Dracula Has No Teeth Versus Gone Girl
By John Hamann
October 12, 2014
You gotta love a good comeback story. For the second consecutive weekend, Gone Girl has lost on Friday, only to come back and capture the weekend. For comeback kid Ben Affleck, life really does imitate art.
Like last weekend against Annabelle, winning wasn’t easy for Gone Girl, the David Fincher flick that has everyone talking. The R-rated thriller was up against four new wide releases this weekend and a couple of limited releases that packed a punch. Openers this weekend included Dracula Untold, the $70 million, effects-filled piece that was intended to launch a Monster Cinematic Universe; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the family flick starring Steve Carrell and Mrs. Affleck, Jennifer Garner; The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall; and Addicted, a film I admit to knowing little about, but it looks like some sort of soft porn. Add to that some interesting new releases with Bill Murray’s St. Vincent, Jeremy Renner’s Kill the Messenger, and the faith-based documentary Meet the Mormons, and it was set to be a busy and interesting weekend at the box office.
Our number one film of the weekend is again Gone Girl, the highly effective thriller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. After debuting last weekend to a very strong $37.5 million, the question this weekend was how it would hold versus a ton of new competition. The R-rated thriller pushed all comers aside and dominated the box office, earning an outstanding $26.8 million from 3,284 venues. That gives the Warner Bros. release a very small drop of only 29% compared to last weekend, and ticks another item off its Oscar nomination to-do list. Obviously, audiences are talking up Gone Girl, and as expected it is the water cooler movie de jour.
Made for $61 million, Gone Girl matched its production budget stateside by Saturday morning, and should continue to be a box office stalwart for many weekends to come. It has a domestic gross to date of $78.3 million, and had a strong start overseas last weekend, when it took in $25 million from only a handful of markets. Domestically, can Gone Girl earn more than Affleck’s Argo did a few years ago? The jury is still out at this point, but if this trajectory holds, Gone Girl could earn $140 million versus Argo’s $136 million.
Finishing second for Universal is Dracula Untold, a film the studio was hoping would be the Iron Man of their monster movies. It obviously wasn’t, as the $70 million wannabe blockbuster settles for second this weekend. Poor reviews and a confused marketing strategy left this one wanting more. Dracula Untold got started on Thursday night, pulling in $1.3 million, an only okay figure for a big budget effects-filled origin story. Friday was reported at $8.9 million – ahead of Gone Girl – but once those Thursday amounts are removed, the Friday becomes $7.6 million, putting it about half a million behind Gone Girl. It continued to slip behind last weekend’s winner as the frame went on, finishing the weekend with a somewhat unremarkable $23.5 million. It didn’t flop by any means, but with a debut like this, Dracula isn’t going to live forever.