Stupid sells, a maxim proven anew as Universal Pictures' celebration of all things dimwitted, "Dumb and Dumber To," easily stumbled its way into first place Friday with an estimated opening-day box office take of $14.2 million.
The 20-years-later sequel, reuniting stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, generated an abysmal 36 rating (on a scale of 100) on Metacritic -- the aggregating website -- based on 30 reviews. But the roundly negative notices--"Every attempt at a joke is like a little rock thrown at your face," the San Francisco Chronicle wrote--appeared to have little impact on audiences' enthusiasm for the film.
Movie fans spent $1.6 million on early screenings Thursday night, and it's projected to rake in $35 million over this opening weekend. The original "Dumb and Dumber" grossed $127 million in 1994.
Coming in second in the early returns is Paramount's deep-space black-hole thriller "Interstellar," which took in an estimated $8.3 million on the Friday of its second week of release, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. It has fared far better with critics, posting a 74% approval rating at RottenTomatoes.com.
Also in its second week in theaters, "Big Hero 6," Disney's animated adventure about an air-filled robot named Baymax, showed little sign of deflating, collecting an estimated $8 million on Friday in 3,773 theaters. That places it third in terms of Friday's box office, according to Box Office Mojo, and brings total box office revenue to almost $83.7 million in eight days for Disney's first film based on a Marvel Comic book. It has garnered general favorable reviews, and scores a 75 on Metacritic based on 34 reviews. "Big Hero 6" also has been projected to hit the $35-million mark for the weekend.
Relativity Studios' low-budget pop music-centric "Beyond the Lights" took in an estimated $2.3 million on Friday, screening in 1,789 theaters, on pace toward an opening weekend gross of $7 million, according to Relativity, recouping the film's entire production budget out of the gate. That's down a bit from some earlier estimates that placed its opening weekend revenue closer to $10 million.
"Beyond the Lights," the first release from the studio's new multicultural division, reflects a strategy of releasing films made on modest budgets and targeting them to specific audiences with lowered risks of major losses, an idea that appears to have worked with the inaugural project.
It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker as a newly minted pop music superstar and the police officer assigned to help protect her, respectively. They quickly fall in love, their romance potentially jeopardizing both their careers. It has been reviewed positively, garnering an 84% ranking from Rotten Tomatoes.
Fox's "Gone Girl" rounds out the Top 5 for Friday grosses on Box Office Mojo's ranking, with a $1.4-million estimated take, pushing its release-to-date gross to just under $150 million.
Disney's other current release, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," the Steve Carrell comedy based on the children's book, posted a projected $374,000 Friday in 1,633 theaters, upping its six-week take to just under $61.2 million.