Fury Advances; Affleck’s Girl Gone From Top Spot
By John Hamann
October 19, 2014
Given the opening frame, the decent reviews and the solid Cinemascore, Fury looks like it’s in good shape. Financing company QED International spent $68 million bringing Fury to the screen, with Sony’s Columbia Pictures distributing. Working with that $68 million number, Fury should see at least $75 million from North American theaters, and another $100 million plus from overseas venues, as even Brad Pitt’s flops do well over there (Killing Them Softly earned $15 million domestically and $23 million overseas; The Counselor earned $17 million domestically, and $54 million overseas). Given the reviews, it doesn’t look like Fury will be an Oscar player, but it could see some technical nominations should the studio push. For now, Fury should be satisfied that it is a successful picture. Next up for Brad Pitt is By The Sea, in which he stars with his wife, who also directs.
Finishing second this weekend is Gone Girl, as the David Fincher/Ben Affleck/Rosamund Pike release has another strong weekend at the box office, its third. Following its $37.5 million opening weekend, and its sophomore session where it earned $26.4 million and fell less than 30% in the process, Gone Girl has another strong hold as it pushes past the $100 million mark. This weekend, Gone Girl earned another $17.8 million and dropped only 33%, proving that this is the movie to see over the month of October. The $61 million release crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday, only its 16th day of release, and pushes its total up to $107.1 million. Overseas, the Fox release is just as strong, earning $74.5 million prior to the start of the weekend. At this point, it looks like Gone Girl will easily eclipse the $150 million mark, and push on toward $175 million before all is said and done. Also in its favor is that it will be a VOD title by the time Oscar voting comes around, which means some Academy members will be very familiar with it by then.
Finishing a close third is new release The Book of Life, an animated film that to me sounds more like an Oscar contending drama with Pitt or Affleck than a Halloweeen-ish kid’s flick. The animation is the star in this one, with reviews noting the beautiful world these animators created. With its Spanish flavor, The Book of Life got off to a strong start on Friday, earning $5 million. It was then able to use its kid-friendly multiplier to turn that into a weekend gross of $17 million. From Fox and Reel FX (Free Birds), The Book of Life cost $50 million to bring to the screen. Given the solid reviews (79% fresh at RottenTomatoes), and A- Cinemascore, this music-infused feature should match its production budget stateside and then find further success around the world, especially in Latin countries.
Fourth, and possibly the reason why The Book of Life didn’t open bigger, is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. After debuting last weekend to $18.4 million, Alexander held okay in its sophomore frame, as it earned $12 million. It fell 34% compared to opening weekend, likely a little higher than Disney was looking for; however, with its $28 million budget already matched at the box office by its second Friday, the Mouse House has little to complain about. After two weekends, the Steve Carell/Jennifer Garner film has earned $36.9 million, and should finish between $50 and $60 million from domestic theaters alone.