• Industry

World Box Office October 13-19

Two years after playing the scalp collecting Nazi hunter Aldo Raine in Inglorious Basterds, Brad Pitt again demonstrated his Reich-busting credentials as he led this week’s number one film, Fury, to the head of the pack with a $23.5 million domestic opening weekend. Set in 1945, this picture relates the gritty crucible faced by a Sherman tank crew battling towards Berlin in the final stages of World War II. Various instances of fast paced and ostensibly realistic combat are pinned together by the forming of a brotherhood between Pitt and his crew, played by Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Logan Ferman and a resurgent Shia Lebouf, that becomes stronger than their vehicles steel plate armor. Unsurprisingly, this particularly violent war story, without any significant female roles, had a 60% male viewership. The audience was evenly split between those over and under the age of 35. Foreign audiences will have to wait until next week to see the film, although its international premise and Brad Pitt’s star power all but guarantee a strong showing abroad.
The second biggest opening of the weekend was The Book of Life, an animated feature based on the popular tales surrounding Mexico’s Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. It made $17 million to finish just shy of Gone Girl’s $17.8 million in third place. Much of the credit for bringing director Jorge Gutierrez’s vision to life goes to Guillermo Del Toro, through whom the film was sold to 20th century Fox Animation. His idea of an animated fantasy involving many elements of traditional Latin folklore caused enough of a buzz to gather a reported $50 million budget, as well as the services of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman and Ice cube, among others. In Mexico, the source of the film’s inspiration, it opened to a healthy $3.84 million, though conflicting reports have it finishing second to local political satire A Perfect Dictatorship, which earned $3.4 million this weekend. Brazilian audiences were receptive as well, contributing another $1.8 million to help The Book of Life reach a total of $8.6 million from its 19 foreign territories. It is expected to continue to do well in Latin America though the Dia de los Muertos holiday period that lasts from October 31 until November 2. Guardians of the Galaxy had another huge weekend, finishing first on the overseas charts with $23 million overseas and picking up a token million in North America. Last week’s Chinese launch hasn’t slowed down at all. The $69 million it has earned in the PRC, its biggest foreign territory, helped pushed Guardians past the $700 million dollar mark this frame. It shot past Captain America: The Winter Soldier and is now Marvel Studios’ third highest grossing film of all time after The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Second place abroad belonged to Dracula Untold with $22.5 million, while Gone Girl added $20.2 million to finish third. Behind them was a resurgent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A string of big European releases, including $7.8 million in the UK and $4.1 million in France and $3.8 million in Germany brought it to a total of $20 million in fourth. The Maze Runner, also coming back into the top half of the international chart, earned $17 million from its own set of successful European launches. The last piece of foreign box-office news leads is India, where Fox International’s Knight and Day remake Bang Bang has become the fifth most successful Bollywood movie of all time. This weekend it also overtook Salman Khan’s Kick to become 2014’s best performing Indian film in the United States, with $2.56 million earned to date.
On the specialty market, Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu’s industry-focused film Birdman took $415,000 for a very nice $103,700 per-screen average in just four locations in New York and Los Angeles. Saint Vincent added $685,000 in a small expansion into 68 theatres.
Next week we’ll see the release of Keanu Reeves’ John Wick as well as horror entry and board game adaptation Ouija.
Lorenzo Soria