Looks like 20 years isn't too long for "Dumb and Dumber" to make a comeback.
"Dumb and Dumber To" topped the box office this weekend with an estimated $38.1 million in the United States and Canada, pushing Disney's "Big Hero 6" out of its No. 1 spot. "Big Hero 6" pulled in $36 million in its sophomore weekend, raising its cumulative domestic total to $111.7 million.
The PG-13-rated "Dumb and Dumber To," which cost about $40 million to make, exceeded Universal Pictures' $30 million expectation and met tracking estimates of up to $38 million. The film again follows dimwitted friends Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) as they go on a road trip to find Harry's long-lost daughter.
"I think audiences in this day and age want to be entertained," said Universal's head of distribution, Nikki Rocco. "The reason they come to see a movie like this is for its pure humor."
The original "Dumb and Dumber" grossed $247 million worldwide and made the directing team of brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly into a powerful comedic brand. The film, which cost just $16 million to make, held the top spot at the box office for four weeks.
"We didn't want this to be 'Dumb and Dumber Lite,'" Peter Farrelly said of the sequel in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last month. "We wanted it to be as good as the first movie. Our goal is that after you see both movies and a couple of years have passed, they will blur together."
Like the original film, which received middling reviews but went on to become a cult classic, the sequel has not been well received. It earned a B-minus rating from audience polling firm CinemaScore and 27% "fresh" rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
Nostalgia for the original film likely nudged older crowds into theaters: About 57% of moviegoers were 25 and older. To help market the film to younger audiences, Universal released a teaser trailer on popular app Snapchat. The studio used a similar tactic to attract moviegoers younger than 25 for the opening of "Ouija" in October.
"Dumb and Dumber To" is the Farrelly brothers' biggest opening to date, bigger than the duo's box office success in the 1990s with films such as "There's Something About Mary" and "Kingpin."
The Farrellys' 2012 movie "The Three Stooges" opened to a decent $17.1 million but ultimately pulled in just $44.3 million in the United States and Canada.
Before that, none of their last four films, including 2003's "Stuck on You" and 2011's "Hall Pass," had an opening weekend that hit $15 million or a total domestic gross that exceeded $45 million.
The animated "Big Hero 6" became the 85th title in Disney's history to cross the $100-million mark in the United States and Canada. The film, which cost about $165 million to make, continues to do well, propelled by strong reviews and good word of mouth, reflected by an A grade from CinemaScore.
Directed by Disney veterans Don Hall ("Winnie the Pooh") and Chris Williams ("Bolt"), the CG-animated film follows a rebellious robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) and a guileless healthcare robot named Baymax (Scott Adsit). It is a loose adaptation of a little-known Marvel comic book.
"Interstellar" held up well enough to finish No. 3. The space drama added $29.2 million to its domestic gross, which is at about $97.8 million. The film has soared overseas too: Its worldwide cumulative total is $321.9 million.
The roughly three-hour film follows Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), an engineer and pilot who has been called upon to find a hospitable new planet because Earth is turning into a giant dust bowl. Cofinanced by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., the drama cost about $165 million to make.
"Beyond the Lights," the other major box office debut this weekend, opened at No. 4 with $6.5 million. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film follows the life of a music superstar Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her relationship with a young cop, Kaz Nicol (Nate Parker). Minnie Driver and Danny Glover also star.
The film, which cost just $7 million to make, received an A on CinemaScore and 84% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
It is the first film to be released under Relativity Studios' newly formed multicultural division under producer Matt Alvarez ("Barbershop" and "Ride Along"). It is a production by Relativity, Undisputed Cinema and Homegrown Pictures in association with BET Films.
Fox Searchlight's "Birdman" flew into the top 10 in its fifth weekend. The film added about $2.5 million to its gross, raising its total domestic gross about $11.6 million.
"Foxcatcher," distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, had a strong opening in limited release on six screens in New York and Los Angeles. The wrestling drama starring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum debuted to $288,113, or a per-screen average of about $48,019.
Also in limited release, Jon Stewart's film "Rosewater" grossed slightly more than $1.2 million on 351 screens, with a per-screen average of $3,419. The movie, distributed by Open Road Films, is an adaptation of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari's memoir about his imprisonment.