There’s no force strong enough to pull Warner Bros.’ $100 million smash Gravity back down to Earth. The film, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, easily maintained its perch atop the box office in its third weekend, dropping just 28 percent to $31 million — good for a $170.6 million total after just 17 days.
Gravity is already the tenth highest-grossing film of 2013 in the U.S. (it surpassed Bullock’s other vehicle, The Heat, this weekend), and appears to be headed for a finish of at least $250 million, which would put it ahead of director Alfonso Cuaron’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which grossed $249.5 million in 2004. Worldwide, Gravity has already earned $284.8 million.
Sony’s $55 million Tom Hanks drama Captain Phillips spent a second week in second place, dipping 33 percent to $17.3 million for a $53.3 million total after ten days. The well-reviewed film is playing well ahead of Argo, which had earned $43 million at the same point in its run last year en route to a $136 million finish. Captain Phillips will need some major awards attention in the following months to reach those heights, but thanks to great word-of-mouth, it should reach (or get close to) $100 million domestically.
The R-rated remake of Brian de Palma’s 1976 horror classic Carrie didn’t get elected prom queen by moviegoers. The film, which stars Chloe Grace Moretz (who has had a difficult box office year with Kick-Ass 2 and Movie 43) and Julianne Moore, only conjured $17 million on its opening weekend from 3,157 theaters, yielding a middling $5,385 location average — an especially sad result given the brand strength of Carrie and the proximity to Halloween, which typically boosts horror movie prospects. Carrie cost MGM and Screen Gems $30 million to produce. Audiences, which were 54 percent female and 56 percent below the age of 25, issued the film an unenthusiastic “B–” CinemaScore grade.
In fourth place, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 enjoyed another weekend without any new family film competition and thus dropped just 27 percent to $10.1 million in its fourth weekend. The $78 million animated title has now grossed $93.1 million and should surpass the $100 million mark by this time next weekend. Cloudy 2 is performing in line with the original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which had earned $95.7 million at the same point in its run in 2009. That film wound up with $124.9 million domestically, and the sequel should finish a tad below that.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarznegger’s prison-set action film Escape Plan, which tanked with just $9.8 million in its opening weekend. (On the bright side, the film fared better than Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Fifth Estate, which had the worst wide debut of 2013.) Escape Plan‘s stars each suffered bombs earlier this year — Stallone with Bullet to the Head ($9.5 million total) and Schwarznegger with The Last Stand ($12.1 million total) — and their team-up couldn’t draw Expendables-sized numbers. Summit spent at least $50 million on the movie (some reports place the budget closer to $70 million). The audiences who showed up to see it were 55 percent male and 61 percent above the age of 30, and they generally liked what they saw, giving it a “B+” CinemaScore.
1. Gravity – $31 million
2. Captain Phillips – $17.3 million
3. Carrie – $17 million
4. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $10.1 million
5. Escape Plan – $9.8 million
In limited release, the much buzzed-about Oscar contender 12 Years a Slave pulled in $960,000 from 19 theaters, giving it a $50,526 per theater average and ensuring it will garner expansion in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, Robert Redford’s critical favorite All Is Lost found $97,400 from six theaters for a $16,233 average, while the Daniel Radcliffe/Dane DeHaan drama Kill Your Darlings found $57,700 from four theaters, for a $14,425 average.
Check back next weekend for full box office coverage of Ridley Scott’s The Counselor and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, the latter of which may have the best shot at ending Gravity‘s reign atop the chart.