By Daniel Garris

Disney's Big Hero 6 led the way at the box office this weekend with $56.22 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 $15.81 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 $24.05 million and fell 32 percent on Sunday to gross $16.36 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.56 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 $47.51 million (the film came in roughly $2.5 million below Sunday's studio estimate). The highly anticipated Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film has grossed $49.66 million to date, after an additional two days of limited release on Wednesday and Thursday. Interstellar opened 15 percent below the $55.79 million start of last year's Gravity (which did have the advantage of higher priced 3D admissions) and 24 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 $16.87 million (which included $2.7 million from late night shows on Thursday), increased a modest 8 percent on Saturday to fall to second with $18.29 million and declined 32.5 percent on Sunday to gross $12.35 million. That places the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.82 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 Inception also received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.

The audience breakdown for Interstellar was nearly evenly split 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 $833,859 separated third place and seventh place this weekend.

Fox's Gone Girl claimed third place with $6.21 million. The critically acclaimed David Fincher directed film continued to hold up well as it was down just 27 percent from last weekend. The hold was especially impressive given the new competition from Interstellar. Gone Girl has grossed an impressive $145.54 million in 38 days, which leaves it $4.46 million away from reaching the $150 million domestic mark.

Ouija followed closely behind in fourth with $5.87 million. The low-budget horror film from Universal and Platinum Dunes was down a very respectable 45 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 $43.33 million.

Sony's Fury rounded out the weekend's top five with $5.63 million. The World War II film starring Brad Pitt was down a very solid 36 percent from last weekend. Fury is on the verge of clearing the $70 million mark with a 24-day take of $69.39 million.

The Weinstein Company's St. Vincent placed in sixth with $5.41 million. The well-received comedy starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy had another strong hold this weekend, as it was down only 25 percent. Thanks in part to continued strong word of mouth, St. Vincent has grossed $27.05 million to date.

On the heels of last weekend's close second place start, Open Road's Nightcrawler fell to seventh place this weekend with $5.37 million. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal was down a significant 49 percent, which suggests that the film isn't going over as well with audiences as it has with critics. Nightcrawler has grossed $19.62 million in ten days, which is in line with expectations.

On the platform front, Focus' The Theory of Everything was off to a noteworthy start with $208,763 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 $41,753 for the frame.

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North Hollywood, Calif. -- NATO today released technological requirements for High Dynamic Range (HDR) projection systems for movie theaters. The requirements, developed by NATO's Technology Committee and NATO's technology consultant, Jerry Pierce, seek open standards for the technology, so as to avoid multiple, incompatible proprietary systems.

NATO's Technology Committees have a mission of encouraging new technologies that may benefit the entire industry. To that end, we believe new image presentation systems have the potential to bring new experiences to our patrons. At this time NATO is not endorsing High Dynamic Range (HDR) or Laser systems, but we believe it is important for NATO to identify requirements necessary to bring these new technologies into our theaters. We hope to work with studios, service providers, and equipment manufacturers in understanding and refining our requirements.

It is critical that there not be multiple proprietary solutions for theaters. It is essential that a theater that selects one class of HDR or Lasers be able to play all movies that are released in this class of new technologies. We also recognize the complexities of mastering to multiple target systems and the added complexity of distribution of multiple masters. We also believe it is time to define standards for new 2D and 3D projectors. With this in mind, and considering the difficulties of achieving high brightness particularly on low gain screens, there should be an acceptable tolerance either side in achieving these defined open standards. There also needs to be consideration of the illumination fall off with age of laser-based projectors.

Based on the work in Inter-Society and ISDCF (Inter-Society Digital Cinema Forum) with participation from all sectors, NATO believes that there should be no more than four open standards for HDR defined - two for HDR-2D and two for HDR-3D for new HDR/Laser experiences. We are not proposing the numerical standards for the standards. We believe the creative and technical groups should define the detailed values. We believe defining an open standard is the most effective way of helping guide the industry without constraining creativity.

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By Alex Edghill

Minions led the pack this past week in Facebook like increases, coming in with just under 940k new likes. The lovable Minions have been a pop culture hit since their first appearance in Despicable Me back in 2010. The reception of their first trailer has been nothing short of remarkable, especially since these 'creatures' are relatively young and have been around for less than five years. So far this gets an A+ for social media buzz (Twitter has been huge too for its first trailer), as there have been few animated films over the last five years to generate anywhere near the same level of hype.

The latent buzz from the Furious 7 trailer saw it only a few thousand likes behind Minions as it approached 1 million likes for the second weekend in a row. Not much more to be said here for the film which continues to set the gold standard for all Facebook buzz.

Fifty Shades OF Grey released a teaser trailer to its second trailer that generated a sizeable 200k new likes but the real test comes with its full trailer to see how much buzz it will generate when compared to the first trailer and if it can sustain the momentum the novels and early buzz created.

Into The Woods saw the biggest percentage increase on the week as its trailer was attached to the very well received Big Hero 6. Easier to get big increases for a film which has low overall numbers but given the Disney name and actors such as Meryl Streep this is an intriguing choice for the holiday season which might be able to have a wide appeal.

Facebook Top 15 Movies by Like Increase for the Week Ending Sunday November 9th

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 07/10/15 Minions 26,939,175 25,999,212 939,963 3.62%
2 04/03/15 Furious 7 53,700,512 52,762,954 937,558 1.78%
3 11/21/14 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 21,064,202 20,855,380 208,822 1.00%
4 02/13/15 Fifty Shades of Grey 5,372,101 5,164,688 207,413 4.02%
5 11/14/14 Dumb and Dumber To 4,111,393 4,026,647 84,746 2.10%
6 11/26/14 Penguins of Madagascar 3,238,492 3,171,167 67,325 2.12%
7 05/01/15 Avengers: Age of Ultron 12,354,693 12,306,347 48,346 0.39%
8 09/19/14 The Maze Runner 1,718,167 1,672,104 46,063 2.75%
9 06/26/15 Ted 2 20,662,311 20,616,708 45,603 0.22%
10 12/25/14 Into the Woods 88,554 60,886 27,668 45.44%
11 02/06/15 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water 308,768 281,196 27,572 9.81%
12 12/17/14 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 14,188,405 14,162,615 25,790 0.18%
13 03/25/16 Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice 3,553,293 3,528,962 24,331 0.69%
14 01/16/15 Paddington 386,869 362,621 24,248 6.69%
15 08/08/14 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) 1,760,530 1,737,553 22,977 1.32%

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interstellar.pngInterstellar launched to a $132.25 million global day-and-date debut, opening acros 62 overseas markets with an $80 million total. The result is on par with Gravity, a good start considering Nolan's film does not carry a 3D surcharge. IMAX contributed $7.2 million from 206 screens for a per-screen average of $35k. The overseas haul should see a big bump next Wednesday with the film's Chinese debut. As of Sunday, Interstellar is leading the charge in key markets like South Korea ($14.1M), the UK ($8.4M), and Russia ($8.1M). Continental Europe is not far behind with France ($5M), Germany ($4.4M), and Italy ($3.6M) also posting strong showings. Mexico ($3.2M) and Brazil ($1.9M) are also proof of the film's success in key Latin American markets.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles grossed $17.3 million over the weekend, including a $13.6 million haul from its second weekend in China. The Turtles lead the Chinese box office, a market where they have already earned a cume of $50.3 million. The film only has one key market, Japan, where it is due for a February 7 release. The film has grossed a total of $273.2 million overseas and $464 million worldwide.

The Maze Runner maintains its pace overseas as it earned $11.6 million from 33 markets over the weekend. The film crossed the $225 million milestone outside of North America and currently stands at $324 million worldwide.

Gone Girl took in $8.5 million from 43 markets, taking its worldwide total above $300 million in its sixth weekend of release. The film has grossed an overseas cume of $158.2 million with only two major markets, Italy and Japan, waiting for a December release.

A $7.6 million haul from 17 territories lifted Big Hero 6 to a $23 million cume outside of North America. The film has now grossed a worldwide total of $79.2 million. Russia continues to lead the overseas pack with an $18.2 million cume. The film expands to Mexico, Trinidad, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia next weekend and will continue opening overseas throughout February.

Fury grossed $7 million from 44 markets to reach a $51.5 million overseas haul. The war film has grossed a worldwide cume of $120.5 million

Annabelle grossed $6.7 million from 58 markets, taking its overseas haul up to $160.5 million. The horror flick has collected $244 million worldwide. Top overseas markets include Mexico ($18.2M), Brazil ($15.6M), France ($12.6M), adn the UK ($12M).

Dracula Untold took in $6.4 million from 61 territories, lifting its overseas cume to $147.7 million and crossing the $200 million mark globally. The film's worldwide total currently stands at $202.6 million.

The Book of Life is still up and kicking after grossing $3.5 million from 17 markets. The animated film has grossed a total of $35.1 million overseas and $78.3 million worldwide.

Ouija conjured $3.2 million from 19 hold-over territories to reach an overseas cume of $13.3 million. The film has grossed a worldwide total of $56.5 million cume and will expand to Russia, Thailand, and Ukraine next weekend.

The Boxtrolls crossed the $100 million mark worldwide after hitting a $51.6 million cume outside of North America with a $2.5 million weekend overseas. The film is Laika's biggest overseas release of all time, crossing the overseas cumes of Paranorman ($51.1M) and Coraline ($49.3M).

Guardians of the Galaxy completed its overseas roll out, finishing its last weekend with new territories with a $438 overseas cume. The film has grossed a total of $768 million worldwide with China ($95.7M) leading the pack, followed by the UK ($47.5M) and Russia ($37.6M).

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Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports that Interstellar is up to $26.2 million from 62 markets. 

Top Markets, per WB:

Korea (2nd day) - a huge #1 in the market with KRW 2.7b ($2.6m) on 1,270 screens, which brings the cume through Friday to KRW 4.7b ($4.3m).

UK - a great opening day at £1.48m ($2.4m) on 1,298 screens, 5% ahead of GRAVITY, ranking a strong #1 with 60% market share of the Top 5 films. Including sneaks, the running cume stands at £1.5m ($2.4m).

Russia (2nd day) - Rbl 62.5m ($1.4m) on 1,800 screens with nearly 50% market share of the Top 5 films. The 2-day cume is now Rbl 118.0m ($2.7m).

Germany (2nd day) - €850k ($1.1m) on 715 screens, with a dominant share of the Top 5 films at 55%, which brings the cume to date to €1.4m ($1.8m).

France (3rd day) added €585k ($731k) and 90k admissions from 747 screens to its running cume which now stands at €1.6m ($2.0m). INTERSTELLAR captured nearly 50% market share of the Top 5 films.

Spain opened 45% ahead of GRAVITY with €525k ($656k) on 555 screens, ranking 1 and capturing 38% share of the market.

Australia (2nd day) - A$881k ($768k) from 548 screens, 2-day cume is A$1.6m ($1.4m). The Friday results represent around 50% share of the Top 5 films.

Italy (2nd day) - €490k ($612k) on 580 screens, 39% market share of the Top 5 films. Progressive cume to date is now €790k ($987k).

Mexico (2nd day) - Ps 8.2m ($602k) on 1,597 screens with 39% market share of the Top 5, bringing the 2-day cume to Ps 12.9m ($955k).

Brazil (2nd day) - Rs 888k ($360k) on 411 screens, cume to date at Rs 1.4m ($579k).

Friday Update: Interstellar landed on 35 overseas markets on Thursday, claiming the #1 spot in each of its opening day slots. The sci-fi flick from Christopher Nolan finished Thursday with an $87 million overseas haul, already tracking ahead of Gravity over the same markets even without a 3D surcharge to ticket prices. Interstellar has now grossed an overseas total of $9.7 million after two days of release.

Top Markets, according to Warner Bros.:

Korea - KRW 1.9b ($1.8m) on 1,090 screens, roughly 72% of the top 5 market share

Russia - Rbl 55.5m ($1.3m) on 1,800 screens. 61% of top 5 market share

Germany - €550k ($687k) on 717 screens, controlling 66% of the top 5 market share

Australia - A$ 720k ($628k) on 548 screens, capturing 61% of the top 5 market share

France (2nd day) - €430k ($538k) and 65.7k admissions on 747 screens, 51% share of the top 5 market. The Wed/Thurs drop is -23% far ahead of the normative drop for a non-holiday (which is usually in the 40's). Progressive cume to date is now €1.02m.

Italy - €300k ($375k) on 580 screens, 41% top 5 market share

Mexico - Ps 4.7m ($347k) on 1,458 screens, 43% of top 5 films

Brazil -Rs 583k ($236k) on 411 screens, 30% of top 5 market share

Interstellar expands to 22 more markets today, including the UK and Spain. The film will hit 62 countries and more than 13,000 screens by Sunday.


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