The murder mystery “Gone Girl” tightened its stranglehold on the box office, fending off a challenge from “Dracula Untold” and two other wide openers with an $26.8 million second weekend.
Directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck, Fox and New Regency’s R-rated “Gone Girl” is riding a wave of strong reviews, positive word of mouth and buzz around the dark themes and twists of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller, from which it’s adapted. The grosses were off less than 30 percent from its opening weekend, very impressive since keeping 50 percent is considered good.
Universal’s “Dracula Untold,” an action-adventure reboot of the classic monster tale from the studio’s vault, finished a strong second with $23.4 million. Disney’s PG-rated family comedy “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” opened in third with $19.1 million. The weekend’s other wide opener — Warner Bros.’ Robert Downey Jr.-Robert Duvall courtroom drama “The Judge” — debuted with an estimated $13.2 million, behind “Annabelle.” New Line’s demon doll horror tale was fourth with $15.6 million in its second weekend.
“Gone Girl” is the first movie to repeat atop the box office since “Guardians of the Galaxy” closed the summer on a three-week run, and it’s up to $80 million domestically after 10 days. The very strong second weekend and the fact that it’s playing best with mature moviegoers signals that it could have significant staying power.
“Dracula Untold,” starring Luke Evans (“Fast and Furious 6”) as Vlad the Impaler, drew an audience that was 57 percent male and surprisingly older, with 61 percent over the age of 25. They liked it, giving the film an “A-” CinemaScore. It played very strongly with Hispanics, who made up 31 percent of the audience, more than any other ethnic group.
“Dracula” got a big boost from IMAX, which made up 351 of its 2,887 locations and accounted for $4 million, the second-best October total behind only “Gravity” last year. Nine out of the top ten theaters were IMAX.
Legendary Pictures and Michael DeLuca Productions teamed on the $70 million “Dracula,” which was produced by DeLuca. They’re counting on a strong showing overseas, and it’s off to a terrific start there. It took in nearly $34 million this weekend, upping its foreign haul to nearly $63 million in two weeks.
“Alexander,” starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, benefited from being the only fresh family fare in the marketplace, which is currently dominated by R-rated and adult-skewing fare. Families not surprisingly made up 67 percent of its audience, but adults accounted for nearly a quarter of the crowd.
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“Alexander” received an “A-” CinemaScore from audiences. “That’s encouraging, and suggests a broader audience might want something light in what’s sort of a sea of darkness out there right now,” Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis told TheWrap. “We think this is going to play solidly for the next several weeks.”
“The Judge” had to have been hurt by the strong showing of “Gone Girl,” another R-rated and mature-skewing drama. It played female at 55 percent and older, with 85 percent of its crowd over the age of 25. They liked it, and gave it an “A-” CinemaScore, which offers some hope that “The Judge,” will find its audience over the next few weeks.
Village Roadshow, Team Downey and Big Kid Pictures partnered on “The Judge,” which was produced by David Dobkin, David Gambino and Susan Downey with roughly a $50 million budget. Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Dax Shepard co-star in “The Judge,” which was directed by Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”).
The sexy thriller “Addicted” did better than expected for Lionsgate’s specialty label Codeblack, opening with $7.6 million from 846 locations for a strong $8.983 per-screen average.
Sharon Leal and Boris Kodjoe star in “Addicted,” which is directed by music video specialist Bille Woodruff and adapted from a book by the same name. Kat Graham, William Levy and Tasha Smith co-star.
The audience for the R-rated drama about a woman who risks her family life when she has a series of affairs was 82 percent female and 72 percent African-American.
Overall, the box office was at $150 million, up nearly 30 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Gravity” repeated at No. 1.