Brad Pitt‘s gritty war drama “Fury” brought in a strong $1.2 million from 2,489 locations on Thursday night and is expected to storm into the number one spot at the box office over the weekend.
“Fury” will likely unseat Fox’s “Gone Girl” in the top spot with a $25 million domestic take, according to analysts. “Fury” tells the story of a U.S. tank team behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany. It stars Brad Pitt and was directed by David Ayer.
“Gone Girl” has spent two weeks at number one and has brought in almost $87 million in the U.S.
Another major opener this week is Fox’s animated feature “The Book of Life,” which brought in $300,000 on Thursday evening from 2,150 locations. “Best of Me” grossed an estimated $525K on Thursday night.
“Book of Life” and Relativity’s “Best of Me” are expected to bring in $15 million and between $12 million and $14 million respectively, per analysts’ estimates.
The PG-rated “The Book of Life,” was written and directed by Jorge Guitterez and produced by Reel FX Animation Studios. The film was co-financed and distributed by Fox. Guillermo del Toro is a producer, along with Aaron Berger, Brad Booker and Carina Schulze. Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube and Ron Perlman serve as the vocal talent for the animated adventure, which follows young Manolo Sanchez (Luna) as he journeys to the underworld to win the heart of Maria (Saldana).
Critics are solidly behind both “Fury” and “Book of Life,” each hovering around a 75 percent positive review aggregation on Rotten Tomatoes. They weren’t so kind to “Best of Me,” the romantic drama has only received a 7 percent positive review aggregation on the site.
Relativity, Sparks and DiNovi Productions produced “The Best of Me.” Sparks’ films fall in line with Relativity’s business model of producing and releasing low-risk, moderately budgeted films. The production budget for the film was $26 million, but due to foreign and ancillary pre-sales and tax credits, Relativity’s exposure is only $5 million.
The film was directed by Michael Hoffman (“The Last Station”) and adapted by Will Fetters and J. Mills Goodloe. The cast included Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey and James Marsden, who got the call to play the male lead a month after the November 2013 death of Paul Walker, who was originally set to star. The film follows Dawson (Marsden) and Amanda (Monaghan), two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend.