By Daniel Garris
Paramount's Interstellar moved into first place on Monday with $2.15 million. The high-profile Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film was down 71 percent from Sunday and down 59 percent from last Monday. It should be reminded that last Monday's grosses were inflated by the eve of the Veterans Day holiday. Interstellar is set to surpass the $100 million domestic mark today after grossing $99.08 million through eleven days of wide release (and two additional days of limited release). The film is currently running 23 percent behind the $128.54 million eleven-day take of last year's Gravity.
Universal's Dumb and Dumber To placed in a close second for the day with $2.07 million. The long awaited comedy sequel starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels trailed Interstellar by just $83,880 for the day. Dumb and Dumber To was down 74 percent from Sunday. The film's daily percentage decline was a bit concerning, especially given that comedies aimed at older audiences tend to have strong first Monday holds. With that said, Dumb and Dumber To continues to slightly outpace expectations with $38.18 million in its first four days. That places the film 9.5 percent ahead of the $34.86 million four-day start of last year's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.
Disney's Big Hero 6 claimed third place with $1.31 million. The 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios fell 87 percent from Sunday and a sharp 75 percent from last Monday's inflated performance. Big Hero 6 has grossed a healthy $111.62 million in eleven days. The film continues to run in line with its lofty pre-release expectations and is currently running 12 percent ahead of the $99.56 million eleven-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph.
Beyond the Lights took fourth place with $0.342 million. The low-budget drama from Relativity declined 73 percent from Sunday and finished just ahead of both Fox's Gone Girl and Sony's Fury for the day. Beyond the Lights continues to run below expectations with a modest four-day start of $6.54 million. That places the film 20 percent behind the recent $8.16 million four-day start of Addicted.
By Daniel Garris
Universal's Dumb and Dumber To took in $36.11 million this weekend to claim first place. The long awaited comedy sequel starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels outpaced Big Hero 6 by $1.45 million for the frame, in what turned out to be a close race for first place. Dumb and Dumber To slightly exceeded expectations this weekend, as the film proved to be critic-proof. Pre-release online buzz for the film had been relatively soft as well, but fans of the original 1994 film clearly showed up in a big way on opening weekend. Dumb and Dumber To represented the largest live-action debut for Carrey since the $67.95 million debut of Bruce Almighty back in 2003. For a number of reasons, box office comparisons are tough to make to Carrey's more recent films. Dumb and Dumber To did open 13 percent ahead of the $32.06 million start of last year's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.
Dumb and Dumber To opened in first place on Friday with $14.23 million (which included $1.6 million from Thursday night shows), decreased a slim 2 percent on Saturday to fall to second with $13.92 million and fell 43 percent on Sunday to gross $7.96 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a respectable 2.54 to 1. The film did receive a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore, which along with a fan-driven opening weekend, could signal front-loading going forward, though that remains to be seen. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (55 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and older (57 percent).
Disney's Big Hero 6 placed in a close second with $34.66 million. The 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios held up well this weekend, as it declined a healthy 38 percent from last weekend's strong start. Big Hero 6 surpassed the $100 million mark this weekend and has now grossed $110.31 million through ten days of release. That is in line with the film's lofty pre-release expectations and places Big Hero 6 18 percent ahead of the $93.65 million ten-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph (which fell 33 percent in its second weekend to gross $33.01 million). Big Hero 6 represents another strong recent performer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, joining the likes of Wreck-It Ralph, 2010's Tangled and last year's Frozen. The film will likely continue to hold up well throughout the holiday season.
Also holding up well this weekend was Paramount's Interstellar. The high-profile Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film was down an encouraging 40 percent from last weekend's lower than expected debut to place in third with $28.31 million. This weekend's hold was especially encouraging given the new competition the film faced for older moviegoers from Dumber and Dumber To. Interstellar is being helped out by its continued strong IMAX grosses, from good word of mouth and from its long running time and older-skewing audience leading to some natural back-loading. Interstellar is on the verge of reaching the $100 million mark with $96.93 million after ten days of wide release. It should be noted that Interstellar has fallen further behind the pace of last year's Gravity. Interstellar is now running 21 percent behind the $122.32 million ten-day take of Gravity (which fell just 23 percent in its second weekend to gross $43.19 million).
Beyond the Lights opened in fourth place this weekend with $6.20 million. Despite strong reviews and strong pre-release online buzz levels, the low-budget drama from Relativity opened below expectations. Beyond the Lights debuted 17 percent below the recent $7.49 million start of Addicted (which opened in significantly fewer locations). Beyond the Lights started out with $2.30 million on Friday, increased 15 percent on Saturday to gross $2.64 million and declined a sharp 53 percent on Sunday to gross $1.25 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.69 to 1. The film did receive a strong A rating on CinemaScore.
Fox's Gone Girl rounded out the weekend's top five with $4.56 million. In the process, the critically acclaimed David Fincher directed film surpassed the $150 million domestic mark this weekend. Gone Girl continues to display terrific holding power, as it was down just 27 percent from last weekend. The 45-day total for the film stands at $152.64 million.
Upon expanding into wider release, Fox Searchlight's Birdman claimed tenth place with $2.47 million. That was up a slim 7 percent from last weekend and gave the Alejandro González Iñárritu directed awards season hopeful starring Michael Keaton a modest per-location average of $2,884 from 857 locations. After a very strong platform start, Birdman has been unable to maintain momentum as it has expanded into wider release. With that said, the film has still grossed a very respectable $11.597 million to date and will hope to stick around throughout the awards season.
In limited release, neither Open Road's Rosewater nor Samuel Goldwyn's Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas lit the box office on fire this weekend. The Jon Stewart directed Rosewater opened with $1.15 million from 371 locations, while the Kirk Cameron led Saving Christmas was slightly softer with $0.99 million from 410 locations. Respective per-location averages were $3,111 for Rosewater and $2,420 for Saving Christmas.
Sony Pictures Classics' Foxcatcher was off to a more encouraging start in platform release with $270,877 from 6 locations. That gave the Bennett Miller directed awards season hopeful starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum a healthy per-location average of $45,146 for the frame.
Elsewhere in platform release, Focus' The Theory of Everything expanded nicely with $735,398 from 41 locations. That gave the James Marsh directed awards season hopeful a strong per-location average of $17,937 for the frame. The Theory of Everything has grossed $1.03 million through ten days of platform release.
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By Pete Filiaci
What do Guardians of the Galaxy, 22 Jump Street, and Noah have in common?
Not genre, not studio, not talent-and while all three films have earned more than $120 million at the box office, that's not it either.
What these three movies share is they belong to genres for which Hispanic audiences are growing at a significantly faster rate than non-Hispanic audiences. According to research by the Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study, from 2009 to 2013, Hispanic attendees for action-adventure pictures such as Guardians of the Galaxy grew at a rate of 12 percent-far surpassing the 2 percent growth among non-Hispanics. While attendees for comedies (like 22 Jump Street) are actually off by 15 percent among non-Hispanics, the number of Hispanic attendees for the genre has increased by 5 percent.
Movies in the action-adventure and comedy genres have long been most popular among Hispanics, but new trends appear to be taking shape. The drama category (featuring films like Noah) is down 9 percent among non-Hispanic attendees but up dramatically-15 percent-among Hispanic moviegoers. Let's even consider romantic comedies, a struggling category that hasn't seen a film cross the $100 million threshold in domestic box office in three years. Non-Hispanic audiences are down 19 percent since 2009, while Hispanic audiences are up a healthy 12 percent. In fact, Hispanic audiences have grown in the sci-fi, family, and horror categories, too-every genre tracked by Hollywood.
This phenomenon is due in large part to the fact that Hispanics are much more likely than non-Hispanics to see movies as a family or group. Anecdotally, Hispanics tell us that going to the movie theater is a pastime in itself-a social experience to be shared by friends and family. Part of the fun is debating movie choices and deciding what to see after they have arrived at the theater.
Hispanics not only buy more tickets per movie than the average non-Hispanic family, they also see more movies every year than the average moviegoer. According to Nielsen, Hispanics are the most frequent moviegoers of any demographic group, taking in 8.7 movies per year as compared to 7.7 per year for non-Hispanics.
Hispanics are more likely to go to the movies than the general population (83 percent vs. 77 percent). In fact, Hispanics make up 15 percent of the U.S. population aged 12 and older but buy 19 percent of the movie tickets among this demographic. Do the math and it's clear: appealing to Hispanic audiences is key to increasing box office revenues.
Opening weekend buzz can often set word-of-mouth in action to either make or break a film and its box office fortunes. Hispanics make an enormous impact in that measure as well, with 47 percent of Hispanic moviegoers usually going to see a film on its opening weekend, something only 37 percent of non-Hispanics do.
Hispanics also demand a more integrated entertainment experience than the general population. While only 72 percent of all adults use social media, 80 percent of Hispanics do. Additionally, the number of Hispanics who use social media has increased from 18.9 million in 2010 to 28.7 million in 2014, a 52 percent increase. Put simply: Hispanics are more likely to share their opinions about movies, another factor that will drive box office revenues.
Hispanics' importance at the box office will continue to grow over the coming years. While the U.S. Hispanic population has grown sixfold since Patton and Love Story (1970) were box office hits, and Hispanics represent more than half of the overall growth in the U.S. population since Gladiator (2000) ruled the screen, the current population of Hispanics (approximately 56 million) will more than double to 128.8 million by 2060.
At Univision's panel in June at the "Produced By" Conference, National Association of Theatre Owners President John Fithian said, "Hispanics love the same movies as others ... just a little more."
That statement is very true, but Hollywood must honor this fact. According to a study last year by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Hispanics filled just 4.9 percent of the 3,942 speaking roles in the top 100 films from 2013-the same percentage they held five years earlier. The study concluded, "Hispanics clearly are the most underserved racial/ethnic group" in the film industry.
For the love story between Hispanics and movies to continue along its current happy path, Hollywood needs to change that plot.
Pete Filiaci is a vice president in Univision's Strategy and Insights Group, a dedicated consulting team of veterans from media, marketing, and agency backgrounds who help marketers develop and execute their strategies to drive sales with Hispanics. A cornerstone of their approach is helping companies evolve from treating Hispanic as a niche to deploying a "total market strategy," where Hispanic is integrated into all phases of the business planning process. Filiaci has 20 years of experience in the media industry. He has been with Univision since 1998.