"Gone Girl" was tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and his rag-tag group of tank mates in "Fury" blasted the film to second place. Sony's "Fury" captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Fox's "Gone Girl" followed with $17.8 million.
The week's top two films are R-rated adult dramas, followed by two PG family films.
"The fall movie season is all about making the transition from PG-13 world of summer to the R-rated, edgier world of the fall and awards season," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.
The animated Fox feature "The Book of Life" opened in third place with $17 million, followed by Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" with $12 million.
"Were now in full adult movie-going season and we'll see a lot more adult-skewing fare," said Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson, who added that the colorful "Book of Life" suits any audience.
Another new film rounds out the top five: Relativity's Nicholas Sparks romance "The Best of Me," starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, debuted with $10.2 million.
"Birdman," the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu drama starring Michael Keaton, opened in just four theatres and boasted a per-screen average of $103, 750. It opens in additional locations next week.
Overall box office is up almost 25 per cent from the same weekend last year, Dergarabedian said, and the strong fall showing at cinemas is making up for a year-to-date box-office deficit that dropped from 6 per cent to 4 per cent in the last month.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Fury," $23.5 million.
2. "Gone Girl," $17.8 million ($20.2 million international).
3. "The Book of Life," $17 million ($8.6 million international).
4. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," $12 million ($1.3 million international).
5. "The Best of Me," $10.2 million ($1.1 million international).
6. "Dracula Untold," $9.9 million ($22.5 million international).
7. "The Judge," $7.94 million ($6.5 million international).
8. "Annabelle," $7.92 million ($19.2 million international).
9. "The Equalizer," $5.4 million ($8 million international).
10. "The Maze Runner," $4.5 million ($17.1 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:
1. "Guardians of the Galaxy," $23.1 million.
2. "Dracula Untold," $22.5 million.
3. "Gone Girl," $20.2 million.
4. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," $20 million.
5. "Annabelle," $19. 2 million.
6. "The Maze Runner," $17.1 million.
7. "Breakup Buddies," $10 million.
8. "The Book of Life," $8.6 million.
9. "The Equalizer," $8 million.
10. "The Judge," $6.5 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .