Warner Bros. reports that Annabelle earned an estimated $15.5 million in first place on Friday, a strong start for the low-budget Conjuring spin-off budgeted around a mere $7 million (excluding marketing). That easily makes it the best opening day of the year for a straight-up horror film and the genre's best opening day since September 2013's Insidious Chapter 2 ($20.2 million). Unfortunately, critics haven't taken to the film (30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) while audiences have given it a 58 percent Flixster score and "B" CinemaScore, suggesting word of mouth will struggle going forward. Still, WB and New Line can be happy with this weekend's financial results. BoxOffice projects a $31 million opening weekend for Annabelle.
Fox's Gone Girl also impressed on opening day with $13.2 million. The David Fincher-directed adaptation of Gillian Flynn's popular novel handily surpassed the first Friday takes of The Social Network ($8.0 million) and Prisoners ($6.97 million). Strong pre-release buzz had surrounded the film thanks to Fincher's involvement and praise around the performances of Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Critics have awarded the pic a strong 93 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, while Flixster audiences also give it their approval with 86 percent. With awards season just around the corner, expect a leggy lifespan for the drama. BoxOffice projects an opening weekend of $36.5 million.
Last week's top film, The Equalizer, slipped 55 percent to $5.6 million yesterday. The Denzel Washington hit has earned $51.1 million in its first 8 days of release, 2 percent ahead of the pace of The Book of Eli. BoxOffice projects a respectable $17.5 million sophomore frame.
The Maze Runner eased 34 percent from last Friday to $3.44 million yesterday. The young adult adaptation has tallied $65.4 million through 15 days of release, 33 percent ahead of the pace of Ender's Game. BoxOffice projects an $11.5 million third weekend.
The Boxtrolls took in an estimated $2.74 million to begin its second frame, down 44 percent from opening day last week. The latest success from Laika Animation has earned $22.85 million in its first 8 days, 4 percent more than ParaNorman through the same point. BoxOffice projects a $10.4 million second weekend.
Freestyle's Left Behind remake, starring Nicolas Cage, brought in $2.36 million in its opening day. While that falls short of other faith-based releases this year like God's Not Dead ($2.8 million), it has already exceeded the entire $2.2 million opening weekend of Kirk Cameron's original Left Behind film adaptation, released in February 2001. BoxOffice projects an opening weekend of around $7 million for the Cage version .
In limited release, Reese Witherspoon-led The Good Lie brought in an estimated $300,000 from 3461 locations yesterday for a $651 per-theater average. BoxOffice projects a weekend close to $900,000. Warner Bros. reports the film received a strong "A+" CinemaScore.
In platform release, Jason Reitman's Men, Women, & Children earned an estimated $13,000 from 17 locations on Friday. The per-theater average was $765. The film has tallied $26,290 since opening Wednesday.