Brad Pitt’s World War II epic “Fury” was able to grab first place from two-time defending champion “Gone Girl” this weekend, but it was a nail-biting finish.
Opening at 3,173 theaters, “Fury” rolled in to first place this weekend with an estimated $23.5 million. That’s s in the same general ballpark as last year’s “Captain Phillips” ($25.7 million), and this year’s other World War II film “The Monuments Men” ($22 million). However, “Fury” is well behind the debuts of other recent R-rated films “Gone Girl” ($37.5 million) and “The Equalizer” ($34.1 million).
Couple of things to keep in mind: The film’s intense tank-on-tank battles brought in male moviegoers. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t connected with female moviegoers who accounted for just 40 percent of the audience on opening weekend. “Fury” also struggled to get younger moviegoers: The movie’s audience was 51 percent over the age of 35. But to be fair, that’s probably due to the R rating.
The good news: “Fury” got an “A-” CinemaScore and very solid reviews (80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), This could mean “Fury” could stick around for some time. A slow and steady ride to earn back its reported $68 million budget.
In second place, “Gone Girl” continues to stay strong in its third weekend. The David Fincher thriller eased 33 percent to an estimated $17.8 million, and has now earned $107.1 million domestically. The film has earned $94 million from international markets.
Playing at 3,070 theaters, “The Book of Life” opened to an estimated $17 million this weekend. That probably doesn’t sound like a great debut, but it is a bit higher than Reel FX’s first feature-length movie “Free Birds” ($15.8 million). Book of Life’s audience was 57 percent female, and 30 percent Hispanic. 3D showings accounted for around 31 percent of ticket sales. With good reviews and solid word-of-mouth (“A-” CinemaScore), this movie could have a decent run.
Then we have the bomb of the week…
At 2,936 theaters, “The Best of Me” opened in a distant fifth place with an estimated $10.2 million. That’s less than half of Safe Haven’s $21.4 million debut . In fact, “The Best of Me” is the worst debut ever for a Nicholas Sparks movie. I guess this means no Notebook 2: Armed and Fabulous?
Unsurprisingly, the movie’s audience was made up primarily of women (70 percent). It also skewed younger (56 percent under the age of 25). With a so-so “B+” CinemaScore, look for this to finish its run with less than $30 million. If tat’s the case, “The Best of Me” would become the lowest-grossing Sparks movie ever.
After a solid second place debut last weekend, “Dracula Untold” sank to sixth place with $9.9 million. That’s a massive 58 percent drop from week one. Meanwhile, “The Judge” eased 40 percent to $7.94 million this weekend. The Robert Downey, Jr. courtroom/family drama has grossed $26.8 million so far.
Your top five Muppets this weekend:
1. Fury – $23.5 million
2. Gone Girl – $17.8 million
3. The Book of Life – $17 million
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – $12 million
5. The Best of Me — $10.2 million