Dracula Has No Teeth Versus Gone Girl
By John Hamann
October 12, 2014
Universal needed at least another $10 million out of Dracula Untold this weekend. Even if overseas audiences embrace Dracula and it matches what the film does stateside, the film is only going to finish with about $120 million, when it needs a worldwide finish closer to $200 million. Dracula opened in a handful of territories last weekend, earning a similar $21 million, so it will be interesting to see how it performs now that it’s playing in North America. Critics did not fall under Dracula’s spell. Dracula Untold has a fresh rating of only 26% from all critics, and a tiny 5% fresh rating from the "top critic" category. The good news is that audiences like it much more than critics, as it earned an A- Cinemascore, so there may be still some hope for overseas success.
That puts Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day into third this weekend, successfully ahead of both Annabelle and The Judge. The Disney release with the very long title did well considering the budget and what it was up against. The film, with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner as the adult stars, earned $5.2 million on Friday and finished the frame with a very solid opening weekend of $19.1 million. With all of the noise in theaters, it can be tough to stand out. This start for Alexander has to be considered positive, given the film’s reported budget of only $28 million. A film like this would need to do about $75 million worldwide to see a profit after production and marketing, a number this one should have no problem with, as it earned an A- Cinemascore, and was the best reviewed film of the weekend. It wasn't such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day after all.
Annabelle falls from second to fourth this weekend, and did okay given the size of its opening last weekend ($37.1 million), and the number of new films in the marketplace. Annabelle earned $16.4 million in its second frame, off an expected 56% compared to last weekend. Let’s remember that even in its second weekend, it more than doubled its $6.5 million production budget. The Warner Bros. flick has now earned $62.2 million stateside and has already picked up $23.6 million overseas.
Robert Downey Jr. and The Judge has to settle for fifth, a rank the Iron Man star is simply not used to. Overpowered by Gone Girl, and not well reviewed enough to make it must-see, The Judge earned only $13.3 million this weekend, which isn’t a completely terrible score considering the fact that the target audience doesn’t rush out to see films and that it cost a moderate $50 million to make. The Warner Bros. film is only Downey’s fourth film out of either the Iron Man suit or the Sherlock Holmes franchise since 2008, and certainly did not match the success of Due Date ($32.7 million debut) which opened in 2010.
Critically, The Judge failed to stack up against films like Gone Girl or Downey’s slate of Marvel releases. The Judge is only 47% fresh at RottenTomatoes, his lowest score since Due Date, and this was no broad comedy with Zach Galifinakis. The good news for the film is that it did earn an A- Cinemascore, and The Judge is aimed at adults, so this shouldn’t be a one weekend enterprise. This is the first film from Team Downey, the production house co-owned with his wife Susan and will likely end up being neither a hit nor a disaster. It will be interesting to see what they do next.