New Thriller Poised to Be One of The Biggest October Openings Ever, Pacing Similar to ‘Gravity' and Outselling Director David Fincher's and Ben Affleck's Previous Films on Fandango
LOS ANGELES - October 1, 2014 - According to Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination, the new thriller "Gone Girl," based on Gillian Flynn's best-selling page-turner, is poised to be one of the biggest October openings in Fandango's 14-year history. Scoring a strong 89 out of 100 points on Fandango's Fanticipation movie buzz indicator, the film is pacing similarly to "Gravity" (which opened on October 4, 2013), and is outselling previous October releases, "Paranormal Activity 3," "Jackass 3D" and "Taken 2," at the same point in the sales cycle on Fandango.
"Gone Girl" is also outselling the previous films of star Ben Affleck (including his Oscar winner, "Argo," released in October 2012) and director David Fincher (including "The Social Network," "Panic Room" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") at the same sales point on Fandango.
To support the gripping "Gone Girl" movie ticket sales, Fandango is offering a free eBook download of the #1 New York Times best-seller on NOOK reading apps, with a Fandango ticket purchase. The offer is valid through 9:00 AM PDT on October 6, while supplies last.
With diverse choices at the box office, "Gone Girl" represents 66% of Fandango weekend's ticket sales, as of Wednesday 2 PM EDT, while the horror thriller "Annabelle" and Nicolas Cage's faith-based "Left Behind" represents 13% and 8% of sales, respectively. "Annabelle" is outselling its predecessor, "The Conjuring," and the previous horror hits, "Insidious" and "The Purge," at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle.
According to an online survey of more than 1,000 "Gone Girl" ticket-buyers on Fandango:
*71% are fans of star Ben Affleck;
*64% have read the book by Gillian Flynn;
*55% are fans of director David Fincher.
"The much-anticipated movie of ‘Gone Girl' is as riveting as the book," says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger. "Its strong advance ticket sales are a testament to the power of Gillian Flynn's story and to the creative talent behind the production. In a real show of box office variety, ‘Annabelle,' the prequel to last year's horror smash, ‘The Conjuring,' is scaring up robust ticket sales, appealing to fright fans looking for pre-Halloween thrills."
About Fandango's Fanticipation
Known for having its finger on the pulse of moviegoers, Fandango's movie buzz indicator, Fanticipation, provides statistical insight into the movies fans are planning to see in a given weekend. Fanticipation scores (based on a 1 to 100-point scale) are calculated via an algorithm of Fandango's advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, and social media engagement. Fanticipation is not intended as a forecast of the weekend box office; it is a snapshot of movie fan sentiment.
By Daniel Garris
Sony's The Equalizer took in $2.97 million to lead the daily box office with ease on Monday. The action thriller starring Denzel Washington has led the daily box office for four consecutive days. The Equalizer was down 64 percent from Sunday, which represented one of the day's stronger daily percentage holds among wide releases. The Equalizer continues to perform in line with the higher end of its lofty pre-release expectations with a healthy four-day start of $37.11 million. That places the film 3.5 percent behind the $38.44 million four-day take of 2010's The Book of Eli (which had the advantage of its first Monday falling on Martin Luther King Day).
The Maze Runner placed in second with $0.97 million. The young adult adaptation from Fox continues to hold up relatively well, as it was down 77 percent from Sunday and down 48 percent from last Monday. The Maze Runner has grossed a strong $58.92 million in eleven days and is set to clear the $60 million mark either today or Wednesday. The film is currently running 29 percent ahead of the $45.59 million eleven-day take of last year's Ender's Game and is already on the verge of reaching the $61.74 million final domestic gross of Ender's Game.
The Boxtrolls claimed third place with $0.73 million. The latest 3D stop motion animated film from Focus and Laika was down a sizable 85 percent from Sunday, which is a sign of the film skewing heavily towards family audiences. The Boxtrolls has grossed a stronger than expected $18.01 million in four days. That places the film 16 percent ahead of the $15.54 million start of 2012's ParaNorman.
Warner's This Is Where I Leave You took fourth place with $0.58 million. The comedy starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey was down 64 percent from Sunday and down just 33 percent from last Monday. This Is Where I Leave You has grossed $23.02 million in eleven days. While that is a bit below expectations, the film continues to display very solid holding power thus far.
Universal's A Walk Among the Tombstones rounded out Monday's top five with $0.39 million. The action thriller starring Liam Neeson was down 63 percent from Sunday and down a sharp 59 percent from last Monday. A Walk Among the Tombstones has grossed an underwhelming $21.22 million in eleven days and continues to display early signs of being significantly front-loaded.
By Daniel Garris
Sony's The Equalizer debuted in first place this weekend with a strong start of $34.14 million. The action thriller starring Denzel Washington debuted towards the higher end of pre-release expectations, which were lofty, especially for the month of September. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Equalizer delivered the fourth largest opening weekend ever for the month of September (behind only 2012's Hotel Transylvania, 2013's Insidious Chapter 2 and 2002's Sweet Home Alabama). The film's debut represented the third largest opening weekend performance ever for Washington (behind only 2007's American Gangster and 2012's Safe House). The Equalizer opened 4 percent stronger than the $32.79 million start of 2010's The Book of Eli and 15 percent below the $40.17 million start of Safe House.
The Equalizer opened with $12.49 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.5 million from Thursday night shows), increased 8 percent on Saturday to gross $13.49 million and declined 40 percent on Sunday to take in $8.15 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.73 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (52 percent) and towards moviegoers 30 years and older (65 percent). The Equalizer received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which is an encouraging sign for the film going forward.
The Maze Runner placed in second with $17.44 million. The young adult adaptation from Fox held up relatively well this weekend, as it was down 46 percent from last weekend's strong start. The Maze Runner has grossed $57.96 million in ten days and continues to display strong early holding power for a young adult adaptation. Thanks in part to a significantly stronger second weekend hold, The Maze Runner is now running 32 percent ahead of the $44.01 million ten-day take of last year's Ender's Game and is already on the verge of reaching the $61.74 million final domestic gross of Ender's Game.
The Boxtrolls was off to a very solid third place start this weekend with $17.28 million. The latest 3D stop motion animated film from Focus and Laika debuted a bit above pre-release expectations. Compared to previous films from Focus and Laika, The Boxtrolls opened 23 percent ahead of the $14.09 million start of 2012's ParaNorman and a slim 3 percent ahead of the $16.85 million start of 2009's Coraline. ParaNorman and Coraline both displayed terrific holding power and going forward The Boxtrolls will hope to accomplish the same.
The Boxtrolls opened with $4.93 million on Friday, increased a strong 51 percent on Saturday to gross $7.46 million and declined 34.5 percent on Sunday to gross $4.89 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.51 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewered towards female moviegoers (57 percent). The Boxtrolls received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.
Warner's This Is Where I Leave You placed in fourth with $6.89 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey held up well this weekend, as it was down 40 percent from last weekend's so-so start. This Is Where I Leave You has grossed $22.44 million in ten days. That places the film 13.5 percent behind the $25.94 million ten-day start of 2011's The Change-Up (which fell 53 percent in its second weekend to gross $6.31 million).
Fellow Warner Bros. release Dolphin Tale 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $4.79 million. The family film sequel was down 46 percent from last weekend, as the film appears to have taken a bit of a hit from The Boxtrolls arriving in the marketplace. Dolphin Tale 2 has grossed $33.62 million in 17 days. The film is currently running 31 percent behind the $49.04 million 17-day take of 2011's Dolphin Tale and is displaying significantly softer holding power.
No Good Deed followed in sixth with $4.51 million. Sony's low-budget thriller starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson was down 54 percent. No Good Deed continues to be very front-loaded, but has still grossed a healthy $46.53 million in 17 days.
Universal's A Walk Among the Tombstones was down five spots and a massive 67 percent from last weekend with a seventh place take of $4.19 million. Lackluster word of mouth and the new direct competition from The Equalizer both had a clear negative effect on the Liam Neeson led action thriller this weekend. A Walk Among the Tombstones is now running below expectations with a ten-day start of $20.83 million.
Guardians of the Galaxy was down just 28 percent to place in eighth with $3.77 million. In the process, the blockbuster sci-fi superhero film from Disney and Marvel surpassed the $318.41 million final unadjusted gross of 2008's Iron Man. Guardians of the Galaxy has grossed a massive $319.17 million through 59 days of release.
By Alex Edghill
Changing things up this week somewhat as I am going to be looking at Facebook likes changes for the past week (this column), then I will have a trailer column tomorrow which looks at the past week in trailers and how Facebook and Twitter crowds reacted to them, the regular forecast column will be Thursdays while Friday will be a deep dive into Twitter numbers for the past week.
Anyways, back to Facebook! This past week Dracula Untold led all upcoming films that we track with an increase of 172,802 likes, pushing it to 2.38 million overall. This is just eye-opening really, and when you consider that The Conjuring had just 200k likes at this point before its release, while The Purge had just over 400k likes. The numbers here keep piling up and 2 million likes before release for non-sequel is entering into the absurd (in a good way!), even if it does have a character as popular as Dracula as its main protagonist.
Another horror entry came in at number two on the weekend and really has been making waves - Annabelle. It rose 159,219 likes over the past week to 1.44 million overall. The film is a spin-off/prequel from The Conjuring, but unlike most other horror sequels it hasn't reused the Facebook page of the original, rather it started from scratch. For instance The Purge 2 managed to get to 2 million likes before its release, but it reused the same Facebook page as the original which gave it a huge boost. I expect big things in October from both this and Dracula Untold, especially since the horror genre has been so underwhelming on the year as a whole. Openings north of $30 million for both could be a very real possibility.
Left Behind has also been tearing up Facebook in recent weeks and it was the third film to see a 100k+ like increase on the week, bringing its total to 1.27 million likes. Based on the popular novels, the film is a reboot of the film franchise starring Nicolas Cage and as such it has been getting a lot of attention from both its Christian core demographic as well as others who are perhaps unfamiliar with the source material but drawn by Cage. By comparison, Heaven Is For Real had ~800k likes around this time before its release. The Facebook crew behind the film have done a great job at engaging their audience and it would appear as though the year will have at least one more Christian breakout film.
Ouija also had a solid increase on the week of 70k likes, and while its overall number of 661,126 might be a long ways off of the two aforementioned horrors it still is a very solid number that demands attention, especially since it is the only original Horror in the month.
Finally, Beyond The Lights had the biggest percentage increase on the week of a shade over 50%, rising from 115k likes to 176k likes over the 7 day stretch. This could be a nice sleeper hit in November as this increase hints at. Twitter has also been bullish surrounding new items and media releases, all of which points to a surprise come opening weekend.
Facebook Top 15 Movies by Like Increase for the Week Ending Sunday September 28th
|3||10/03/14||Left Behind (2014)||1,269,526||1,149,456||120,070||10.45%|
|5||11/21/14||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1||20,272,616||20,199,573||73,043||0.36%|
|7||11/14/14||Dumb and Dumber To||3,503,659||3,436,868||66,791||1.94%|
|8||11/14/14||Beyond the Lights||176,125||115,238||60,887||52.84%|
|9||04/03/15||Fast & Furious 7||51,379,085||51,331,764||47,321||0.09%|
|11||05/01/15||Avengers: Age of Ultron||12,045,083||12,009,029||36,054||0.30%|
|12||03/25/16||Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice||3,414,380||3,380,022||34,358||1.02%|
|13||10/17/14||The Best of Me||375,358||347,446||27,912||8.03%|
|14||11/26/14||Penguins of Madagascar||3,038,887||3,012,823||26,064||0.87%|