A struggling box office got a pair of helping hands on Thursday night with Annabelle and Gone Girl each drawing strong late night crowds at an off time of year. Both films are expected to meet or exceed expectations during their opening weekends ahead of the high profile films set to debut in November.
Annabelle scared up $2.1 million with its freaky doll and looks to be on a pace to finish between $30 and $35 million for the weekend. Halloween month should treat Annabelle and might cut into the huge opening weekend drop-offs that horror films typically experience.
David Fincher’s Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike pulled in $1.25 million but don’t think that means it won’t beat Annabelle for the weekend. Horror films are more popular during late night showings with the younger crowds so it’s no surprise that Annabelle was strong out the gate. Gone Girl will build momentum throughout the weekend and should finish north of $30 or $35 million through Sunday.
Read our Gone Girl movie review.
MLB Playoffs as well as college football on Saturday and NFL football on Sunday could slow Gone Girl down a little, but advance ticket sales show enormous interest in the film based on the bestselling novel of the same name. Fandango is reporting presales for Gone Girl movie tickets are right on par with Gravity the week of release. However, Gravity enjoyed a hefty earnings boost from 3D and IMAX showings that Gone Girl will not benefit from.
The weekend’s other newcomer, Left Behind starring Nicholas Cage, will likely live up to its name and finish third for the weekend. First place will depend on if Gone Girl can merely exceed expectations, which distributor Fox has set at only $20 to $22 million, or blow them out of the water if the millions of book fans turn out to see the film on its opening weekend.