Weekend Wrap Up: “Gravity” Stays Above the Clouds

For the second straight weekend, the top of the box office was dominated by adult-driven thrillers. This is shaping up to be an October to remember, and it’s looking like more traditional October fare like next weekend’s Carrie remake might end up getting totally pushed to the side by the huge success of Gravity and now this weekend’s impressive opener, Captain Phillips. It’s an unexpectedly interesting time at the box office.



It’s official. Gravity has become a box office sensation. After it’s jaw-dropping debut last weekend, it proved this weekend it will be a long runner this autumn by dropping just 21% to $44.3 million. For a film to open over $50 million and drop that little, especially when not inflated by a holiday (yeah, Columbus Day is on Monday, but that’s hardly a boost to box office numbers) is basically unheard of. That puts the ten day total at a very strong $123.4 million. Based on its current trajectory, and the lack of any spectacle films until Thor: The Dark World in a few weeks, Gravity could find its way to as much as $250 million.

Dukemich and I saw Gravity on Friday, but I’ll save my full thoughts on the film for our next movie show on Friday. And if you haven’t already, you should check those out. But to be brief, I was quite underwhelmed, and the more I’ve thought about it since seeing it, the more I realize I disliked it. I’m honestly a bit stumped as to what everyone sees in the film, and why it’s so successful. I don’t get it. But, anyway, expect a full review during the show.

Opening strongly in second, Captain Phillips debuted to $26 million. All the more impressive because it’s the shadow of Gravity, a film which is targeting basically the same audience. It just goes to show that when studios put out films that people genuinely like, they’ll come out and pay for them. I still don’t get why people like Gravity so much, but that’s neither here nor there. If Captain Phillips can find trade in its sea legs for box office legs, it could easily finish with over $100 million.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 slid 32% to $14.2 million. Its $78 million total through three weeks lags a few million dollars behind its predecessor through the same point, but it should finish with a solid total around $110 million. The box office is top heavy this weekend, as nothing beyond the top three even managed to break $4 million, so let’s just breeze right through all these.

Machete Kills flopped, even in the face of low expectations, and could only slice up $3.8 million. Speaking of flops, Runner Runner fell 52% to $3.7 million for a total of $14.1 million. Prisoners posted its best hold yet, 36%, and grossed $3.7 million, lifting its total gross to $53.6 million. Down 47%, Rush continues its extremely disappointing North American run. It grossed $2.4 million and has amassed just $22.2 million.

In ninth place, Don Jon dropped 44% to $2.3 million. Its $20.1 million total ain’t half bad. Baggage Claim, down 49%, wraps up the top ten. It grossed $2.1 million, which brought its sum to $18.3 million. This turned out to be another stellar October weekend, led by Gravity and Captain Phillips. Next weekend keeps things going with another adult-driven thriller in The Fifth Estate. Also, we have Escape Plan, the team up between Stallone and Schwarzenegger that would’ve been a lot cooler 25 years ago. And finally, October gets its lone horror film with Carrie; we’ll see if the horror audience comes out while all the adults are spending money on other films. So, see ya next weekend, everybody. Until we meet again.

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