Sunday, October 19, 2014

'Fury' leads with $23.5 million, 'Gone Girl' holds well and 'Birdman' stuns in limited release at weekend box office

After two weekends that saw David Fincher's topical drama Gone Girl top the box office, the Brad Pitt-starred war flick Fury finally overtook the mystery thriller. The war epic snagged $23.5 million this weekend. Not a spectacular opening, but solid for such a violent and intense film. That opening is the fifth highest ever for a World War II film and director David Ayer's highest opening as well. Fury also received an "A-" Cinemascore, which will help the word of mouth over the next few weekends. With a budget of only $68 million, this film should have no problem recouping its investment. It's a very solid movie with some really spectacular action scenes and great performances. My review will be coming soon.

Gone Girl fell to second place, but it didn't fall too far. The film dropped only 33% and grossed $17.8 million this weekend. Gone Girl has now made $107 million and will likely pass $150 million. This film has created a conversation and with the Oscar buzz thrown in as well, I'm betting that this becomes David Fincher's highest grossing film by next weekend (that title currently belongs to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). 

Fox's The Book of Life finished in third place with $17 million. That's not a terrific opening, but solid enough for a modestly budgeted animated flick ($50 million). The film will likely connect more with international audiences. However, the "A-" Cinemascore will help word of mouth until Big Hero 6 hits theaters and destroys the competition. But for now, I'm calling this a victory for Fox and director Jorge R. Gutierrez.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day fell only 34% this weekend to fourth place and snagged $12 million. The $28 million family comedy has now made $36.8 million and is already profitable for Disney. The film will probably cross $50 million and could end up with as much as $60 million. The new Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Best of Me, was close behind in fifth place with $10.2 million. Shockingly, that's the lowest opening for a Nicholas Sparks film in history. However, considering the 7% score on Rotten Tomatoes, it's not all that shocking. The "B+" Cinemascore is solid, but also unspectacular. In the end, this is a minor misfire since the film only cost $26 million. 

Universal's Dracula Untold plummeted 58% to sixth place and grossed $9.8 million. The poorly reviewed monster flick has now made $40.7 million in the US, which isn't great considering that the film cost $70 million. However, the film has already grossed $95.7 million overseas and will definitely recoup its investment. It's a good start for Universal's new monster franchise. 

Warner Bros.' The Judge held rather well this weekend and grabbed $7.9 million. That's only a 39.5% drop for the legal family drama. The film has now made $26.8 million, which is not good because the film cost $50 million (I have no idea where that money went). It's an okay film, but there are so many better movies in theaters right now, so I'm not truly surprised by its performance. 

Annabelle finished in eighth place with $7.9 million. The horror flick has now grossed $74.1 million. That's incredibly impressive. The film will probably close with $90 million, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it make less since it faces direct competition from Ouija next weekend. In ninth place was Sony's The Equalizer, which grossed $5.4 million this weekend. The Denzel Washington-starred action pic has now made $89.1 million and will crawl its way to $100 million. And finally, The Maze Runner rounded out the top ten with $4.5 million. Fox's YA actioner has now grossed $90.8 million and could possibly finish above $100 million. 

In the limited release world, Fox Searchlight's Birdman blew away the competition with $415,000 in 4 theaters. That adds up to a $103,750 per theater average, which is the second highest of the year. Birdman expands to more theaters next weekend before a nationwide expansion on October 31. Dear White People also had an impressive showing this weekend, snagging $344,000 in eleven theaters. That's a per theater average of $31,273, which is pretty strong. We'll see how the film does in a wide release next weekend. And finally, Jason Reitman's Men, Women and Children tanked in 608 theaters, grossing a paltry $320,000. That's one of the worst wide release openings of all time. Pretty horrible. 

Next weekend sees the release of Ouija and John Wick, along with the nationwide expansions of Dear White People and St. Vincent. Birdman is also expanding. Here are my predictions:

1. Ouija- $36 million
2. John Wick- $17.5 million
3. Fury- $13.4 million
4. Gone Girl- $13 million
5. The Book of Life- $10.5 million
6. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day- $6.9 million
7. St. Vincent- $6.5 million
8. The Best of Me- $4.8 million
9. Dracula Untold- $4.7 million
10. The Judge- $4.5 million

Image Credits: Shock Ya (Image 1), Screen Rant (Image 2), Fat Movie Guy (Image 4)

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