It was another crowded affair in North America as three movies opened wide and battled David Fincher’s Gone Girl which has been top of the box-office for two weeks in a row. It was finally dislodged of that spot by David Ayer’s war movie Fury. This Brad Pitt starrer opened with $23.5 million which is a much better opening than any other David Ayer film and miles ahead of the $5.2 million opening of Ayer’s Sabotage seen earlier this year. It’s a decent opening for the R-rated World War II movie, almost in line with the opening of this year’s The Monuments Men which was a war film too. Just like the latter had George Clooney’s star-power to bank on, Fury is riding high on the presence of Brad Pitt, and no doubt that has made a difference to get the movie to open north of $20 million. But will that be enough? It has a $68 million production budget, so one can easily see the domestic earnings will not be anywhere close to being enough for the studios. The Brad Pitt star-power will have to work wonders in the foreign markets too. Frankly, I see this movie doing somewhat similar to the $155 million worldwide earnings of The Monuments Men which had a similar production budget as well, but it may just need a bit more to turn profitable. It would be interesting to see the final tally that this movie lands with, before David Ayer moves on to bigger things — like the DC comics based Suicide Squad.
Two more wide releases finished third and fifth on the domestic box-office charts. The one landing the third spot was the animated movie The Book of Life, distributed by 20th Century Fox and produced by Reel FX Creative Studios, with an opening weekend earning of $17 million. This ain’t too rosy an opening, and not too dull either for the $50 million movie. It is a bit better than the opening of Reel FX’s previous film Free Birds ($15 million) but nowhere in the league of the big animated movies of the year like The Lego Movie or How to Train Your Dragon 2. The other release, the romantic movie The Best of Me opened to a disappointing $10.2 million in North America, making it the weakest opening for a Nicholas Sparks book adapted movie. Maybe people aren’t interested in romance just before Halloween, or maybe it wasn’t a good movie at all (8% score on Rottentomatoes), whatever be the case, The Best of Me is as good as forgotten.
Gone Girl moved to second position at the box-office but the movie continues to roll strong with already more than $200 million earned worldwide. In the first week I had mentioned that reaching that figure would be deemed satisfactory for the studio, and now with still a lot of weeks in the theatre still to go, we are looking at more than $300 million collections. Only two of Fincher’s movies have crossed that mark so far, Seven and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and we should be soon welcoming Gone Girl in that club. The long-named Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day had the lowest second week drop among the releases of last week, and is doing quite well for a modestly budgeted film. Dracula Untold had a 58% fall as expected, while The Judge surprisingly was a bit more solid with a 39% dip; the former has however a strong $136 million worldwide collection so far while the latter continues to struggle with $36 million.
So that’s the story from this weekend, a so-so box-office performance with no real big winners or losers. Next week the Keanu Reeves starrer Jon Wick will battle the horror flick Ouija as the top position will be up for grabs… again!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. Fury ($23.5 million)
2. Gone Girl ($17.8 million; third weekend)
3. The Book of Life ($17.0 million)
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day ($12.0 million; second weekend)
5. The Best of Me ($10.2 million)