Affleck thriller 'Gone Girl' retains hold at box office

The movie stars Ben Affleck as a writer who becomes the prime suspect when his wife goes missing.

US actor, writer and producer Ben Affleck. Picture: EPA.

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK - Ben Affleck's movie thriller Gone Girl dominated US and Canadian movie charts for a second consecutive weekend, collecting $26.8 million in ticket sales to beat back challenges from four new films that fought for moviegoer dollars.

New action movie Dracula Untold finished second with $23.5 million while Walt Disney family comedy Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was third, earning $19.1 million from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.

Horror flick Annabelle, last weekend's runner-up, landed in the number four slot with $16.4 million.

Courtroom drama The Judge, from Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros, debuted in fifth place for the weekend, pulling in $13.3 million at North American (US and Canadian) theatres. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall in the story of a father and son trying to reconnect.

Gone Girl stars Affleck as a writer who becomes the prime suspect when his wife, played by Rosamund Pike, goes missing. The movie is based on a best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn.

The R-rated film generated buzz after last weekend's strong $37.5 million debut and praise from critics. The movie's total sales climbed to $78.3 million through Sunday, distributor 20th Century Fox said.

In Dracula Untold, Luke Evans plays the man who eventually transforms into the famous creature of the night.

Dracula, which the studio said performed even stronger than had been expected, opened overseas a week ago and has earned $86.1 million around the globe, according to distributor Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp.

Alexander, a film adaptation of a classic children's book, tells the story of a perpetually unlucky preteen boy, portrayed on screen by Australian newcomer Ed Oxenbould. Jennifer Garner and Steve Carrell play his parents. The movie cost $28 million to make, according to the Box Office Mojo website.

A scary porcelain doll is the lead character in Annabelle, which is a spin-off from 2013 horror hit The Conjuring. The movie from Warner Bros has grossed $62.2 million since it hit theatres on 3 October.

"That plethora of choice is what's fuelling major expansion at the box office right now," said Rentrak's Mike Marcell, referring to the varying genres covered by this week's crop of new films.

Thriller _Addicted _debuted in seventh place, ringing up $7.6 million from a more limited showing in just 846 theatres. The movie aimed at African-American audiences tells the story of a businesswoman who has an affair with a painter. It was distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.