US box office: audiences shelling out for Brad Pitt tank drama Fury

David Ayer’s film, set in a tank at the tail end of the second world war, adds kerching to kaboom, finally knocking Gone Girl of the American box office top spot

Tank boy ... Brad Pitt in Fury
Tank boy ... Brad Pitt in Fury Photograph: Giles Keyte/AP

Second world war drama Fury, starring Brad Pitt as the leader of a five-man crew of a Sherman tank fighting for survival behind enemy lines, has topped the US box office with a debut haul of $23.5m.

David Ayer’s film, co-starring Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs and Scott Eastwood, finally dethroned David Fincher’s Gone Girl in the psychological thriller’s third week of release. Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, the erstwhile No 1 took another $17.8m to cross the $100m mark with $107.1m.

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Fury beat out competition from two new films. In third place was musical animation The Book of Life, with a healthy opening haul of $17m. The well-reviewed riff on Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival, featuring the voices of Diego Luna, Ron Perlman, Channing Tatum and Christina Applegate, has been timed to hit cinemas ahead of the Halloween period.

Romantic drama The Best of Me, starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden as lovers reunited after 20 years apart, debuted in fifth spot with $10.2m.

There were no other new films in this week’s top 10. However, the Oscar-tipped black comedy Birdman, starring Michael Keaton as the faded one-time star of a superhero blockbuster, picked up spectacular figures on its first week of limited release. Alejandro Inarritu’s film scored an average of $103,750 from four cinemas in New York and Los Angeles, the second best figures in the past two years behind Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

US box office top 10 (17-19 October)

1) Fury, $23.5m. New entry

2) Gone Girl, $17.8m. $107.1m to date

3) The Book of Life, $17m. New entry

4) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, $12m. $36m to date

5) The Best of Me, $10.2m. New entry

6) Dracula Untold, $9.9m. $40.7m to date

7) The Judge, $7.94m. $26.8m to date

8) Annabelle, $7.92m. $74.1m to date

9) The Equalizer, $5.5m. $89.2m to date

10) The Maze Runner, $4.5m. $90.8m to date