Gone Girl (20th Century Fox/New Regency) narrowly beat out Annabelle (Warner Brothers) at the box office this weekend, taking in a domestic gross of $38 million while the spooky thriller, Annabelle, scared up an estimate $37.2 million. That is good news for a box office that has struggled the past few weeks to have any movie debuting with earnings of $30 million or better, though the Denzel Washington vehicle, The Equalizer, came in last week at $35 million with its debut.
Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Tyler Perry, is based on the Gillian Flynn novel, Gone Girl. A man (Ben Affleck) becomes the number one suspect when his wife disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. The David Fincher-directed movie has received mixed reviews, but that has not kept audiences away from seeing this suspenseful flick which also features a full frontal nude scene from Affleck.
Annabelle, a prequel to The Conjuring, has also attracted large audiences, as it is a supernatural thriller about a doll that becomes possessed by a demon shortly after a couple is attacked by Satanic cultists and a drop of a woman’s blood who belongs to the cult lands upon the doll. It is a great movie to put people in the Halloween mood, as October 31 rapidly approaches, though it did not quite beat out Gone Girl in domestic earnings.
A sequel to The Conjuring, called The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, which is also supposedly based off of true events, is now in the works at Warner Brothers. October 23, 2015, is its scheduled release date.
In third place this weekend was The Equalizer (Sony Pictures), based on the Lawrence Block series of novels about the former government agent turned private eye Robert McCall. Besides Denzel Washington as McCall, the flick also stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a young Russian woman forced into prostitution by human traffickers. She needs the aid of Robert McCall to rescue her from the mobsters. The flick has grossed, domestically, a tidy $64 million in the two weeks it has been in the theaters.
The Boxtrolls (LAIKA/Focus Features), a fun-filled stop-action animated flick the whole family can enjoy, is in fourth place at the box office. The movie grossed $12.4 million over the weekend, its second weekend out. The Boxtrolls has now earned, domestically, approximately half of the $60 million it took to make it. The movie, about an orphan boy, Eggs, raised by trash-collecting boxtrolls who live in caves, is based on the children’s novel by Alan Snow, Here Be Monsters. Ben Kingsley voices an evil exterminator who attempts to destroy the boxtrolls.
In fifth place this weekend is the Young Adult (YA)-oriented movie, The Maze Runner (Fox). It grossed $12 million, which puts it to a total domestic take, so far, of $74 million. This sci-fi thriller about teens who realize that they are trapped inside of a giant maze and try to get out of it is based on a best-selling YA novel of the same name. Overseas, The Maze Runner is doing better than it is domestically, having earned $100 million.
Sixth place at the box office went to the debut of Left Behind (Freestyle Releasing). This movie, starring Nicholas Cage, is based on the best-seller by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, about people who are “left behind” when the Rapture occurs. It grossed just $6.8 million and reportedly cost $15 million to produce.
The R-rated comedyThis Is Where I Leave You, starring Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and Jason Bateman, dropped down to seventh place at the box office and managed to take in only $4 million. Coming in eighth place, the family movie sequel by Warner Brothers, Dolphin Tale 2, earned a mere $3.5 million domestically.
Then, in ninth place this weekend was the stalwart sci-fi blockbuster of earlier this summer, Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel), starring Chris Pratt with Bradley Cooper doing the voice of Rocket Raccoon. It added a further $3 million to its take. No Good Deed followed it in tenth place, with a meager box office gross of only $2.5 million.
According to an article in the Boston Herald cited below, women snapped up an even greater percentage of tickets to see both Gone Girl and Annabelle than men did, thereby ensuring that they would be number one and two at the box office. Women bought 60 percent of the tickets for Gone Girl and 51 percent for Annabelle, proving that They love great suspenseful thrillers and supernatural flicks as much as, if not more than, men do.
President of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox, Chris Aronson, stated that Gone Girl is “an analysis of marriage in a way that’s not done been done before.”
Whatever might account for their success this weekend, both Gone Girl and Annabelle were the two most popular movies this weekend, grossing over $75 million between the both of them. That is good news for a box office that has struggled of late. Next week, two movies that will debut and are expected to do well are Dracula Untold and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. One of these movies, or both of them, might kick Gone Girl out of first place and/or Annabelle out of second place at the box office.
Written By Douglas Cobb