Well we almost did it. Box office came within a hair’s breadth of equaling 2013 with the opening of the two big weekend films Interstellar and Big Hero 6. Big Hero turned out to be prophetic as it won the weekend over Interstellar (much to the dismay of our and most published predictions). Overanalyzing the weekend relative to Wikipedia activity and not accounting for the two films kind of splitting the male vote led to our inflated estimate for Interstellar.
In any case the numbers were enough to get us within 2% of 2013 with a promising weekend upcoming. We had forecast a 6% decline relative to last year, but even with Interstellar not being as out of this world as we had hoped (though still certainly interplanetary strong) the holdovers in the face of strong openings did not fall as much as forecast.
Next week with the opening of Beyond the Lights and Dumb and Dumber To, we should see a return to positive territory. Last year saw The Best Man Holiday top the new openings and DDT should eclipse that number. Add to that Beyond the Lights which may be kind of anemic, but still at least 5 million and we have the recipe for another win.
We may slip a bit on 11/21 as Hunger Games 3 goes unsupported by a second opening as Hunger Games 2 was last year by Delivery Man. However, a rebound should be in store for 11/28 (Horrible Bosses 2 and Penguins of Madagascar vs Frozen 67M, Black Nativity, 3.6M, and Homefront 7M).
Quick note on IMAX, Interstellar was well interstellar in IMAX, posting the largest percentage box office ever for a first run release with about 27% of the take.