Weekend Wrap Up: “Gravity” Orbits Above Expectations

I will readily admit that my own biases often get in the way of making more objective predictions. That said, I didn’t think my $23 million opening weekend for Gravity was going to be horribly far off. Well, as it turns out, I massively underestimated the hype for this film, which in addition to being a critical darling, has now official become a box office hit. Gravity left all the other competition stuck on Earth.



Getting started with a huge $17.5 million, Gravity played very strongly throughout the weekend, ultimately grossing a stunning $55.6 million. I thought my prediction might be low, but I never saw this much coming. But you combine tons of internet buzz, sterling reviews, fantastic word of mouth and great advertising…well, it’s a perfect storm. This opening gives Gravity the biggest October debut of all time, and there should be a lot more money to come.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the audience for Gravity definitely skews toward older folks and that bodes well for its legs. Plus, the marketing made sure to identify Gravity as a true event picture, one that needed to be seen on the big screen. Clearly, it worked. I know I said this film looks ridiculous in my October Movie Preview, and I’ll admit that view has been challenged by this debut. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t think the trailer has tons of unintentionally funny moments in it. Nonetheless, Gravity should have a great box office run. $200 million is far from unthinkable.

Getting bumped from first to second, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 dropped a solid 37% to $21.5 million. That’s a good hold, but it’s more than twice what its predecessor dropped in its second weekend. Cloudy 2 is nearly even with Cloudy 1 through ten days; both movies had around $60.5 million. At this point, $100 million for Cloudy 2 is not a guarantee.

In third, Runner Runner bombs with just $7.6 million. Nobody was expecting much from this, but still, that’s a bad opening. Even following his career resurgence, Ben Affleck isn’t perfect; some projects just plain fail. Prisoners dropped 48% to $5.7 million, lifting its gross to $47.9 million. Its legs haven’t been the greatest and it has only just surpassed its production budget, so Warner Bros. will have to hope for strong overseas business.

Yep, Americans definitely do not like Formula 1 racing. Or maybe they just didn’t think Rush was a good movie. The racing flick dropped a disastrous 56% to $4.4 million. A 56% drop might not be so bad for some films, but for an Oscar hopeful that had a disappointing debut to begin with, it’s just awful. The Ron Howard film has just $18.1 million to date.

Down 52%, Don Jon grossed $4.2 million for a total of $16.1 million. The budget was only $6 million, so this shouldn’t lose much, if any, money in the end. Baggage Claim dropped 54% to $4.1 million and brought the total to $15.2 million. This is just one of those films I really don’t care much about. Four weeks old, Insidious Chapter 2 grossed $3.9 million after a drop of 41%. The total of $74.8 million is very strong.

Well….this seems to be happening a lot lately. Films about which I’ve never heard making their ways into the top ten. This week, it’s Pulling Strings. Hmmmm, maybe a movie about a puppeteer? Anyway, this latest mystery film grossed $2.5 million from just 387 theatres, giving it the second highest theatre average in the top ten. And we wrap up the top ten with another mystery film, Enough Said, which grossed $2.2 million after increasing 2.4%.  It now has a total of $5.4 million.

So, aside from Gravity, this was a lackluster week at the box office. Fortunately, Gravity shone brightly enough to carry the entire weekend by itself. I’m fascinated to see how the next few weeks will go for it, especially as it faces competition for adult audiences next weekend with Captain Phillips. And Machete Kills also opens, but I don’t expect much from that….except awesomeness. Well, that does it. I’ll be back next weekend. Until we meet again.

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1 Response to Weekend Wrap Up: “Gravity” Orbits Above Expectations

  1. iheartingrid says:

    I didn’t see this one coming either. But then I saw the film and it blew me away both with Bullock’s performance and the special effects. Amazing.

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