By Daniel Garris
Fox's Gone Girl was able to successfully hold off four major newcomers this weekend to remain in first place with $26.41 million. The critically acclaimed David Fincher directed film starring Ben Affleck held up extremely well this weekend, as it was down just 30 percent from last weekend's already stronger than expected start. Gone Girl is benefiting from strong word of mouth, strong critical reviews and from skewing heavily towards older moviegoers. The film also received an added boost this weekend from expanding into an additional 270 locations. Gone Girl has grossed an impressive $77.89 million through ten days. The film is currently running 69 percent ahead of the $46.02 million ten-day take of 2010's The Social Network and 81 percent ahead of the $43.01 million ten-day gross of 2012's Argo.
Dracula Untold was the weekend's top new release with a second place start of $23.51 million. Universal's action horror film starring Luke Evans exceeded pre-release expectations and represented a rebound for action horror after the poor performance of I, Frankenstein back in January. The opening weekend performance of Dracula Untold was much more in line with the $25.31 million start of 2012's Underworld Awakening. Coming on the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected performance of Annabelle; audiences are clearly in the mood for horror themed fair at the moment. Universal will hope to ride that wave again later in the month when it releases Ouija on October 24.
Dracula Untold opened with $8.92 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.3 million from late night shows on Thursday), fell a slim 2 percent on Saturday to gross $8.76 million and declined 33 percent on Sunday to gross $5.83 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.64 to 1. The film received a very solid A- rating on CinemaScore.
While it had to settle for third place this weekend, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was off to a very solid start of its own, especially with its modest cost in mind, with $18.36 million. The family film from Disney starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner opened in line with expectations. Alexander opened 17 percent below the $22.13 million debut of 2010's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but going forward could very well display stronger holding power in comparison to Wimpy Kid.
Alexander started out with $5.30 million on Friday, increased a healthy 50 percent on Saturday to take in $7.97 million and declined 36 percent on Sunday to gross $5.09 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.46 to 1. Like Dracula Untold, Alexander also received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (54 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and under (57 percent). Family audiences made up 67 percent of the film's overall audience.
Fellow new release The Judge debuted in fifth place with $13.12 million. The Robert Downey Jr. led drama opened on the low end of expectations. Despite the drawing power of Downey, potential for The Judge was ultimately limited in part by lackluster critical reviews and in part by the break-out performance of Gone Girl with older moviegoers. On the bright side, The Judge did open 35 percent ahead of the $9.72 million launch of 2009's The Soloist and the film's A- rating on CinemaScore suggests that the film is going over significantly better with moviegoers than it is with critics.
The Judge opened with $4.43 million on Friday, increased 22 percent on Saturday to gross $5.39 million and fell 39 percent on Sunday to gross $3.30 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.96 to 1. The audience breakdown for The Judge skewed towards female moviegoers (55 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (85 percent).
Fellow Warner Bros. release Annabelle claimed fourth place with $15.86 million. On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected start; the low-budget spin-off to The Conjuring was down 57 percent from last weekend. While that was a sizable second weekend decline, it was also still a respectable decline given the film's genre, its strong start and the stronger than anticipated performance of Dracula Untold. Annabelle has grossed an impressive $61.65 million in ten days. That places the film a slim 2.5 percent ahead of the $60.16 million ten-day start of last year's Insidious Chapter 2 (which fell 66 percent in its second weekend to gross $13.80 million).
In its third weekend of release, Sony's The Equalizer placed in sixth with $9.70 million. The Denzel Washington led action thriller fell 48 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to be somewhat front-loaded thus far. With that said, The Equalizer is still performing in line with its lofty expectations with a 17-day take of $79.86 million and is still very likely to surpass the $100 million domestic milestone before the end of its run.
Addicted opened in seventh place with $7.49 million. The low-budget thriller from Lionsgate and Codeblack Films performed reasonably well, especially given that it was only playing in 846 locations this weekend. That gave Addicted a healthy per-location average of $8,848 for the frame. Addicted opened with $2.998 million on Friday, fell 5 percent on Saturday to gross $2.86 million and declined 43 percent on Sunday to gross $1.63 million. That gave Addicted an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.50 to 1. Lionsgate will expand the film into additional locations next weekend.