Box Office: Brad Pitt's 'Fury' Dominating the Friday Battlefield

Fury Still - H 2014
Giles Keyte

Fury Still - H 2014

The war drama is on its way to a $25 million debut, while 'Birdman' soars in limited release

Fury, David Ayer's WWII tank drama, is doing furious business at the box office Friday, on its way to earning the No. 1 spot at the North American box office.

After rolling its way to a hardy $1.2 million from 2,489 locations on Thursday night, the Brad Pitt starrer looks on track to open at around $25 million, a solid start for Sony, QED International and LStar Capital.

Fury's strong start means the war drama will likely top the box office ahead of holdover Gone Girl, which has held the No. 1 title for the past two weekends.

The $68 million drama, also starring Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs and Scott Eastwood, launches in 3,155 theaters. The story centers on a U.S. tank crew on a dangerous mission in Germany at the end of WWII.

David Fincher's Gone Girl, which has pulled off strong performances for the past two weeks, looks likely to earn around $17 million in its third outing, putting it on par with new offering The Book of Life.

The animated family film, which earned $300,000 on Thursday night in 2,150 locations, is produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge R. GutierrezInspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, the film should do especially well in Hispanic markets. Co-produced by Fox Animation and ReelFX, the family film stars the voices of Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Hector Elizondo, Diego Luna and Zoe Saldana.

The weekend's third new offering is romance drama The Best of Me, based on a Nicholas Sparks book. The film kicked off the weekend with $525,000 on Thursday night with showtimes starting at 8 p.m. Starring Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato and Gerald McRaney, the Relativity movie will open in the $11 million range.

At the specialty box office, Michael Keaton-starrer Birdman is soaring. Opening in four theaters, it could have one of the best per-theater averages of the year. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film follows an actor who, after becoming famous for playing a superhero, decides to stage a comeback in a Broadway play. 

Oct. 17, 2:10 p.m.: Updated with Friday box-office projections.