Weekend box office: Dracula Untold and Gone Girl eye the top spot

Supposedly, Universal wants to start a “Marvel-like” franchise with their classic monsters and it’s all supposed to start with DRACULA UNTOLD.  The millionth iteration of the classic story debuted this past weekend to a tune of about $20 million.  That’s not a bad showing at the weekend box office, but I’m not sure it’s a franchise starter.  Universal’s problem is that everyone knows the classic monster stories and we’ve seen them too many times on the big screen, so it’s going to be hard to keep them fresh and create something audiences can get excited about.  Speaking of Marvel, the other big new movie opening this weekend was Robert Downey Jr.’s THE JUDGE.  prior to release, THE JUDGE was hyped to be an Oscar player but as we got closer to the release date, that talk quickly subsided.  Now, it’s another miss for RDJ, which might be why we’ve heard so much talk of IRON MAN 4 this past week.  You gotta keep the money lines open.  And we also had the family film ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY, which I would have expected to do better considering the lack of family films at the box office right now.

Next week sees the release of FURY, which has some Oscar aspirations of its own.  Critics have been waiting for David Ayer to make a great film and early word says this might be it.  I don’t know if that will translate to box office success, but with Brad Pitt leading an all star cast and positive critic reviews, it should do well.  We also get the release of THE BEST OF ME, which is yet another adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel.  Finally, we get the release of the much buzzed about BIRDMAN with Michael Keaton.  I don’t know what’s going to become of BIRDMAN since it’s a little too low-key to find box office success and might be too quirky to find Oscar success, but hopefully it will find an audience.  Note: the numbers below will be updated as they become final.

1. Gone Girl $25.5m

2. Dracula Untold $20m

3. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day $18.1m

4. Annabelle $15.5m

5. The Judge $14.2m

6. The Equalizer $9.5m

7. The Maze Runner $7.4m

8. Addicted $7.3m

9. The Boxtrolls $6.5m

10. Left Behind $2.9m

(Deadline)

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