Box-Office Preview: 'Dumb and Dumber To' Preps for Close Battle With 'Big Hero 6'

'Interstellar' is likely to rule globally thanks to China launch

Dim-witted buddies Harry and Lloyd return to theaters this weekend, 20 years after their big-screen debut, as Dumb and Dumber To faces off against holdover Big Hero 6 for the top spot at the U.S. box office.

According to tracking, the PG-13 comedy sequel is looking at a $32 million to $35 million domestic debut, which should put it in competition with Disney's animated family film for the No. 1 spot domestically. More conservative observers say Dumb and Dumber To will take in closer to $30 million considering how off tracking has been lately.

This weekend's other new offering, romance drama Beyond the Lights, will likely earn $8 million to $10 million in its debut.

Dumb and Dumber To returns original director Bobby and Peter Farrelly along with stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. The story follows the lifelong friends as they search for Lloyd's daughter in hopes that she can give him a kidney. Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin and Kathleen Turner also star in the sequel. Universal is releasing the Red Granite film, rated PG-13, in 3,152 theaters in North America this weekend. 

The original Dumb and Dumber opened on the weekend of Dec. 16, 1994, to a debut of $16.4 million in the U.S. The film has grossed $247.3 million worldwide to date.

Disney's Big Hero 6, which topped last weekend with a $56.2 million domestic debut, will likely give Dumb and Dumber To a run for its money as it's expected to also rake in $30 million to $35 million.

The Disney Animation Studios film, inspired by Marvel characters, chronicles the special bond that develops between Baymax (Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. In its first week, the family film earned around  $71.9 million.

Paramount and Warner Bros.' Interstellar is also in its second week, and should pull in north of $25 million. Christopher Nolan's sci-fi drama starring Matthew McConaughey took in $47.5 million in its domestic debut last weekend, good for the No. 2 spot. In its first week in theaters (it began rolling out last Wednesday), Interstellar has earned $61.8 million.

The space opus, which opens in China Wednesday, has so far performed strongly overseas, and will likely top the worldwide box office.

This weekend's other new offering, Beyond the Lights, tells the story of a Rihanna-like singer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) on the rise who falls for the cop (Nate Parker) who saves her from a suicide attempt. The $7 million film is a Relativity, Undisputed Cinema and Homegrown Pictures production in association with BET Films.

Written and directed by Secret Life of Bees helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood, the PG-13 title is the first movie to come out of Relativity's new multicultural division and is opening in 1,750 theaters. It also stars Minnie Driver, Colson Baker and Danny Glover.

There are several films opening in limited release as awards season rolls along, including Sony Pictures Classics' wrestling drama Foxcatcher, Open Road's Rosewater and Roadside's The Homesman, directed by Tommy Lee Jones.