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article imageBattle is on between 'Gone Girl' and 'Annabelle'

By Tim O'Brien     Oct 3, 2014 in Entertainment
UPDATE: It truly is a battle of demographics at the weekend box offices as noted below. The younger crowd came out and helped "Annabelle" win Friday over "Gone Girl."
But, it will be the older crowd that will make "Gone Girl" the weekend winner. How? Word-of-mouth usually works better for the older demographic with films like this, as does award season buzz.
On Friday, "Annabelle" won with a over-performing $15.2 million while "Gone Girl" grabbed $13.2 million. The weekend projections are now at around $33-36 million for "Gone Girl" and $31-$32 million for the horror film, "Annabelle."
The Wrap noted that the audience for "Gone Girl" saw 65 percent female and of that, 75 percent over the age of 25. So, it could be playing as a date movie as well.
EARLIER: All the buzz right now is for "Gone Girl," and rightly so, but that doesn't mean an easy win at the weekend box office. It will be a battle between young and old at movie theaters
Ben Affleck and Rosumund Pike tackle "Gone Girl" and will take over the Oscar buzz right now, too. The story ripped from the book by Gillian Flynn, tells the tale of marriage, with secrets. David Fincher directs this gut-punch of a drama. It has all the elements of what the older generation seeks instead of comic book superheroes, young adult novels and animated films.
"Gone Girl" is surely aimed for those who read the book, plus the older generation. It took in $1.2 million on Thursday. All that buzz, though, for "Gone Girl," but it was beaten by "Annabelle" on Thursday. The prequel to "The Conjuring" took in $2.1 million on Thursday.
1. "Annabelle" - 3,185 theaters
2. "Gone Girl" - 3,014 theaters
3. "Left Behind" - 1,820 theaters
4. "The Good Lie" - 461 theaters
5. "Bang Bang"- 271 theaters
"Annabelle" will tend to that younger demographic and it will battle "Gone Girl" for the top spot. In the end, it is the younger demographic who tend to go to those early shows more. The older crowd can wait, and often do. That alone makes this one fun to track. Both "Annabelle" and "Gone Girl" are R-rated. The older generation pay less attention to social media buzz, too.
With "Left Behind," Nicolas Cage takes over for Kirk Cameron but the plot is the same. The result will like be as well. No matter the faith of the audience, if a movie falls flat, there is usually a reason. In far fewer theaters than the other wide releases, it will find a certain audience, but nothing more.
Reese Witherspoon gets the buzz for the smaller releases in "The Good Lie." However, it is "Wild" where she pick up steam for award season.
Overall, the box office will fare well as last week's crop are still around. Denzel Washington's fans are older and thus, some may not have seen "The Equalizer" yet, and didn't need to last weekend. "The Boxtrolls" gives the family crowd something to see.
One last movie note: Steve Martin will receive the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, they announced today (Oct. 3).
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