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Friday Box Office: ‘Fury’ Tops, ‘Birdman’ and Other Indies Score Big

Friday Box Office: 'Fury' Tops, 'Birdman' and Other Indies Score Big

The Top Ten films grossed over $37 million, up about $8 million from last year. This continues the October surge that began with “Gone Girl” and “Annabelle” two weeks ago. “Fury” took in a solid $8.8 million yesterday (though it is lower than the top Friday grosser for the last two weeks) and easily bested two other new entries.

Those two were aimed at different audiences than the R-rated, male-oriented “Fury.” Faring better is the animated “The Book of Life” (20th Century Fox) with just under $5 million, which came in third for the day, but might with matinees challenge for second place. The latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Spark’s young adult romance novel, “The Best of Me” (Relativity) landed in fourth with $4.1 million, somewhat lower than similar releases. But the cumulative impact of three new films all help the total.

On the limited front, after a series of uneven openers over the last few weeks, two very different films showed major strength on their first days. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s major awards contender “Birdman” (Fox Searchlight) grossed $136,000 in four New York/Los Angeles locations with many sellouts keeping the total lower than its potential. The Sundance indie sleeper Dear White People” (Roadside Attractions) opened in four cities to a mix of theaters to reach a wider than usual specialized audience with an impressive $126,000 for the day.

Aiding the box office overall is the ongoing strength of David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” (20th Century Fox), second for the day at $5.5 million, looking to only fall a third this weekend (its third) and to surpass $100 million by today. This showing once again increases its likely ultimate total to possibly as much as $150 million, which would make it one of the biggest R-rated Fall releases ever.

Also holding OK is “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (Buena Vista) in fifth with $3.2 million. This actually managed to out gross last Friday’s top film “Dracula Untold” (Universal), which could only corral $2.9 million for sixth place. “Annabelle” (Warner Bros.), the other horror entry took seventh with $2.5 million. This just edged out “The Judge” (Warner Bros. as well), which managed little better than half of its initial day’s gross.

Rounding out the list are two other earlier openers that have held well: “The Equalizer” (Sony) in ninth around $1.6 million and “The Maze Runner” (20th Century Fox) at tenth with $1.3 million. Both remain in the hunt to reach $100 million before they are through.

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