Despite losing the Friday race to Universal’s horror actioner “Dracula Untold,” “Gone Girl” is headed for its second consecutive box office win. Fox’s thriller looks to draw blood with $26 million this weekend, while “Dracula” is close behind with a $24 million launch.
Both films topped two big newcomers this Columbus Day weekend: Robert Downey Jr.’s “The Judge,” which is headed for a disappointing fifth place, and Steve Carell’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
“Gone Girl,” which stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as a highly dysfunctional couple, grossed $8.15 million Stateside on Friday. The pic launched to a stunning $37.5 million last weekend — the best opening in director David Fincher’s career.
If estimates hold, it could earn $78 million by weekend’s end, which would mark a mere 29% drop.
Aside from capitalizing on Affleck’s recently revived star power, “Gone Girl” is also effectively leveraging rave reviews and the popularity of Gillian Flynn’s novel, which the film is based on.
“Dracula Untold” opened to a winning $8.9 million on Friday. The Universal-Legendary release tells the story of how Vlad the Impaler (played by Luke Evans) became Dracula. The $70 million production is part of Universal’s ongoing effort to revive its monster movies.
Another newcomer, the family comedy “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” came in fourth with $5.23 million on Friday. It looks to move to third place by Sunday as it heads for a $19 million debut.
Disney’s $28 million adaptation of Judith Viorst’s children’s book also stars Jennifer Garner.
Meanwhile, “Annabelle” is still showing strength at number three. New Line’s horror-thriller earned $5.24 million Stateside on Friday in its second frame. “The Conjuring” spinoff is on track for $15 million-plus this weekend, which would mark a 57% decline following its stellar $37 million launch and a step down to fourth place.
With its targeted audience of adult moviegoers swarming to “Gone Girl,” the R-rated “Judge” was relegated to fifth place. The Warner Bros. courtroom drama opened to $4.4 million on Friday on its way to north of $12 million.
With a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Downey doesn’t seem to have the critics or his “Iron Man” fanbase in his corner. His $50 million passion project also stars Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton and Vera Farmiga.
Lionsgate’s R-rated thriller “Addicted” opened to a solid $3 million, coming in seventh, in the mid-size market. The pic will land in the $7 million to $8 million range this weekend.