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Final box-office numbers showed David Fincher‘s R-rated adult drama Gone Girl narrowly beating horror spinoff Annabelle with $37.5 million from 3,014 theaters, a career best for Fincher and one of the top showings ever for star Ben Affleck.
Annabelle, cementing a new franchise for New Line, earned $37.1 million from 3,185 locations.
On Sunday, estimates had Gone Girl earning $38 million, but the final total came in slightly lower. Either way, it’s a rousing victory for 20th Century Fox and New Regency, which partnered on the $61 million adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s popular novel. Fincher’s previous top opening was Panic Room, which opened to $30.1 million in 2002.
The thriller also prospered overseas, where it grossed $24.5 million from its first 39 markets for a worldwide launch of $62 million.
Sunday’s estimates put Annabelle at $37.2 million. The microbudgeted film, a prequel to box-office hit The Conjuring, is likewise a sizable victory for New Line, considering Annabelle cost just $6.5 million to make. Internationally, the movie made an estimated $20 million from 24 markets for an early foreign total of $23 million and a global cume of $60.2 million.
Returning John R. Leonetti in the director’s chair, Annabelle stars Alfre Woodard, Annabelle Wallis and Ward Horton. The film has garnered strong interest among younger moviegoers, who tend to turn out en masse on opening weekend.
Gone Girl and Annabelle both wildly overperformed, providing a much-needed boost for the North American box office following the worst September in six years. Revenue for the frame was up more than 19 percent year-over-year.
The weekend wasn’t good for everybody, however.
Reese Witherspoon‘s Sudanese refugee drama The Good Lie took in only $840,000 from 461 locations. Although that’s a relatively small footprint in terms of theaters, Good Lie‘s debut was a major disappointment and marks Witherspoon’s lowest-grossing launch in more than a decade. Good Lie, distributed by Warner Bros., is from Black Label Media, Alcon Entertainment and Imagine Entertainment.
Paramount took an even more limited approach with filmmaker Jason Reitman‘s Men, Women & Children, opening the film in 17 locations in 12 top markets, albeit with dismal results. Men, Women & Children grossed an estimated $48,000 for the weekend for a five-day debut of $61,000, the worst of Reitman’s career.
Men, Women & Children, which expands nationwide Oct. 17, stars Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ansel Elgort, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris and Adam Sandler.
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