The October box office continues to chug along swimmingly, with most of the new releases doing very good business and the old releases still holding on strong. After two weeks in the number one slot, Gone Girl finally fell to number two, although it only fell 32.6 percent and still racked up $17.8 million for a $107 million domestic gross to date. It’s now David Fincher’s second highest grossing film behind Benjamin Button, and is well on its way to topping that movie’s $127 million total. Speaking of Button, Girl was unseated by the David Ayer-directed, Brad Pitt-starring WWII thriller Fury, which earned $23.5 million in first place, the fourth-highest opening for a WWII movie to date, although not a barn-burner gross for an adult themed movie released in October. The film, which primarily catered to older men, should hold on and make its budget back.
The 20th Century Fox-produced animated movie The Book Of Life opened in third place with $17 million, a perfectly respectable debut about on par with last month’s The Boxtrolls. The movie should get a slight bump with the Halloween/Day of the Dead connection in the coming weekends and might make it out as a minor hit, although it also demonstrates how incredibly difficult it is for animated movies without the Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks banner to truly bust out in the marketplace. The other new wide release of the weekend was the Nicholas Sparks tearjerker The Best Of Me, and it represented the worst opening for a Sparks movie to date, opening in fifth place with $10.2 million (the next lowest was waaaaay back in 2002, when A Walk to Remember opened with $12.2 million). Hopefully this means our long national nightmare of soft-focused sad love stories is nearing its end.
On the indie side of things, the Michael Keaton comeback movie Birdman opened to some of the best reviews of the year and the second-highest per-theater average for an opening weekend of the year. scoring $415,000 on four screens, a $103,750 per-theater average. Obviously, that doesn’t mean it will translate to mainstream audiences, but it’s a great start. And the Sundance hit Dear White People rode excellent reviews and a small wave of controversy to $344,000 on 11 screens, a $31,273 per-theater average. It expands wide next week and is sure to be the talk of the internet for a while.
Next weekend brings the effing Ouija board movie, and the surprisingly well-reviewed-so-far Keanu Reeves action thriller John Wick.