October 11, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Gone Girl” Isn’t Going Anywhere


GONE GIRL (20th) should easily retain its title in its 2d weekend of release, based on preliminary numbers at Deadline.  Although the Friday race is tight between Gone Girl at $7.1M and the new DRACULA UNTOLD (Legendary/Universal) at $7M, that’s misleading, because in the odd way openings are reported in the post-Dark Knight Returns era, Dracula is credited with $1.3M from Thursday night, while Gone Girl‘s number represents Friday alone.  In any case, Dracula‘s biggest day was likely to be Friday, since horror movies typically fall after opening night, while Gone Girl should have a substantial lift on Saturday.

Gone Girl‘s reported $7.1M on Friday is down just 46% from its opening day last week, and that should mean a weekend-to-weekend drop of under 40%, for a superb $23-24M.  At a time when hit movies typically drop 50-60% or more on their second weekends, that’s extraordinary.  Gone Girl will approach $75M by Sunday, and is on course for $125M+, with plenty of potential upside.

Dracula Untold‘s $7M doesn’t compare with Annabelle‘s $15.5M last Friday, but it could still reach $20M for the weekend, a decent total for a genre item expected to make the bulk of its revenue overseas.

Both ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY (Disney) and the 2d Friday of ANNABELLE (New Line/Warners) are estimating $5M Fridays.  For Alexander, that should mean around $17.5M for the weekend once matinee business kicks in, on its way to perhaps $50M, not bad for a moderately-budgeted comedy.  Annabelle is down about 68% from its opening day, not unusual in the horror genre (especially with Dracula Untold aiming for the same market), and might earn $15M for the weekend, which would put it at $60M and on the road to $80M+, a big profit-maker considering its low cost.

On paper, it seemed like Gone Girl was taking a risk by facing THE JUDGE (Warners) in its 2d weekend, but the reverse turned out to be the case, as Robert Downey, Jr is finding himself the latest male superhero movie star whose box office value doesn’t translate out of the CG realm.  It’s also Warners’ second adult-aimed disappointment of the last few weeks, following This Is Where I Leave You.  Judge could get to $14M for the weekend, not a great start for a film whose costs, with worldwide marketing, will be well over $100M, and which isn’t likely to have much overseas appeal.

The weekend’s other semi-wide opening is ADDICTED (Lionsgate), at only 846 theatres and aimed squarely at the African-American audience.  It might bring in a fair $7.5M for the weekend.

THE EQUALIZER (Columbia/Sony), THE MAZE RUNNER (20th) and THE BOXTROLLS (Laika/Focus/Universal) lead the rest of the holdovers, with Friday-to-Friday drops of 50% (to $2.9M) for Equalizer for a likely $9.5M weekend, 41% (to $2M) for Maze Runner for $7M, and 43% (to $1.6M) for Boxtrolls for $6.5M.

At 374 theatres, KILL THE MESSENGER (Focus/Universal) may not even reach $1M for the weekend, which will have it disappearing very quickly.  At 4 NY/LA theatres, ST. VINCENT (Weinstein) is pacing toward a fair if unexciting $30K weekend per-theatre average.




About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."