A thrilling weekendhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/screen/a-thrilling-weekend/

A thrilling weekend

Ben Affleck's Gone Girl snatches U.S. box-office title

Gone Girl
Gone Girl

Movie thriller Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck as a man suspected of causing his wife’s disappearance, overcame a demonic doll named Annabelle to win a tight weekend race at U.S. and Canadian box -office. Gone Girl pulled in $38 million over its first three days in domestic theaters, according to estimates released by tracking firm Rentrak. Horror flick Annabelle ranked close behind with $37.2 million. Last weekend’s top film, thriller The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, dropped to third. The movie collected $19 million over the weekend and brought its cumulative domestic sales to $64.5 million.
Gone Girl, based on a best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, earned strong reviews from critics, with an 87 percent positive rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
Affleck stars as a writer who is caught in a media circus when his wife goes missing and the police suspect he is responsible. Rosamund Pike plays his wife. “There was a confluence of events that created an urgency to see this thought-provoking film,” said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox, the unit of 21st Century Fox that released the $61 million film. “This is a water cooler movie and I think it will play and play and play,” said Aronson, adding that it marked The Social Network director David Fincher’s biggest-ever opening and that the studio had expected an opening of about $25 million.
Aronson said the 60 per cent female, 40 per cent male audience had skewed a bit more male than he had expected, saying “It’s becoming a bit of a date movie.” Horror fans turned out for Annabelle, a spin-off of last year’s hit The Conjuring. The low-budget movie produced for just $6.5 million tells the story of a young husband and wife who are terrorised by a porcelain doll given as a gift. “We’re very pleased,” said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., a Time Warner Inc unit, noting the film exceeded expectations across the marketplace but performed especially well with Hispanic moviegoers. Fellman said the studio would have been happy with a total over $20 million, “but we’re looking at nearly $40 million.” Both executives pointed to strong box-office numbers across the board, after a tepid summer and a slow September.
Elsewhere, animated movie The Boxtrolls took fourth place with $12.4 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters. Young adult thriller The Maze Runner finished fifth, grossing $12 million.
Biblical thriller Left Behind, which was panned by critics, debuted in sixth place with $6.9 million. The Equalizer was released by Sony Corp’s movie studio. Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures distributed The Boxtrolls. Fox released Maze Runner, and Freestyle Releasing distributed Left Behind.