• Box Office

World Box Office Sept 29 – Oct 5, 2014

After three days of close sparring, David Fincher’s provocative adult drama Gone Girl edged out horror spinoff Annabelle to finish first on the domestic charts with a well earned
$38 million. Based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling 2012 book, this cerebral thriller pits husband and wife Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike against each other in a contest which dissects not only their relationship but also the institution of marriage itself as well the inflammatory nature of the media in the United States. 20th Century Fox started the marketing early with character posters referencing the book beginning last year and a steady stream of teasers, keeping fans and general audiences interested. Carefully cultivated hype and a poignant, well conveyed, and socially relevant story may seem like a fairly automatic strategy for success, but Gone Girl is a welcome rarity in a market that responds ever more exclusively to outlandish and visually stimulating adrenaline catalysts. Foreign viewers also responded well to the film’s attractive portrayal of these difficult and fundamentally modern themes. The film picked up first-place finishes in major markets the UK ($6.94 million), Australia ($4.6 million), and Russia ($2.95 million) on its way to a $24.6 million
overseas cumulative. While it couldn’t quite inch to the top of the pack, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Annabelle
did incredibly well to finish second on the domestic charts with an opening take
of $37.2 million from 3,185 locations. The picture gets its title from the name of a doll that played a part in its parent feature, last year’s top-selling horror release The Conjuring. In this installment, the possessed figurine finds its way into the house of new parents John and Mia (Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis) and does its best to orchestrate their demise. Females made up 51% of viewers, which is slightly unusual for an R-rated horror film. Annabelle tempted an unexpectedly high share of foreign viewers, earning $20 million from 24 territories. Whether it stays anywhere close to these figures or not, this sub $7 million picture has thoroughly surpassed expectations and is a major win for Warner Bros. As of now it is the second biggest horror film of 2014, and could potentially surpass The Purge: Anarchy’s $71.5 million benchmarks to become the number one movie of its genre in America this year. Rounding out the domestic charts was Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer in third, with
$19 million, and The Boxtrolls in fourth with $12.4 million. The Maze Runner stuck around to add another $6.8 million and finish in fifth, while sixth place belonged to ill-fated debutant Left Behind. The Nicolas Cage helmed the adaptation of the popular Christian book series with the same title is supposed to be the first in a series of three films to be put out in the coming years by Freestyle Releasing. Its $6.8 million opening hasn’t made up half of the movie’s $16 million budget and may relegate subsequent entries in the series to the DVD and Blu-ray market. Two overachievers out of three major releases at home is good news for the industry and yet the string of wins didn’t stop at the U.S. border. This weekend’s top film outside of North America was Breakup Buddies, a raunchy road-trip comedy from China’s Injo Films Limited and HuangBo Studio. The picture matched Gone Girl’s domestic performance to pick up
$38 million in its own home market debut. Fox International found a definite hit in second place winner Bang Bang, a Bollywood remake of 2010 spy-comedy Knight and Day. The film features Indian favorite Hrithik Roshan filling in for Tom Cruise, while Cameron Diaz’s part is played by the increasingly popular Katrina Kaif. It has earned $25.4 million so far. Out of this figure, $19.6 million came from the movie’s home market while major showings in the UAE ($1.8 million), the U.S. ($1.35 million) and the UK ($922 thousand) made up the bulk of the remainder. Third and fourth places belonged to Gone Girl and Dracula Untold, which took in $24.6 million and $21 million respectively. Annabelle finished fifth abroad. Slow Video, a Korean title that debuted this weekend, was another win for Fox International. The film, which tells the story of a boy with an amazingly fast perception of time and reactions to match who inexplicably becomes a security camera monitor, made
$5.2 million and finished first in its domestic opening. Next weekend will see the domestic launches of Dracula Untold, The Judge, and Addicted, among others, as well as Disney’s filmed adaptation of classic children’s novel Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day