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Box office preview: 'Dumb and Dumber To' competes with 'Big Hero 6'

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Last week’s major releases were Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, two films with huge expectations. This week’s biggest release is Dumb and Dumber To, the sequel to 1994’s Dumb and Dumberand expectations aren’t quite as high.

When Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels first portrayed the Dumb and Dumber pair 20 years ago, audiences couldn’t get enough: The film grossed $127.2 million domestically and $247.3 worldwide. But those same audiences proved to be picky, because 2003’s prequel, When Harry Met Llyod, had a sad runit made $26.3 million domestically and never cracked the top five.

But Carrey and Daniels didn’t appear in the prequel, explaining why it lost so many viewers, but are in this onesomething that will surely help it gross more than its predecessor, but most likely not more than its main competitor this weekend: Big Hero 6, a family-friendly adventure film that beat out Interstellar last weekend by almost $10 million.

Beyond the Lights, a romantic drama about the highs and lows of pop stardom, also opens this weekend, though in only 1,600 theatersmuch less than Dumb and Dumber To‘s 3,152. Jon Stewart’s Rosewater opens in 351 theaters, and Foxcatcher in six. Though those two aren’t likely to break the top 5 because of their small runs, here are our predictions of who will:

1. Big Hero 6$33 million

Betting against Disney has proven to be a bad move. Between its brand power and all-ages appeal, Disney films are basically shoe-ins for box office success, the latest being Big Hero 6: It brought in $56.2 million its opening weekend, surpassing even the highly anticipated Interstellar. Judging by 2013’s Frozen, another Disney animated hit, Big Hero 6 isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. Frozen opened strong with $67.2 million, and ended up staying in the top five for 12 consecutive weeks. With the holidays coming up, Big Hero 6 will continue to draw in familiesand, just as importantly, will continue to benefit from the impressively positive word-of-mouth.

2. Dumb and Dumber To — $29 million

This might not be a critical darling  okay, it definitely isn’t a critical darlingbut it is a movie that appeals to anyone who watched and loved the original 20 years back. Nostalgia is powerful, and it’s what will primarily drive people to the theaters for this one.

3. Interstellar — $23 million

Before Interstellar came out, people were excited about the combination of space and Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan and IMAX… and then people saw it, didn’t like it, and were very vocal about not liking it. Sure, lots of people adored the film, but the people who didn’t had louder voices and ultimately contributed to its number two spot on opening weekend. But no matter what the dissenters say, people still want to get in on the conversation and will watch it just so they can feel includedor they’ll see it for the stunning visuals, the only aspect of the film that pretty much everyone can agree on.

4. Beyond the Lights$8.5 million

Beyond the Lights is the weekend’s other big release, and probably won’t go above $10 millionalthough for the romantic drama, made on a $7 million budget, $10 million isn’t too bad. Its lack of huge names will prevent it from making more, but it’s also a quieter, more personal film than the top three, something that should work in its favor.

5. Gone Girl — $4.3 million

Will Gone Girl ever actually go? Eventually, but not yet. The thriller continues to draw people to theaters and only dropped 25 percent in earnings between last weekend and the weekend before. It’s earned a reputation as a must-see, while the other films out nowSt. Vincent, Nightcrawler, Furyaren’t nearly as hyped, meaning Gone Girl will probably beat those outonce againfor a spot in the top five.

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