Gone Girl and Annabelle ruled the box office this weekend with stunning debuts. David Fincher’s critically adored adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller earned an estimated $38 million from 3,014 screens for Fox (a career high for Fincher), while Warner Bros./New Line’s Annabelle, a spinoff of last year’s horror hit The Conjuring, took in an impressive $37.2 million from 3,185 screens. Studios and analysts had expected both to open in the mid $20 million range.
It’s striking that both were slapped with underwhelming B CinemaScores, suggesting that, though audiences turned out in droves for both R-rated pics, neither really lived up to expectations. Also, while the weekend earnings are quite similar, and could very well shift slightly by the time Monday actuals come in, these are two very different kinds of successes.