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article image'Gone Girl' grabs a win in a tight box office race

By Tim O'Brien     Oct 5, 2014 in Entertainment
A grizzly tale of a dysfunctional marriage in "Gone Girl" won out over the horror of "Annabelle." The real winner, though, was the overall box office.
A solid one-two punch from those newcomers is welcome relief from the box office blues. "Gone Girl" grabbed $38 million and "Annabelle" took in $37.2 million. Both films over-achieved from early projections. This race is so close, however, that it will need to be tracked closely, and Monday, who knows, it may change. If "Annabelle" brings out the crowd on Sunday while "Gone Girl" simmers down, a change at the top is not out of the question.
When a battle plays out at the box office it is good for all the movies that are out. That kind of competition can be good as it means more bodies are out and about and discussing movies.
The one common sense reason as to why "Gone Girl" raced past "Annabelle" and took the crown was the older generation. Early on, it was "Annabelle" which took the lead, but word-of-mouth among the demographic that tends to go to movies like "Gone Girl," won out — the older crowd. "Annabelle" skewed younger, of course.
"Gone Girl" can play on many levels, that being a drama, mystery, suspense and even satire. Yes, satire of media, marriage and how a tragic events play out in our lives. Oh, and a date movie, too. With Gillian Flynn's bestseller to work with, as she wrote the script as well, the cast matters here. Plus, the director's style (David Fincher) meshed to make this one click with audiences.
Besides Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, the cast includes Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens and David Clennon. It is just what The SAG Awards like — an ensemble coming together and doing the work.
Weekend
1. "Gone Girl" - $38 million
2. "Annabelle" - $37.2 million
3. "The Equalizer" - $19 million
4. "Boxtrolls" - $12.3 million
5. "The Maze Runner" - $12 million
"Annabelle" put the horror film back in play in its first weekend out. There was a time when a horror film opened so well in its first weekend, the rest of the time was just icing on the cake. Not so much this year, so "Annabelle" is good news for the genre.
Last week's top films held up nicely as well. "The Equalizer" and "Boxtrolls" finished third and fourth, respectively. The top five all were in double digits. More good news for the box office, but this is the time of year when it should pick up. The box office is getting ready for the holiday season and the end of year award season films to hit.
"Left Behind" disappointed even though it had a faith-based following going in. Sometimes a bad movie is just that — a bad movie. Firing up a base is good for one or two screenings, but it doesn't play out over the long run, thus, no consistency.
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