Big Hero 6 and the Importance of the Four Quadrants

by Jason Hellerman on November 10, 2014

Turn on your TV, check out a billboard, or scroll through the news from this past weekend and you'll see the movie everyone is taking about is . . .

Big Hero 6?

Sure the Disney animated film came out with a ton of fan fare but the overwhelming buzz about November 7th was that Interstellar was unstoppable. It was the movie EVERYONE was going to see. Other studios shied away from the weekend and wisely buried their mediocre releases.

Interstellar was a juggernaut, starring the red hot Matthew McConaughey, the director Christopher Nolan was about to make a statement about his post-Batman career, and it featured another brooding score from Han's Zimmer.

Still, when the numbers came in Big Hero 6 took the weekend AND it opened in more theaters.

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count /Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 N Big Hero 6 BV $56,200,000 - 3,761 - $14,943 $56,200,000 $165 1
2 N Interstellar Par. $50,000,000 - 3,561 - $14,041 $52,151,000 $165 1

The argument can be made that in the 200 theaters Interstellar was shorted was due to technical specs and not content but one thing remains clear, if your movie appeals to all four quadrants you're in a good place to beat any movie at the Box Office.

So what are the four quadrants?

In the movie industry, a "four-quadrant movie" is one which appeals to all four major demographic "quadrants" of the moviegoing audience: both male and female, over and under 25 years old. These movies are seen as the crown jewel of many studios because they often open and stay at big numbers at the Box Office.  They consistently perform well and usually make back their budget plus much more.

While a lot of these films are based on intellectual property it is important to remember that many of the great four quadrant films are original specs. Movies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Meet The Parents, and Avatar only exist because someone sat down to write them.

Identifying your audience and quadrants is extremely important when writing a spec. Studios buy specs based on the idea that making the film will achieve profits in the future. The more quadrant potential, the better the odds the script will actually sell, especially overseas.


At ScreenCraft, we're always trying to help your writing make it to the big screen. That's why we're happy to announce the second annual Family Friendly Screenplay Contest. This contest avoids the genre-bias of some other contests by seeking exclusively screenplays that are life-affirming stories of faith, courage, hope and love.

Family_Main_Header_01_2 (1)


Whether you have a family drama, comedy, animation, or action-adventure film, WE WANT TO READ YOUR SCRIPT.


The 2014 jury features these family-friendly Hollywood executives:

Josh Nadler

VP of Development at Affirm Films, the company behind such faith-friendly hits as: Fireproof, Soul Surfer, Facing the Giants, Mom’s Night Out!

Alden Dalia

development executive at Sony Pictures Entertainment, the company behind such family-friendly blockbusters as Goosebumps, Smurfs, Annie, The Karate Kid, Stuart Little, Grown Ups, Zookeeper, Pink Panther, Paul Blart and more!

Dan Finley

development executive at Chernin Entertainment, with such credits as Parental Guidance, Planet of the Apes and several big studio family films in development!


Which quadrants are you writing for? Who's the audience for your spec?

If it's Family Friendly and hits all four quadrants enter it HERE!

Get Our Newsletter!

Get weekly writing inspiration delivered to your inbox - including industry news, popular articles, and more!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Developing Your Own Script?

We'll send you a list of our free eCourses when you subscribe to our newsletter. No strings attached.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You Might Also Like