LOS ANGELES - The bloody World War II drama "Fury" blew past "Gone Girl" at theaters this weekend.
"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 theaters and boasted a per-screen average of $103, 750. It opens in additional locations next week.
Overall box office is up almost 25 percent 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 percent to 4 percent in the last month.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, 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).