David Fincher's thriller Gone Girl has retained its spot atop the U.S box-office for a second week, out-battling several new releases to pull in a considerable haul of $26.8 million for 21st Century Fox. Horror entry Dracula Untold, a new release from Universal, came in second place with $23.5 million.

Gone GirlBen Affleck as Nick Dunne in 'Gone Girl'

Elsewhere, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day took third-place, while The Judge had to settle for fifth despite a marketing push from Robert Downey Jr last week. 

Gone Girl - written by original author Gillian Flynn - has now taken $78.3 million in the U.S. A word-of-mouth thriller, the movie stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike and benefits from major plot twists that have so-far been kept under wraps by those who have seen it. 

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"You can't put a price on the type of buzz 'Gone Girl' has built," Phil Contrino, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, told the Chicago Tribune. "It's one of those movies where, if you haven't seen it, you're left out of the conversation. It's no surprise that it's holding up as well as it has, and it should continue to do well for the next couple of weeks."

More: check out our full review of 'Gone Girl'

It tells the story of writer Nick Dunne and his wife Amy, whose relationship falls apart when they move from New York to Missouri to care for his sick mother. When Amy goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Nick is suspected of murdering her. 

It's shaping up to be one of the most critically and commercially successful movies and reaffirms Fincher's position as one of the foremost directors in the business. 

Gone Girl has half a chance of retaining the top spot for a third consecutive week this weekend, though will face competition from David Ayer's World War II drama Fury - starring Brad Pitt - and the animation The Book of Life, featuring the voice of Channing Tatum. 

Watch the trailer for 'Gone Girl':