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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Gravity’ is Out of This World

Warner Bros.

When a movie is sold as being the next incredible cinematic experience that will change the way we watch movies, expectations are huge. Audiences may scoff. It could all backfire. But Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity‘ lived up to the hype and audiences responded in kind, giving it the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel October release.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Gravity $55,000,000 $15,538 $55,000,000
2 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 $21,500,000 (-36.8) $5,374 $60,557,000
3 Runner Runner $7,600,000 $2,512 $7,600,000
4 Prisoners $5,700,000 (-47.5) $1,161 $47,880,000
5 Rush $4,408,000 (-56.0)
$1,910 $18,095,000
6 Don Jon $4,160,000 (-52.1) $1,718 $16,077,000
7 Baggage Claim $4,125,000 (-54.3) $1,850 $15,185,000
8 Insidious Chapter 2 $3,876,000 (-40.8) $1,487 $74,750,000
9 Pulling Strings $2,500,000 $6,460 $2,500,000
10 Enough Said $2,150,000 (+2.4) $4,920 $5,387,000

 

Cuaron’s story of two astronauts stranded in space after a devastating accident earned $55 million over the weekend, a huge number for a film that’s a tough sell. After all, audiences have been slowly turning on 3D and the film’s trailers have been built around selling an experience, not a plot. However, glowing reviews, strong word of mouth and the promise of the most unique experience at the movies since ‘Avatar’ got people to show up. The film was expensive, so next week will be the true deciding factor, but ‘Gravity’ is already on the road to being a smash hit. Few films in 2013 have deserved it more.

In its second week of release, ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2‘ took a minor drop, grossing $21 million for a $60 million total. Those aren’t the biggest numbers that we’ve seen associated with an animated movie this year (not even close), but the 36% drop is small enough to suggest that the film will have legs and that $100 million-plus is very, very likely. It won’t do ‘Despicable Me 2′ numbers, but it should do comparable business to the first film.

Meanwhile, ‘Runner Runner‘ bombed. Blame the anemic marketing and the fact that it’s not very good. Not even Batfleck could get people interested.

In fourth place, ‘Prisoners‘ took another big drop, only grossing $5 million in its third weekend. With $47 million in the bank, it’ll certainly cross $50 million, but $60 million would be pushing it. However, that’s not as rough as ‘Rush,’ which has only made $18 million in three weeks. Also notable is ‘Don Jon”s failure to build buzz — Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut took a massive drop this weekend, grossing only $4 million for a $16 million total. It was cheap and it’ll be fine, but the rumors that it would be a sleeper hit were greatly exaggerated.

‘Baggage Claim’ took a big drop in its second weekend, only grossing $4 million. Last weekend’s surprise hit has already made its biggest splash. Elsewhere, ‘Pulling Strings’ failed to replicate the success of ‘Instructions Not Included,’ opening to only $2 million.

Finally, ‘Enough Said’ expanded to more theaters this weekend, grossing $2 million for a $5 million total. James Gandolfini’s final film won’t be a hit, but it could make a respectable amount of money for a film of its budget.

Next weekend sees the release of ‘Captain Phillips’ and ‘Machete Kills.’ Expect the one starring Tom Hanks to win it.

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