GOING BIONIC: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS INTERNATIONALLY – DUMB AND (NOT SO) DUMBER TO RULES THE BOX OFFICE Image

Before you rub your eyes to make sure they’re not deceiving you, it’s true: Dumb and Dumber To stumbled its way past Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Chris Nolan’s Interstellar, to win the weekend box office. In doing so, the picture became the single largest opening weekend ever for the Farrelly Brothers, and became Jim Carrey’s biggest since Bruce Almighty in 2003. In honor of Harry and Lloyd’s continued intelligence at the box office twenty years after Dumb and Dumber (1994), today we’re going to compare the box office numbers of both films, along with their underperforming prequel, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003). So, here’s what’s so smart about the Dumb and Dumber franchise.

Dumb and Dumber (1994) Box Office Domination
Released on December 16, 1994, this $17 million budgeted comedy gem earned $127,175,374 domestically, and another $120,100,000 internationally, giving it a worldwide total of $247,275,374. The film also won its opening weekend by earning $16,363,442 in 2,447 theaters, giving it a $6,687 per screen average. What’s more impressive is the film only made 4% in its second week of release, when it earned $15,586,425 on 2,470 screens. Furthermore, Dumb and Dumber remained #1 at the box office for its first four weeks of release and remained in the top five for an additional five weeks.

Dumb and Dumber To (2014) Wins Opening Weekend
Released on November 14, this franchise’s newest gem won this past weekend with $36,111,775 on 3,154 screens, giving it an $11,450 per screen average. Not only is this per screen average nearly double of its predecessor, but also its box office is two and a quarter times greater than Dumb and Dumber. Even with a reported budget of $35-$40 million, this picture should continue to thrive financially, given it’s “cult classic” pedigree, coupled with a strong presence in social media and all of the multi-platforms it can be distributed on these days.

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)
Released on June 13, 2003, this $19 million budgeted flop is the bastard middle child to its other more beloved siblings. However, it did keep the franchise name alive (albeit brief) in the middle of the twenty-year gap between Dumb and Dumber and Dumb and Dumber To. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd earned $26,276,475 domestically and another $12,991,050 internationally, giving it a $39,267,515 worldwide box office total. The picture earned $10,845,064 on 2,609 screens on its opening weekend, giving it a franchise low $4,156 per screen average and a sixth place finish, which is also a franchise low. To put those numbers into perspective, in its first three days of release, Dumb and Dumber To (2014) nearly earned the entire worldwide box office total of Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003). Of course, the 2003 effort lacked star power, so it wasn’t expected to break any box office records.

Okay, filmmakers! That concludes this 241st edition of Going Bionic. I thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I’d be honored to borrow them again next Tuesday. Until then, I wish you a productive and creatively fulfilling week. I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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