‘Dracula Untold’ Neck-and-Neck With ‘Gone Girl’ in Weekend Box Office Race

Monster reboot, Ben Affleck mystery on $25 million pace. Disney’s family tale “Alexander” third as Robert Downey Jr.’s “The Judge” trails “Annabelle”

“Dracula Untold” topped “Gone Girl” for the top spot at the box office Friday, but the David Fincher-directed mystery starring Ben Affleck could still post its second straight weekend win.

Universal’s action adventure reboot of its classic monster tale starring Luke Evans debuted with $8.9 million, ahead of the $8.2 million of “Gone Girl.” Fox and New Regency’s dark and R-rated whodunnit is expected to play more strongly on Saturday and Sunday however, and should wind up just north of $25 million for the weekend, while the PG-13-rated “Dracula Untold” is pacing just behind that for its first three days.

Disney’s PG-rated family film “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” brought in $5 million on Friday, and is looking at a $19 million first weekend. The Robert Downey Jr.-Robert Duvall R-rated courtroom drama “The Judge” brought in $4.4 million and is on pace for a roughly $14 million opening weekend for Warner Bros. It’s running fifth, just behind New Line’s demon doll horror hit “Annabelle.”

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All three of the new wide openers received “A-” CinemaScores from first-night audiences. “Gone Girl” is in a market-high 3,284 theaters, while “Dracula Untold” is in 2,887, but does have full IMAX and Premium Large Format runs, which bring upcharges.

Strong reviews, serious buzz and an audience that skews older are combining to help “Gone Girl” post a strong second weekend. On its current pace it will lose just 29 percent of its first-weekend audience — a great hold, given that 50 percent is the typical standard for success — and be up to $80 million domestically by Sunday.

The R-rated “Annabelle,” which like “Gone Girl” opened to $37 million last weekend, brought in $5.2 million Friday and is on course for a roughly $16 million second week. That would be a 57 percent drop-off, pretty good given that horror films are notoriously front-loaded.

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The R-rated sex thriller “Addicted” opened on 846 screens and brought in a better-than-expected $2.8 million and is on course to take in around $7 million over the the three days for Lionsgate’s Code Black Entertainment. It was in seventh on Friday, behind Sony’s Denzel Washington thriller “The Equalizer,” which is heading for a $9 million third week that will lift its domestic total to $80 million.

Fox’s young adult saga “The Maze Runner,” Focus Features’ “The Box Trolls” and “Meet the Mormons” rounded out the Top 10. The latter is a documentary produced by the Chuch of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints.

The Miles Teller jazz drumming drama “Whiplash” and the Bill Murray-Melissa McCarthy comedy “St. Vincent” opened in limited release. “Whiplash” brought in an estimated $37,000 from six screens for Sony Pictures Classics, a $6,193 per-screen average. The Weinstein Company’s “St. Vincent” took in $30,920 from four theaters for a $7,730 per-theater haul.