Box Office: Gone Girl Drives A Stake In Dracula Untold, Claims #1 Again With $26.8 Million

Dracula no match for Future Batman Ben Affleck at the Box Office.

So the most interesting box office news wasn’t the fact that David Fincher’s Gone Girl held the top spot again with an impressive 28.6% drop in attendance – one of the smallest first to second weekend drops in 2014 for a major release – it was that for a period of time the Box Office Mojo site went AWOL. Opening Friday totals were nowhere to be seen and after some time the site redirected to parent company IMDB.

For box office insiders they were likely to run out screaming “the sky is falling,” but cooler heads prevailed and all was resolved by Sunday with weekend estimates for the top 10, which included four new films in the marketplace. (Though, if you happen to live in New York, you had your pick of 30 new titles!)

As previously stated, Gone Girl repeated in first with a $26.8 million weekend. In ten days the movie has grossed $78.2 million domestically. It is tracking better than Fincher’s previous efforts, The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, both of which would be nominated for multiple Oscars. There’s already talk that Rosamund Pike’s performance should be a shoe-in for the Best Actress race, and you can never count out the technical merits of Fincher, cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and the musical score from Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. While the movie is a suspense thriller as well as an examination of a marriage on the rocks, it has hit a nerve with audiences, including the worldwide market where it has amassed $62.3 million so far.

Newcomer Dracula Untold from Universal was less than received from critics, but Halloween is in the air and it had a new interpretation of the Dracula mythos, so it had that going for it. Opening with $23.4 million, the good news is that number was much better than the overall earnings of the January release I, Frankenstein (remember that one?). Overseas, the numbers were even better with $33.9 million. This bodes well or Universal and its monster mash plans. (Sorry, fans of 2010’s The Wolfman. That one isn’t part of the Monsters Universe.)

Even though it had one of the worst movie titles of the year, Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opening on 3,088 screens (good lord!) got surprisingly good reviews yet failed to open above $20 million. Considering it is a live action family film for a change, I’d say that’s a good opening. The family market is underserved when it comes to movies with actors instead of voices and animated characters, so I could see this one hanging around in the top ten through the opening of Penguins of Madagascar at the end of November.

Much like Johnny Depp as a Pirate, it seems that audiences aren’t apt to see Robert Downey Jr. star in anything if he isn’t playing Iron Man. His new film The Judge is aimed for adults, but the $50 million drama was so pedestrian in its storytelling that not even grownups were game to see the two Roberts, Downey and Duvall, engage in verbal sparing as father and son. It opened with an unremarkable $13.3 million to finish in the fifth spot.

Apparently, Lionsgate released a movie called Addicted on less than 850 screens. I saw nary an advertisement and it didn’t screen for critics in my area and had no notable stars. But this adultery thriller still did okay business with $7.6 million serving an urban audience familiar with African American erotic-thriller author Zane.

Elsewhere, The Equalizer is nearing $80 million and should top out close to $120 million before leaving theaters. The Maze Runner is close to $100 million and globally it should surpass the success of Divergent earlier this year. It doesn’t matter, though. Both are mere appetizers for the main course that is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 this November.

In limited release, Sony Pictures Classics unveiled the critically lauded Whiplash starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons ($144k from 6 screens); the Weinstein Company ushered the Bill Murray dramedy St. Vincent onto four screens ($121k overall), and Focus Features opened with their political drama Kill The Messenger ($939k from 374 screens – a per-screen average of $2,511, not so hot).

This weekend pits the Nicolas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me against the World War II tank drama Fury starring Brad Pitt. The wild card will be the animated release Book of Life, but its offbeat nature may be a turn off for some families. My prediction is that Fury takes the weekend.

01. Gone Girl — $26,800,000 ($78,281,000)
02. Dracula Untold — $23,457,000
03. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — $19,100,000
04. Annabelle — $16,365,000 ($62,156,000)
05. The Judge — $13,330,000
06. The Equalizer — $9,725,000 ($79,885,000)
07. Addicted — $7,600,000
08. The Maze Runner — $7,500,000 ($83,840,000)
09. The Boxtrolls — $6,676,000 ($41,032,000)
10. Left Behind — $2,909,000 ($10,920,000)

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