‘Interstellar,’ ‘Big Hero 6’ Tracking for Blockbuster $60 Million Box Office Openings

The Nov. 7 weekend looks like a close race between the Matthew McConaughey sci-fi epic and Disney’s animated tale

What are expected to be two of fall’s biggest box-office hits came on pre-release tracking Thursday morning and the numbers suggest domestic openings in the $55 million to $60 million range for both Paramount’s “Interstellar” and Disney Animation’s “Big Hero 6.”

The Nov. 7 weekend is shaping up as a box-office blockbuster — and potentially a close race — for the Christopher Nolan space epic and Disney Animation’s film inspired by the Marvel comic.

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The openings are three weeks away and the marketing campaigns have yet to hit high gear, so the projections could well rise, but both studios have to be pleased with the early data on what are their most important releases of the season. There’s room for both pricey projects to succeed because, at least initially, they target different audiences. The PG-13-rated sci-fi adventure looks very strong with men, while the PG-rated “Big Hero” should play very well with families.

It sets up a situation similar to last year, when Disney’ “Monsters University” debuted with $82 million and Paramount’s Brad Pitt zombie thriller “World War Z” opened to $66 million on the same June 21 weekend.

Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, as well as Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and Casey Affleck, star in “Interstellar.” Nolan writes and directs the film, which will debut on a limited basis in select theaters and at IMAX sites on Wednesday, Nov. 5. Warner Bros. is distributing overseas.

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“Big Hero Six” follows robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who with his closest companion — a robot named Baymax – and a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters, battles to save the high-tech city of San Fransokyo.

Don Hall and Chris Williams direct, and the voice cast includes Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Maya Rudolph, T.J. Miller and James Cromwell.

“Big Hero Six” will be the first Disney Animation release since “Frozen,” the highest-grossing animated film in history.