'Gravity' Claims #1 for a Third Straight Weekend; 'Captain Phillips' Holds off 'Carrie' for #2

on October 21, 2013 by Daniel Garris
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Warner's Gravity took in $30.03 million to lead the box office with relative ease for a third consecutive weekend. The Alfonso Cuarón directed sci-fi drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney continued to hold up nicely, as it was down 30 percent from last weekend. Gravity has grossed a massive $169.56 million through 17 days of release, placing it just 12 percent behind the $193.31 million 17-day take of 2010's Inception (which fell 36 percent in its third weekend to gross $27.49 million). With the continued aid of strong word of mouth, awards season buzz and higher priced 3D and IMAX admissions, Gravity should continue to hold up very well going forward.

IMAX grosses were responsible for $7.12 million (23.7 percent) of the film's overall gross this weekend. That brings the current IMAX total for Gravity to $37.79 million, which represents 22.3 percent of the film's overall domestic gross thus far.

Sony's Captain Phillips held steady in second place with $16.41 million. Like Gravity, the Paul Greengrass directed film starring Tom Hanks also displayed strong holding power this weekend, as it fell 36 percent from last weekend's stronger than expected debut. It should be noted that Captain Phillips (and a number of other wide releases) did end up being overestimated a bit on Sunday, likely due to competition from the highly rated Sunday night NFL game between the Colts and the Broncos. Captain Phillips surpassed the $50 million mark this weekend and has grossed $52.44 million through ten days. That places the film 8 percent behind the $56.99 million ten-day take of 2006's The Departed (which fell 29 percent in its second weekend to gross $19.03 million).

Fellow Sony release Carrie followed closely behind in third with $16.10 million. The R-rated horror remake from Screen Gems starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore debuted below expectations, which had tended to fall in the range of $20 million to $25 million. Carrie had the advantage of opening in an October marketplace with limited horror options, but apparently many horror fans have already had their fill this fall with September's Insidious Chapter 2. Carrie opened 37.5 percent below the $25.78 million start of this year's Evil Dead and instead opened more along the lines of the $18.01 million debut of Sinister last October. With Halloween weekend still ahead of it and a smaller initial rush-out, Carrie will hope to display stronger than usual holding power for a horror film.

Carrie opened with $6.52 million on Friday, fell 4 percent on Saturday to gross $6.26 million and declined 47 percent on Sunday to take in $3.32 million. Carrie registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.47 to 1, which is respectable for a horror film. The film's B- rating on CinemaScore was also respectable for its genre. The audience breakdown for Carrie skewed towards female moviegoers (54 percent) and moviegoers under the age of 25 (56 percent).

Lionsgate's Escape Plan had been estimated to finish in fifth this weekend, but ultimately moved into fourth place for the frame with $9.89 million. That represented a disappointing (but largely expected) start for the action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Escape Plan did open 57.5 percent ahead of the $6.28 million start of Schwarzenegger's The Last Stand earlier this year, though it should also be noted that Escape Plan carried a larger production budget. After two Expendables films, there was simply relatively little interest in a film teaming together Stallone and Schwarzenegger.

Escape Plan opened with $3.39 million on Friday, increased 16 percent on Saturday to take in $3.95 million and was down 36 percent on Sunday to take in $2.54 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.91 to 1. Escape Plan received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore, while the audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (55 percent) and moviegoers over the age of 30 (61 percent).

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 took in $9.67 million to round out this weekend's top five. Sony's 3D computer animated sequel was down a healthy 30 percent from last weekend. Cloudy 2 has grossed $92.71 million in 24 days, leaving it just $7.29 million away from the $100 million domestic milestone. Cloudy 2 is currently running 3 percent behind the $95.78 million 24-day take of 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Further down on this weekend's chart, The Fifth Estate was dead on arrival with an eighth place start of $1.67 million. The WikiLeaks thriller from Disney and DreamWorks opened below its already low expectations and delivered a per-location average of just $946 from 1,769 locations. Moviegoers simply weren't interested in a film about WikiLeaks, while largely negative reviews and the currently crowded marketplace for adult moviegoers certainly didn't help matters for The Fifth Estate either.

On the platform front, Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave launched with $923,715 from 19 locations (in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto and Washington D.C.). That gave the Steve McQueen directed awards season hopeful a strong (but non-break out) per-location average of $48,617 for the frame. The platform launch of 12 Years a Slave was fairly similar to the 2007 platform launch of No Country For Old Men, which debuted with $1.23 million from 28 locations (for a per-location average of $43,797). 12 Years a Slave will expand into additional markets on Friday and is scheduled to expand into nationwide release on November 1st.

Tags: 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Escape Plan, Carrie, Captain Phillips, Gravity
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