Despite an impressive showing, Dracula was no match for Amazing Amy, even in her second weekend in theaters. David Fincher’s adaptation of Gone Girl took the top spot again, only falling 30 percent from its debut weekend, with an estimated $26.8 million. The Fox pic, which cost around $61 million to produce, has grossed $78.3 million domestically so far and looks poised to go on to be Fincher’s highest earner (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button holds the current title with $127.5 million).
Universal’s Dracula Untold, an origin story of the classic character starring Luke Evans, opened in second place with $23.5 from 2,887 theaters, including IMAX ($4 million from 351 screens) and large format screens. The PG-13 rated fantasy cost around $70 million to produce and has already made $62.6 million from 42 territories internationally. Audiences, which were 57 percent male and 39 percent under age 25, seemed to enjoy the dark tale, too, giving it an A- CinemaScore. “It’s better than anyone expected in the industry. With exit polls as strong as they were, it’s promising,” says Universal’s president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco. “We’re very pleased with the result.”
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Disney’s PG-rated adaptation of Judith Viorst’s 1972 children’s book starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, opened in third place with a strong $19.1 million from 3,088 locations. According to polling data, audiences were 67 percent families, 34 percent under the age of 12 and 54 percent female. Just like the other new, wide releases, Alexander... got an A- CinemaScore too. Disney also opened the movie in 14 territories internationally for a $2.8 million weekend. They’ll be rolling it out to additional territories through 2015.
“This kind of movie in the month of October where you’ve got a lot of darker themed genre fare? It’s nice to be that bright alternative,” says Dave Hollis, Disney’s EVP of Distribution, who notes that Columbus Day and the Canadian Thanksgiving will bolster Sunday’s business, too. “People are enjoying the film,” he adds. “Between now and our own Big Hero 6 opening in November, most of the films are a little darker and Halloween-ish in feel. To have something that can be a little bit of an escape and an hour and a half of good times and be the one thing that can be an all-family alternative? We’re set up for a great long run.”
Annabelle fell about 55 percent in its second weekend in theaters, earning $16.37 million and snagging the fourth place spot. The $6.5 million horror has made $62.16 million so far.
Finally, in a weekend of mostly good news, The Judge (CinemaScore: A-), the Robert Downey Jr./Robert Duvall courtroom and family drama, missed the mark by a few million and opened to a soft $13.33 million from 2,700 locations. The $50 million pic from Team Downey, Village Roadshow, Big Kid Pictures, opened at a time when there are a handful of other compelling R-rated options in theaters, including Gone Girl and The Equalizer. The Judge is hardly DOA, though and, as with many adult dramas, could surprise in the coming weeks.
1. Gone Girl — $26.8 million ($78.28 million domestic total)
2. Dracula Untold — $23.5 million
3. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — $19.1 million
4. Annabelle — $16.37 million ($62.16 million domestic total)
5. The Judge — $13.33 million
Addicted, Lionsgate’s adultery thriller, opened to $7.6 million from around 800 locations, surpassing its modest expectations ($3-$4 million) and budget (under $5 million).
In limited release, Sundance-winner Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, opened with an estimated $143.5K from 6 locations, a strong $24K per location average for Sony Pictures Classics. The Weinstein Company’s St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy and produced by Chernin Entertainment, also performed very well with an estimated $121.1K from 4 locations, an even stronger $30K per location average. And finally, the fact-based Gary Webb story Kill the Messenger starring Jeremy Renner, earned an estimated $900K from 374 locations.
Meanwhile, in landmarks, Guardians of the Galaxy opened in China to an estimated $26.6 million ($4.1 million from the 165 IMAX screens), behind the China debuts of Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Disney and Marvel’s space misfits have earned over $687 million globally to date.