Ben Affleck’s star power is clearly here to stay.
“Gone Girl” opened to $13.2 million Stateside on Friday, on its way to a higher-than-anticipated $38 million this weekend.
Although the thriller stands to come out on top this weekend, it was overtaken by horror pic “Annabelle” at the Friday box office. New Line-Warner Bros.’s “Annabelle” launched to $15.5 million en route to an impressive $31 million weekend.
If estimates hold and both newcomers gross more than $30 million, it will mark the first time in two months that two releases have earned that sum since the second weekend of August when “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” went head to head.
“Gone Girl” could also become the best opening in director David Fincher’s career, topping “Panic Room,” which launched to $30 million in 2002.
Aside from capitalizing on Affleck’s drawing power and costar Rosamund Pike’s rising popularity (this is her first leading role), “Gone Girl” is also evidently effectively leveraging the popularity of Gillian Flynn’s novel, which the film is based on.
Flynn herself adapted her best-selling 2012 mystery drama about a husband who’s suspected in his wife’s disappearance for the bigscreen.
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“Gone Girl” — produced by Fox and New Regency for $61 million — has received rave reviews, earning 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Friday winner “Annabelle” is doing incredible business, especially considering its slim $6.5 million budget. The pic about a doll possessed by a demon who threatens two new parents stars Annabelle Wallis.
The scarefest is following in the footsteps of “The Conjuring,” which opened to a surprising $41.9 million on its way to $318 million worldwide. The Annabelle doll was first introduced in “The Conjuring,” directed by James Wan.
“Annabelle” is directed by Wan’s longtime cinematographer, John R. Leonetti, and produced by Wan and Peter Safran.
Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer” led the pack of holdovers with $5.6 million on Friday. Last weekend’s winner is shooting for $17 to $18 million in its second frame, which would mark a 47% drop. This would raise the cume of the Sony actioner to an estimated $64 million.
Fox’s “The Maze Runner” came in fourth with $3.4 million on Friday. It’s likely to earn $11 million-plus in its third weekend, edging out Focus’ second weekend of “The Boxtrolls,” which will likely gross $10.4 million. “The Boxtrolls” made $2.7 million on Friday.
Nicholas Cage’s faith-based movie “Left Behind,” adapted from the book series of the same name, finished sixth with $2.4 million – a move back in the right direction for Freestyle Releasing, which was behind the surprise hit “God’s Not Dead” and the recent flop “The Identical.” The Christian film, produced on a $16 million budget, will likely gross $7.4 million this weekend.