After two days in limited release, Interstellar expanded to 3,561 locations and earned an estimated $17 million. That's well below Inception's $21.8 million debut, though it is at least roughly on par with Gravity's $17.5 million start last year.
Interstellar's audience was split evenly between men (52 percent) and women, and skewed much older (75 percent were at least 25 years of age). They awarded the movie a "B+" CinemaScore, which is in line with Inception.
Also of note: IMAX generated $4.6 million, or a whopping 27 percent of the total Friday number.
If Interstellar holds up like Gravity, it will end the weekend with $54 million. A more likely outcome is a performance similar to Skyfall, which opened around the same time in 2012: that pattern would put Interstellar at $49 million for the weekend.
At 3,761 theaters, Big Hero 6 opened to a very good $15.83 million. That's noticeably higher than Wreck-It Ralph ($13.5 million) and Megamind ($12.5 million), both of which also opened in early November. If Big Hero 6 follows the same pattern as Ralph, it will wrap up the weekend with $57 million.
These two movies accounted for well over 70 percent of business on Friday. The rest of the field was fairly unimpressive: Ouija, Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, Fury (2014) and St. Vincent all earned between $1.6 and $1.9 million.
1. Big Hero 6 - $56 million
2. Interstellar - $50 million
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• Forecast: 'Interstellar,' 'Big Hero 6' to Achieve Liftoff This Weekend
• Grosses for Friday, November 7, 2014
• 2014 Domestic Box Office