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article imageFerocious 'Fury' fights, flies high for solid box office victory

By Tim O'Brien     Oct 19, 2014 in Entertainment
It was a World War II drama that took the lead with a fury at the box office. It ended up being an easy win over a two-time champ and a Halloween-themed film.
Brad Pitt and his R-rated "Fury" stormed to the top with $23.5 million as it beat "Gone Girl," which stayed strong in second with $17.8 million. "Newcomer "Book of Life" settled for third with $17 million. A solid top three for the box office as it continues to hold off disaster.
"Book of Life" has that Halloween crowd going for it, plus it is aimed at Hispanics. Its Day of the Dead story line, hit home. It may also mean it will play as the film people may opt for as the holiday gets closer. Still, though, the appeal might be limited. The animation is not stop action but has that feel. It is not a Disney film, either. At $17 million, it was solid, though.
Many will say the voices could be the reason that some go to these animated movies. Really? Does it matter than Channing Tatum voiced a character, in the long run? For some, maybe, but not really for a three-year old.
Weekend
1. "Fury" - $23.5 million
2. "Gone Girl" - $17.8 million
3. "Book of Life" - $17 million
4. "Alexander" - $13 million
5. "Best of Me" - $10.2 million
As for "Best of Me," the target was for the young adult crowd in the same vein as "Fault Of Our Stars" and perhaps, "The Notebook." Sure, it will and was not as popular as those, but that is the audience it was geared towards. At $10.2 million, it didn't connect, because, in the end, the story does matter. Nicholas Sparks did spark fan interest in "The Notebook," but this one fell a little short.
"Best of Me" couldn't pass up "Alexander," which landed in fourth. A balanced box office with family-friendly and even an R-rated flick, plus a love story.
The one film that has many eyes and more Oscar interest is "Birdman" starring Michael Keaton and Edward Norton. Both of them will surely gets nods in their categories, or at least get buzzed about. The per screen average was absolute huge and noteworthy. It was only in four theaters and grabbed a huge $103,750 per screen.
"Birdman" tells a tale of of actors which means, Hollywood will like it even more. There is nothing better than turning the camera back at the business in which they work, good or bad. "Birdman" echoes a comeback Broadway story, one on which the actor was once a superhero legend.
Speaking of award buzz, aim your eyes on Bill Murray. Some movies are made exactly for that and is seems as if "St. Vincent" is one of them. That is not knocking it, that makes sense. The limited release schedule plays into that as well. Many films will simply not be seen all over the country and by the masses.
According to The Wrap, the audience for "Fury" was primarily under the age of 35 and male. Males are often under-served when movies like "Best of Me" and "Book of Life" permeate the screens. So, the male audience went for war.
The big drop-off of note is "Dracula Untold," which was solid the first weekend out but fell 65 percent this time around, Sure, a horror film, but Halloween in on the minds of many, but that didn't matter here.
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