For the second weekend in a row Fox’s Gone Girl ruled the North American box office thanks to a strong hold over the Columbus Day holiday weekend. The acclaimed thriller held off a glut of new releases that included Dracula Untold, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Addicted and the Robert Downey Jr. drama The Judge. The wide selection of offerings helped propel the box office up 30% over last year at this time when the second weekend of Gravity and the arrival of Captain Phillips were the most popular multiplex choices.
For the first time since 2010 an R-rated adult drama remained in the number one spot for two consecutive weeks. Gone Girl’s strong second round showing is the result of positive feedback from ticket buyers and the film’s continued coverage in the media. Both helped the Ben Affleck feature ease a mere 29% to $26.8 million this weekend on 3,284 screens.
With $78 million in the bank after only ten days, the movie is on course to beat The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as director David Fincher’s biggest domestic hit, which earned $127 million back in 2008. Should Gone Girl continue to be the “it” film of the early fall season to see, it could earn close to $130-135 million. Overseas the domestic mystery hit has earned a solid $62 million so far.
While adults helped keep Gone Girl going strong, enough young males checked out Universal’s origin story Dracula Untold to give it a solid second place finish. The $70 million co-production with Legendary Pictures arrived on 2,889 screens where it earned a decent $23.5 million. The film stars Luke Evans (The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug) in the origin tale of how Vlad the Impaler became the legendary bloodsucker. Critics drove a stake through Untold’s creative heart by giving it a 24% approval rating. Opening day ticket buyers were a little kinder. They gave the vampire origin story an “A-“ rating on CinemaScore.
The film displaced Gone Girl on Friday to take first place but its moment of glory was relatively brief. Girl surged 38% on Saturday and retook the top spot while Dracula lost 2% of its Friday crowd. The film took a harder hit on Sunday by dipping 33% to move down to third place behind Disney’s Alexander. Despite the CinemaScore rating, it appears that ticket buyer word-of-mouth may sink Dracula Untold quicker than Universal would like. Foreign totals, on the other hand, are looking more optimistic. After two weekends of release Dracula Untold’s foreign totals stand at a bloody good $63 million.
Speaking of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the well-received family comedy earned a decent $19.1 million from 3,088 screens. Based on the popular children’s book of the same name, the $28 million comedy starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner received a 66% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also seemed to satisfy ticket buyers as well, who gave Alexander an “A-“ CinemaScore rating.
After scaring up a big opening last weekend the Warner/New Line horror feature Annabelle slid 56% in its second go around. The film still managed to scare up a decent $16.3 million in its sophomore session on 3,215 screens. After ten days the $6.5 million production has earned a great $62 million and could work its way to $90-95 million, possibly $100 million if the movie gets a second wind come Halloween. Annabelle’s overseas total currently stands at $60 million.
Rounding out the top five this weekend was the disappointing debut of the Robert Downey Jr. courtroom drama The Judge. Directed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) and co-starring Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton and Vera Farmiga, The Judge was found guilty of too many courtroom drama clichés by the nation’s critics and was sentenced with a 47% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. The opening day jurors polled by CinemaScore were a bit more lenient. They gave the film an “A-“ rating (I am sensing a pattern this weekend).
Adult ticket buyers, who tend to pay attention to reviews when it comes to films like The Judge, opted to spend their money at Gone Girl instead. Despite a heavy marketing push by Warner Brothers and promotional efforts from Downey (who co-produced the film with his wife), the best The Judge could muster from 3,003 screens was a weak $13.3 million. The $50 million production will have to look to overseas to recoup its production costs.
Lionsgate’s Addicted arrived on 846 screens where it earned an estimated $7.6 million, which was good enough for seventh place. The film’s $8,983 per screen average was the best in the top ten. Based on the novel of the same name by Zane, the Billy Woodruff-directed drama was only reviewed by nine critics on Rotten Tomatoes but eight of those reviewers didn’t like the latest directorial effort from the man who brought us Honey.
The remainder of the top ten was as follows:
- The Equalizer (Sony) $9.7 million (-48%); $79.8 million
- The Maze Runner (Fox) $7.5 million (-35%); $83.8 million
- The Boxtrolls (Focus Features) $6.6 million (-44%); $41 million
- Left Behind (Freestyle) $2.9 million (-54%); $10.9 million
Next weekend sees the arrival of The Best Of Me, The Book of Life and Fury.