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October 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Box office analysts are hedging their bets over which film will emerge in first place this weekend, the David Fincher/Ben Affleck thriller Gone Girl or the horror flick Annabelle. Most are giving a slight edge to the Fox/New Regency thriller, which could benefit from solid reviews, word-of-mouth and the fact that it springs from a bestselling novel. Online ticket seller Fandango said that it is leading with around 66 percent of all advance sales and issued the surprise prediction that it could take in $55 million — which would set a record for October. On the other hand, several tracking studies have predicted the Warner Bros. spin-off from last year’s The Conjuring, which opened last July with $41.8 million and went on to earn $318 million worldwide, will take the top spot. Each movie, according to the analysts, is expected to wind up with around $25-30 million, although the individual studios are forecasting a more conservative $20 million. A third newcomer, the faith-based Left Behind, is expected to live up to its title with around $8-10 million in ticket sales. One factor that may not be weighed in some analysts’ considerations is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, regarded as the most sacred of Jewish holidays, which arrives on a Friday night and continues until sundown on Saturday.