The box office can often produce some pretty wacky showdowns, but few have showcased too films as wildly different as 'Annabelle' and 'Gone Girl.' The creepy spin-off from 'The Conjuring' and the latest from director David Fincher battled each other for the number one spot this weekend and while we seem to have a winner, the results are almost too close to call.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Gone Girl$38,000,000$12,608$38,000,000
3The Equalizer$19,000,000 (-44.3)$5,871$64,500,000
4The Boxtrolls$12,425,000 (-28.1)$3,587$32,539,000
5The Maze Runner$12,000,000 (-31.2)
6Left Behind$6,850,000$3,753$6,850,000
7This is Where I Leave You$4,000,000 (-42.0)$1,463$29,003,000
8Dolphin Tale 2$3,530,000 (-26.3)$1,265$37,974,000
9Guardians of the Galaxy$3,034,000 (-19.4)$1,602$323,360,000
10No Good Deed$2,500,000 (-44.6)$1,582$50,157,000


According to early reports, 'Gone Girl' edged out the competition, taking the number one spot with $38 million. That's a really good number for any movie, but it's especially good for a 149-minute, R-rated movie with a dark, mean-spirited tone that will drive some audiences away. It'll be interesting to see how people react to this movie in the coming weeks (the buzz really feels like it could go either way) but at this moment, this is a huge victory for Fincher and his cast.

That means that 'Annabelle' landed in second place, but that $37 million opening weekend is nothing to scoff at. This movie was made on the cheap, so it's easily seeing profitability already. As with most horror movies, it will probably take a steep drop next weekend, but that won't matter -- the film has already made its money. Anything past this is just gravy and/or dressing and/or the cherry on top.

Let's turn our attention to the only other "major" release of the weekend (and yes, it earns those quotation marks around major). 'Left Behind' failed to capture the faith-based audience that made 'God's Not Dead' and 'Son of God' hits earlier this year, opening with only $6 million in sixth place. Christian audiences seem to respond less to Nicolas Cage and more to marketing that appeals directly to their sense of faith. Lesson learned for all involved.

Otherwise, it was a mostly solid weekend for the rest of the top ten. 'The Equalizer' fell to number three, but its strong $19 million weekend gross brings its current total to $64 million. Our early estimates may have been off -- this thing looks poised to break $100 million before it ends its run.

In fourth place, 'The Boxtrolls' showcased that Laika stamina, rebounding from a disappointing opening weekend by dropping a minuscule 28%. With $32 million in the bank, the film should have legs strong enough to make it a minor hit.

Speaking of minor successes, 'The Maze Runner' continued to perform well in fifth place, grossing $12 million for a $72 million total. It remains to be seen if the film will have the strength to break $100 million, but at this rate, it has made more than enough to justify that sequel they already announced.

In the final stretch, 'This is Where I Leave You' and 'Dolphin Tale 2' continued doing solid but unremarkable business, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' added a few million more to its massive gross and 'One Good Deed' passed $50 million before wheezing, falling over, and dying.

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