B.O. Roundup, October 4-6: 'Gravity' Launches Past an October Record

Sunday, 06 October 2013 13:43 Written by  iamrogue
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B.O. Roundup, October 4-6: 'Gravity' Launches Past an October Record

Gravity rode a wave of critical acclaim to an exceptionally strong opening weekend, earning an estimated $55.55 million from 3,575 locations across the nation.

Alfonso Cuaron's first film since Children of Men in 2006 marked by far his best American debut, and also marked personal-best opening weekends for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.  Bullock's previous record came courtesy of The Heat, which opened to $39.1 million back in June.  For sixteen years, Clooney's biggest weekend on the books was Batman & Robin's $42.8 million debut, but that amusing bit of box office trivia has been washed away by Gravity.

The film also claimed the title for the biggest opened weekend in the month of October, a record previously held by Paranormal Activity 3, which dropped to the tune of $52.6 million in 2011.

Going in to the weekend, prognosticators prognosticated that Gravity would open to around $45 million.  A well-executed marketing effort and an almost unanimously positive critical reception helped Cuaron's unique space-set thriller to handily exceed expectations. 

Also helping hugely was 3D.  A whopping 80% of tickets sold for Gravity this weekend were for 3D showings, surpassing the 71% of even Avatar and far exceeding the diminishing returns common for the format domestically.  IMAX screenings at 323 locations, meanwhile, represented 20% of the turnout.

With Gravity accounting for so much of this weekend's movie-going, the only other new wide release, Runner Runner, took a bit of a shellacking despite the presence of Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.  The film debuted in third place behind last week's champ Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, bringing in an estimated $7.6 million from 3,026 theaters.

Romantic comedy Pulling Strings, meanwhile, began rolling out in just 387 locations, yet still managed to debut in the top ten with an estimated $2.5 million.  That's a strong per-theater average of $6,460, but Pulling Strings will have to stay very strong to equal the $41.2 million that the last Lionsgate/Pantelion release Instructions Not Included.

Despite Gravity's strong showing, this weekend is down about 13% from the corresponding weekend last year, when Taken 2 and Hotel Transylvania ruled the roost.

Here are the top ten movies in the nation for the weekend of October 4th through 6th:

1. Gravity                                                                  $55.5 million            New Release

2. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2                $21.5 million            $60.5 million

3. Runner Runner                                                     $7.6 million               New Release

4. Prisoners                                                              $5.7 million              $47.8 million

5. Rush                                                                     $4.4 million              $18.0 million

6. Don Jon                                                                $4.1 million              $16.0 million

7. Baggage Claim                                                     $4.1 million              $15.1 million

8. Insidious: Chapter 2                                            $3.8 million              $74.7 million

9. Pulling Strings                                                     $2.5 million              New Release

10. Enough Said                                                       $2.1 million              $5.3 million

Next week, Captain Phillips and Machete Kills open in wide release, with Romeo and Juliet leading the films in limited release.


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