Big Hero 6, a largely delightful crowd-pleaser from Disney Animation, was always expected to do well at the box office, but it was hard to foresee that it would one day brush shoulders with the likes of The Lion King and its contemporary, Frozen, as one of the studio’s highest-grossing films of all time.
But that’s exactly what happened during the Valentine’s Day Weekend. According to Variety, Big Hero 6 grossed just $694,000 this week, but that was enough to move it past Beauty and the Beast and into Disney’s No. 3 slot.
Disney always had confidence in the film, granting it a $165 million budget from the outset, and it delivered the goods with a $56.2 million opening weekend.
But where the film really delivered was in having a long shelf life and doing well overseas.
Thus far, according to Box Office Mojo, the Don Hall and Chris Williams-directed action-adventure has grossed $219.3 million at the U.S. box office and $301.8 million internationally for a worldwide total of around $521.1 million — a profit of $356.1 million, at least until studio creative accounting turns it into a loss.
The film tells the story of robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius, thanks to brother Tadashi and their friends Go Go Tamago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred.
“When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo,” Rotten Tomatoes notes, “Hiro turns to his closest companion, a robot named Baymax, and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.”
The RT critic aggregator has Big Hero 6 scoring an impressive 90 percent “Fresh” rating from professional movie critics and 92 percent from the user community. It’s also well-received on IMDb with an 8/10 average out of more than 91,000 votes.
In other words, if you haven’t seen it in theaters yet, hurry up and do so. The window is closing.
In other box office news, the big winner from this weekend — to no one’s surprise and possibly everyone’s disappointment — was the critically-maligned Fifty Shades of Grey, which itself is based on an equally maligned piece of bestselling erotica from author E.L. James.
The two flicks couldn’t be more different.
Of course, Fifty Shades‘ $80 million-plus opening could be hard to sustain with no Valentine’s Day and little critical approval to support it over the coming weeks. Analysts are expecting a huge second-week week drop, so it’s only a matter of time before we know whether it has the longevity of a Big Hero 6.