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Box office update: 'Fury' takes in nearly $9 million Friday

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Brad Pitt’s World War II tank thriller Fury blew away the competition in its Friday debut, racking up $8.8 million at the box office and handily ending Gone Girl’s two-week run as the No. 1 movie in the country. The animated kids’ flick The Book of Life, meanwhile, showed a strong pulse in its first day in wide release, tallying $4.9 million. And the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ romantic tearjerker The Best of Me opened to a lackluster $4.1 million Friday, on track to come up short of pre-release expectations for its opening weekend.

Fury rolls into multiplexes with an A- Cinemascore and stands as director David Ayer’s (End of Watch, Sabotage) strongest opening to date. The film features Pitt as Sgt. Don “Wardaddy” Collier, a world-weary tank commander leading his crew (Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Logan Lerman, and Michael Peña) across war-torn Nazi Germany.

En route to ceding the top box office spot to Fury this week, Gone Girl—David Fincher’s adaptation of former EW writer Gillian Flynn’s 2012 bestselling crime pot boiler—has racked up an impressive $100 million domestically after three weeks in release.

In third place, 3-D fantasy-adventure The Book of Life features vocal performances by Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, and Diego Luna to spin a Mexican folkloric tale inspired by the holiday Day of the Dead.

The new films took a bite out of the gory $70 million vampire origins story Dracula Untold, which suffered a 65 percent attendance drop-off in its second weekend (collecting $2.9 million in box office receipts). While Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the Steve Carrell-starring adaptation of the 1972 kids’ lit classic of the same name (which also opened last weekend), took in $3.2 million Friday to round out the top five.

1. Fury — $8.8 million

2. Gone Girl – $5.5 million

3. The Book of Life — $4.9 million

4. The Best of Me — $4.1 million

5. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — $3.2 million

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