David Fincher’s popular psychological thriller could hold down the top spot for the second weekend in a row, with that demon doll close behind, but it’s going to be a tight race with The Judge, Dracula Untold, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The adultery thriller Addicted also opens in around 800 locations, and there’s a slew of great limited release choices debuting too, including the buzzy Sundance sensation Whiplash.
Here’s how things might play out.
1. Gone Girl — $20 million
The immense buzz behind this adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel and general box office trends around R-rated dramas might meant that Gone Girl will fall less than 50 percent in weekend two. Fox’s distribution chief Chris Aronson told EW on Sunday that, “audiences have sought this movie out and want to be part of the conversation.” That energy and hunger to know the twist before being spoiled likely hasn’t faded just yet.
2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — $18 million
Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner star as the parents of the immensely unlucky Alexander in this Disney update of Judith Viorst’s 1972 bedtime story. The PG-rated comedy cost a reported $28 million to produce and could earn somewhere in the high teens this weekend. Disney is releasing it in 3,088 locations in North America, including some Thursday previews. I reviewed this one for EW and gave it a B. It’s a surprisingly enjoyable expansion of the classic tale with heart and humorous moments that families will likely enjoy. Alexander… is currently at a 59 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
3. Annabelle — $16 million
Since it’s October and there aren’t really any straight horror films still on the market, Warner Bros. and New Line’s Annabelle could perform better than most second weekend showings in this genre.
4. The Judge — $15.5 million
Robert Downey Jr. is his own industry at this point and a swirl of Iron Man 4 speculation this week may have helped raise the profile of this father/son courtroom drama co-starring Robert Duvall, which cost a reported $50 million to produce. Audiences might be eager to see him out of comic book mode for a change, but it could also suffer due to increased competition from Gone Girl and The Equalizer. Warner Bros. is releasing the drama, produced by Village Roadshow, Team Downey and Big Kid Pictures, in an estimated 2,700 theaters. Reviews were mediocre coming out of the Toronto Film Festival, but EW’s Chris Nashawaty gave it a B, writing: “What makes the film more than just a dusty Grisham retread is that the case (as compelling as it is) is merely the backdrop for a more emotionally engaging story about fathers and sons played, like a duet, by two virtuoso actors who give the film not only all they have but probably more than it requires.”
5. Dracula Untold — $14 million
Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ dark Dracula origin story starring Luke Evans opens in 2,885 North American locations, Friday, including large format and IMAX screens. The project cost a reported $70 million to produce and has already earned $21 million from 25 markets in its first weekend. Reviews aren’t great, though. It’s currently at 28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and EW’s Kyle Anderson gave it a C. “He wrote: Though it has some impressive stylistic flourishes, including a series of blood-soaked tableaus that help enliven a lengthy run of sluggish opening narration, Untold outs itself as merely the latest entry in a vexing series of effects-crusted Old World epics starring blandly buff European gentlemen (see Clash of the Titans or Immortals, both of which featured Evans).” But, it is the rare PG-13 film on the market and could earn in the mid to high teens.
Lionsgate’s thriller Addicted also opens in around 800 theaters this weekend. Starring Sharon Leal as a woman who’s tempted to stray from her marriage, the R-rated film cost under $5 million and could bring in around $4 million this weekend.
In limited releases, Focus Features is rolling out its fact-based adult thriller Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner as a crusading journalist, in 374 theaters. The Focus Features doc I Am Ali also opens in 10 theaters, while the Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy movie St. Vincent, produced by Chernin Entertainment with The Weinstein Company distributing, opens in 4 locations. Finally, Sony Picture Classics is releasing Damien Chazelle’s Sundance-winning Whiplash, starring Miles Teller as an ambitious drummer on the edge of greatness and J.K. Simmons as his ruthless instructor.
Check back in this weekend for estimates and analysis.