critics and audiences. Nevertheless, we won't really know the answer to that until the end of this weekend--possibly later--as more casual moviegoers get a chance to see the picture.
Disney's Big Hero 6 took advantage of what's been a relatively weak family movie market since summer ended (if not longer). The pic took in a fantastic $15.83 million between its Thursday evening and full Friday shows. By comparison, Wreck-It Ralph pulled a $13.5 million opening day two years ago as part of a $49 million weekend. Early word of mouth for Disney's latest flick is very encouraging with 91 percent of Flixster audiences approving so far, as well as a fantastic 93 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Thanks in part to the revived appeal of the Disney Animation name, look for this to hold very well over the holiday season. BoxOffice projects a $57.5 million opening weekend.
Meanwhile, Nightcrawler was off 47 percent from opening day on Halloween last week to $1.7 million yesterday. Its 8-day total stands at $15.9 million. BoxOffice projects $5.4 million for its sophomore frame.
Fury added $1.68 million as it boosted its domestic cume to $65.4 million. Look for a weekend close to $5.5 million.
Rounding out the top five, Gone Girl tacked on another $1.86 million yesterday. Its total now stands at $144.2 million as it heads toward a $6 million weekend.