Universal’s horror reboot, ‘Dracula Untold’, starring Luke Evans, arrived at the North American box office with an outstanding $8.9m Friday to set up another close contest for the weekend crown. A powerful ‘A-‘ CinemaScore from the tough marking horror crowd will go some way to mitigating against the usual genre front-loading and it should finish the three days around the $25m mark. It remains to be seen whether the film can hold off reigning champ, ‘Gone Girl’, which enjoyed a strong $8.2m second Friday and has the advantage of the studio’s target mature audience arriving on Saturday and Sunday. ‘Gone Girl’ recovered from a Friday deficit last weekend to defeat New Line’s ‘The Conjuring’ spin-off horror, ‘Annabelle’, by a mere $0.4m and the smart money is on a similar outcome this time around.
Disney’s PG-rated adaptation of Judith Viorst’s 1972 bestseller, ‘Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’, slightly exceeded expectations in third place with a solid $5m opening. With family audiences turning out during the remainder of the weekend and first night audiences also awarding the film an ‘A-‘ CinemaScore, it has a shot at hitting $20m over the three days.
And David Dobkin’s surprise Toronto opener, ‘The Judge’, starring Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall and Vera Farmiga, made it a hat trick of newcomers receiving an ‘A-‘ CinemaScore’. The R-rated legal drama needed a boost after underwhelming critics – reviews running at 47% on RT – and earning a soft $4.4m during Friday but with it being more sensitive to reviews than the other two wide openers, the film is heading for a disappointing $13.5m three day tally. This would leave it in fifth place below ‘Annabelle’, which is on course for a $15m second weekend hold after adding a further $5.2m on Friday.
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