1. The Fury – $23.5 million [debut week] – Brad Pitt’s well-received war drama lit up the box office. The film’s opening was about right in line with recent Pitt efforts if you take away the highest (“World War Z” with $66 million) and lowest (“Killing Them Softly” with $6.8 million) proving he remains a bankable A-level star. Pitt’s World War II drama outperformed his fellow “Ocean’s Eleven” stars George Clooney and Matt Damon’s “The Monuments Men,” which opened in February to $22 million.
2. Gone Girl – $17.8 million [3rd week; $107 million] The two-time champ was dethroned by its fellow Fox film, but continues to have strong retention as it dropped just 32 percent from last week. This film’s staying power has been fantastic and in another couple of weeks it should surpass “The Town” as ($138 million) as star Ben Affleck’s third highest grossing film behind (“Armageddon” with $201 million and “Pearl Harbor” with $198.5 million).
3. The Book of Life – $17 million [debut week] – The Guillermo del Toro animated film had a very solid opening and should continue to do well as it focuses on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, which is celebrated on Oct. 31. Showing it connected well beyond the main target demographic, Latinos made up 30 percent of the audience.
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – [2nd week; $38 million] The latest Disney family film held up well in its second week with a slight 35 percent drop (much better than the 69 percent drop of “Dracula Untold,” which was in second place last weekend) and didn’t appear to be impacted too strongly by fellow family competitor “The Book of Life.”
5. The Best of Me – $10.2 million [debut week] – Critics savaged the latest Nicholas Sparks’ film giving it only a 7 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences weren’t rushing to the theater resulting in the lowest debut for a Sparks film. Sparks’ most recent film, “Safe Haven,” opened to $21 million, but benefited from a more romantic drama release date of Valentine’s Day.