Brad Pitt’s ‘Fury’ Seizes No. 1 From ‘Gone Girl’ at Box Offices [Video]

The World War II drama ‘Fury’ conquered this weekend box office with a debut haul of $23.5 million.

Second World War drama ‘Fury’ with Brad Pitt as a leader of a Sherman tank won the box office race at theaters in the United States and Canada ringing up $23.5 million in ticket sales.

In “Fury”, which cost $68 million to make, Pitt plays a tough war veteran who is in charge of a  Sherman tank and a five-man crew travelling in Nazi Germany during the final months of World War Two. Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Michael Pena and Logan Lerman play the rest of his U.S. Army crew.

Actually, Brad Pitt’s character became part of a famous online World of Tanks game, originally developed by Belarusian company Wargaming in 2010, as players can also steer a Sherman tank. The “World of Tanks Blitz” players can purchase a Fury-themed bundle for $15 that adds the movie’s M4A3E8 Sherman tank to the mobile version of the game, reports Softabler.

Even though the opening turned out to be lower than expected, Sony said the film is resonating with audiences, which could help it build word-of-mouth. Anyway, it was well received by crowds and critics, getting an 80% critical rating on RottenTomatoes.com and an A-minus audience grade on CinemaScore.

“As people leave the theater, it resonates with them and it takes them on a journey and provokes conversation,” said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures president of worldwide distribution. “We’re seeing a lot of social media conversation going on, and I believe we’re going to get a terrific multiple and be around for a long time.”

The film directed by David Ayer shifted the two-time box office leader “Gone Girl” to second place, which collected $17.8 million from Friday through Sunday.

The third place is taken by musical animation “The Book of Life”, with a healthy opening haul of $17m, followed by Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” with $12 million. It stands to gross an estimated $13.5 million this weekend, a 27% decline, that would raise its cume to $38 million.

“We’re 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. Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana and Diego Luna voice the $50 million project, co-produced and co-financed by Fox and Reel FX. The movie has a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Another Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation, the romantic drama “The Best of Me,”  starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, debuted in fifth spot with a slight $10.2 million, the weakest opening result in the romance writer’s nine-film career.

“If October wasn’t romantic, there would be no babies born in the summer,” Sparks said last week. “Romance can blossom any time.”

“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.

Among holdovers, “Dracula Untold” fell 58% to $9.9 million, bringing its domestic total to $40.7 million, and “The Judge” dropped 41% to $7.9 million, giving it $26.8 million after two weeks.

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