Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
October 4, 2014
We start with a slight upset as your number one film on Friday is Annabelle with a strong $15.5 million on Friday. The Conjuring spinoff - which you probably would have no idea about if it wasn’t mentioned repeatedly in the advertising - benefited from franchise recognition, even something as loosely connected as this, and the complete lack of horror in recent months. Gone Girl is virtually guaranteed to pass it when the weekend estimates come in, but it made a race of it. Look for an extremely front-loaded weekend, but Annabelle should still come in with a total of $32.5 million.
[bp:4222_]David Fincher[/bp]’s Gone Girl is the first true Oscar contender of the year and it’s rewarded with a Friday of $13.2 million. The adaptation of the best seller has some of the stronger reviews of the year and has had an outstanding advertising campaign. It will overtake Annabelle for the weekend crown, though the question is by how much. I’m looking at The Social Network, which opened on this weekend in 2010 and was also directed by Fincher, for a comparison. That started with $8 million and had a $22.4 million weekend, for a 2.80 weekend multiplier. Gone Girl should end up higher than that due to skewing more adult than a movie about Facebook and being a considerably more popular book adaptation. I’d look for a weekend of $39.6 million here, with the chance for good legs if word-of-mouth is as positive as expected.
After starting out the year strong with God’s Not Dead ($60 million), and potentially establishing itself as a player via faith-based films, Freestyle Releasing ends with a thud. First came September’s The Identical, which I imagine you have already forgotten existed. Now this weekend comes Left Behind, the adaptation of the Christian novel, and it comes in with just $2.4 million on Friday. A candidate for worst film of the year, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes (2%!), the [bp:859_]Nicolas Cage[/bp] film is poised for ironic viewings for years to come. It should still come in with $6.5 million on the weekend, though to its credit it only cost $16 million to make.
[bp:2065_]Denzel Washington[/bp]’s The Equalizer dropped 55.2% from last Friday to $5.6 million. This is perfectly okay and sends the film over the $50 million mark as it heads to a strong $85 million or so. A second weekend of $17 million is good enough as we wait to see if Denzel signs on for a sequel.