'Gone Girl' nabs No. 1 at box office from 'Annabelle'
Annabelle couldn't scare off Gone Girl at the weekend box office.
The Fox thriller starring Ben Affleck as a man whose wife goes missing overcame the Warner Bros possessed doll horror with a $38 million debut, according to studio estimates yesterday.
Both films join the recently released The Maze Runner and The Equalizer in crossing the $30 million mark this fall, a typically low-earning season at the box office.
"It was virtually a photo finish," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "These two movies couldn't be more different. It shows how, if the marketplace presents a diversity of product, audiences will come out. It's the third and fourth $30-million debut of the past two weeks. It's been a great post-summer run."
Gone Girl is based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn and was directed by The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-filmmaker, David Fincher.
"I think David Fincher made a very provocative, thought-provoking film," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox. "I think there was this crescendo of publicity and social media chatter that made Gone Girl into a zeitgeisty movie that you have to see to be part of the conversation."
Annabelle debuted closely behind Gone Girl with $37.2 million. The movie stars Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis as new parents who bring the creepy porcelain plaything seen in last year's haunted house horror, The Conjuring, into their home.
Sony's The Equalizer, last week's top performer, came in third place in its second weekend with $19 million, bringing its total domestic haul to $64.5 million. The revenge thriller starring Denzel Washington re-teams him with director Antoine Fuqua, who helmed 2001's Training Day, the film that earned Washington an Oscar for best actor.
Left Behind, the weekend's other big debut, opened in sixth place with $6.8 million. The Rapture-set film starring Nicholas Cage is based on the novel of the same name.
Dergarabedian said overall ticket sales for the weekend box office were $149 million, an 18 percent increase from the same weekend last year.
Here are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at American and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak:
1. Gone Girl, $38 million.
2. Annabelle, $37.2 million.
3. The Equalizer, $19 million.
4. The Boxtrolls, $12.4 million.
5. The Maze Runner, $12 million
6. Left Behind, $6.8 million.
7. This Is Where I Leave You, $4 million.
8. Dolphin Tale 2, $3.5 million.
9. Guardians of the Galaxy, $3 million.
10. No Good Deed, $2.5 million.