Take a best-selling book already established as a worldwide phenomenon, add a Hollywood heartthrob and one of Hollywood’s most critically acclaimed directors and….boom! You have a box office smash.
“Gone Girl”, David Fincher’s adaptation of the wildly successful Gillian Flynn novel of the same name, has raced straight to the top of the UK box office after its opening weekend, making a cool $6.94m (£4.3m) from British audiences.
That makes it David Fincher’s best ever opening weekend on these shores, and that success was replicated elsewhere. “Gone Girl” raked in $38m in the US according to industry estimates - another new record for a Fincher flick.
An 18 certification was not enough to stop audiences flocking to see the chilling mystery, which was projected onto UK screens 950 times across the weekend.
According to Deadline.com, worldwide (excluding the US) the film earned $25.4m, having been played on 5,270 screens in 39 different international markets. The UK was its best earner.
With a £4.3m opening, “Gone Girl” narrowly topped another dark David Fincher adaptation of a popular novel; “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, which made £4.2m in its first three days of UK release.
Of his films for which figures are available, “The Social Network” and “Zodiac” have been the most disappointing openings for the Californian director in the UK. Ironically, they are also his two films most adored by the critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes which gives the two films a 96 and 89 per cent approval rating respectively.
Exact UK figures for some of David Fincher’s earlier films such as “Fight Club”, “Se7en” and “Alien 3” are not available, however a look at Fincher's US box office earnings suggests they are unlikely to have generated more cash than “Gone Girl”.
“Gone Girl” has also scored one of the best openings for a Ben Affleck vehicle. Only “Pearl Harbor” and “Daredevil” have made more from their first three days, according to figures from BoxOfficeMojo. Already “Gone Girl” is the 13th-most successful Affleck film of all-time.
A number of director/actor's most successful films, such as “Good Will Hunting”, “Argo” and “Shakespeare in Love” got off to slow starts before gradually building acclaim and attention.