It was undoubtedly the star pulling power of Brad Pitt that helped David Ayer's World War II drama Fury accelerate past Gone Girl to the top of the box-office this weekend. Pitt and his tank buddies took $23.5 million in ticket sales to finish at No.1, whilst David Fincher's mystery thriller took a creditable $17.8 million to drop to second place.

Fury'Fury' is said to be one of the most violent movies of the year

In third place was Fox's animated feature The Book of Life, which took $17 million, and Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day took $12 million. 

"The fall movie season is all about making the transition from PG-13 world of summer to the R-rated, edgier world of the fall and awards season," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.

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Pitt's war drama had been tipped as a possible Oscar contender, though despite a strong box-office start, the critics were rather unambiguous in their assessment. The consensus pointed towards an average war movie, though the Daily Beast's Nico Hines was even less enthusiastic about one aspect of the movie: the violence.

Shia LaBeouf FuryShia LaBeouf co-stars in 'Fury'

"Acts of violence include death by hanging, rifle butt, boot heel, tank tracks and fireball. After about 90 minutes of murderous World War II chaos, Pitt's gnarled platoon leader, Wardaddy, spits out the words: "It will end soon, but before it does; a lot more people gotta die," he wrote.

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"He's as good as his word. As Wardaddy's tank crew plunges deeper into enemy territory, the kill count continues to accelerate until we reach the movie's final haunting shot, which shows a field of bodies splayed out as far as the eye can see. Anyone who thinks this movie is good fun should go on some kind of NSA watch list."

Despite the violence, Fury may well retain its place at the top of the box-office this weekend, with horror movie Ouija and Keanu Reeves starrer John Wick the only competition. The former is likely to push the World War II movie the hardest - it's Halloween, after all. 

Watch the trailer for John Wick: