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November 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The title of the movie that arrived with the most "stellar" box-office performance of the weekend did not begin with the letters i-n-t-e-r. They began with the letters b-i-g — which also spelled out the size of its accomplishment. Disney Animation Studio’s Big Hero 6 earned an estimated $56.2 million, putting it ahead of the debut of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, with $50 million. It was DAS’s second-best opening weekend ever, behind only last year’s Frozen, but that film had the Thanksgiving holiday weekend going for it. Two years ago over the comparable weekend, Wreck-It Ralph opened with $49 million. Paramount’s estimate for Interstellar may have included a heavy dose of wishful thinking. Ordinarily estimates are based on actual ticket sales for Friday and Saturday and an "educated guess" for Sunday. Paramount reckoned that Interstellar would earn $14.6 million on Sunday, but the studio may have fudged a bit if for no other reason than the fact that movies that earn $50 million command more attention from the press than films that earn $49 million or less. Still, Paramount execs were not likely to express disappointment with the results, and they were almost certainly buoyed by word that the movie had earned $80 million overseas — and that’s even before it opens on Wednesday in China and two weeks before it opens in Japan, the world’s two biggest movie markets after the U.S. Five holdover films separated by around $500,000 filled the next four places on the domestic box-office list, and their positions could be shuffled when final figures are released later today. They included last weekend’s best opener, Open Road Films’ Nightcrawler, which fell more than 47 percent to about $5.5 million. Fox Searchlight expanded the critically praised Birdman to 462 theaters from 231 a week ago. It finished just outside the top ten, in eleventh place, with $2.3 million, dropping less than 4 percent.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Rentrak:

1. Big Hero 6, $56.2 million; 2. Interstellar, $50 million; 3. Gone Girl, $6.1 million; 4. Ouija, $6 million; 5 "St. Vincent, $5.7 million; 6. Nightcrawler, $5.5 million; 7. Fury, $5.5 million; 8. John Wick, $4 million; 9. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, $3.5 million; 10. The Book of Life, $2.8 million.