Moviegoers' lively interest in the undead appears unabated, at least as a way to spend a Friday night at the movies, as "Dracula Untold" edged last weekend's big winner, "Gone Girl," out of the gate in early weekend box-office returns.
"Untold," which looks back to the beginnings of the "Dracula" legend, pulled in an estimated $8.9 million Friday.
"Gone Girl" continued to perform well with an estimated $8.2-million Friday take. The Fox drama starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike had debuted with $38 million in opening-weekend ticket sales, and sources familiar with audience surveys expect it to tack on $25 million more this weekend.
Film industry prognosticators had pegged "Dracula Untold," Warner Bros.' "The Judge" and Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" as the three new releases with the best opening-weekend prospects, expected to bring in between $15 million and $20 million each.
"Alexander" had an estimated take of $5.3 million Friday, placing it third for the evening. The family film is adapted from Judith Viorst's popular children's book, with Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner starring as parents of a comically beleaguered clan.
"Annabelle," last weekend's second-place finisher at $37 million, took in an estimated $5.2 million from the Friday night fright crowd. The New Line/Warner Bros. feature deploys that ever-popular scare-generator: a sinister doll.
"The Judge," a murder mystery with Robert Duvall in the title role and Robert Downey Jr. as his sleuthing attorney son, finished out Friday's top five with an estimated $4.4 million.