Horror fans flocked to New Line’s haunted doll tale “Annabelle,” a spinoff from the 2013 surprise hit “The Conjuring,” which grossed $3.4 million in its own Thursday night opening. Annabelle appeared in James Wan’s “The Conjuring,” which wound up grossing $320 million worldwide.
Fox’s “Gone Girl,” based on Gillian Flynn’s popular novel, is expected to battle “Annabelle” for the top spot at the box office with tracking for both indicating weekends well above $20 million.
Both films are R-rated and have been aimed at attracting mature audiences.
“Gone Girl” could top $30 million, according to the most bullish forecasts. David Fincher directed “Gone Girl” with Fox and New Regency producing for $61 million.
It’s the first film from Fincher since 2011’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which grossed $102 million domestically and $232 million worldwide.” Neil Patrick-Harris and Tyler Perry co-star; producers are Arnon Milchan, Joshua Donen, Reese Witherspoon and Cean Chaffin.
“Annabelle” stars Annabelle Wallis and carries a modest $6.5 million production price tag, or about a third of the cost of “The Conjuring.” It’s directed by John R. Leonetti (James Wan’s longtime cinematographer) from Gary Dauberman ‘s script with Peter Safran and Wan producing.
“Annabelle” is launching in 3,185 theaters and “Gone Girl” will be in 3,014.