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Box office report: 'Gravity' scores third weekend win with $31 million; 'Carrie' and 'Escape Plan' both underwhelm

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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. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Gravity' stays on top with $9.1 million, 'Carrie' off to disappointing start

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Gravity can not be stopped — not by a telekinetic teenager, not by a WikiLeaks hacker, not even by the hulking threat of Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone.

Warner Bros.’ $100 million drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney drew another $9.1 million on Friday, marking a scant 28 percent drop from last Friday. Gravity may pull in about $32 million over the weekend, which would bring its total to an incredible $171 million after just 17 days.

In second place, Screen Gems and MGM’s $30 million horror remake Carrie stumbled out of the gate with $6.6 million. Since horror movies are typically quite frontloaded, the film will likely finish the frame with about $16 million — well below predictions that had the film earning at least $20 million.

Captain Phillips finished in third place with $5.2 million, but it may surpass Carrie by Sunday night and finish the weekend in second place with about $17 million. Sony’s $55 million Tom Hanks drama will have accrued about $53 million after ten days.

Summit’s Stallone/Schwarznegger action entry, Escape Plan, which cost a reported $70 million to produce, only locked up $3.6 million on its opening day. The prison-escape movie could earn only $9.5 million in its opening weekend — joining the ranks of the stars’ recent flops Bullet to the Head and The Last Stand.

At least Escape Plan fared better than Benedict Cumberbatch’s WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate, which earned an anemic $587,000 from 1,769 theaters, yielding an awful $332 daily per theater average. The film may earn about $1.5 million total over the weekend. Ouch.

1. Gravity – $9.1 million
2. Carrie – $6.6 million
3. Captain Phillips – $5.2 million
4. Escape Plan – $3.6 million
5. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $2.6 million

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.

Box office preview: Will 'Carrie' bring 'Gravity' back down to earth?

It’s prom night in October, and although horror remake Carrie is eying a solid debut, the film will have to work some major box office magic to prevent Gravity from being crowned queen for a third weekend. Carrie isn’t the only new wide release hitting theaters — there’s also Escape Plan and The Fifth Estate, whose prospects are decidedly dimmer.

Here’s how the box office might shake out this weekend:

1. Gravity – $34 million
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are headed to another massive weekend at the box office. Gravity only fell by 23 percent last weekend — and that was against the opening of Captain Phillips. This time around, there aren’t any well-reviewed adult dramas attracting attention, and Gravity may fall by an even slimmer 20 percent to about $34 million for a remarkable $173 million total.
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Box Office report: 'Gravity' brings in astronomical $44.2 million; 'Captain Phillips' a strong No. 2

Alfonso Cuarón’s heady outer-space thriller is proving a phenomenon in its second week, dropping just 21 percent from its opening weekend and rocketing past the $100 million mark on Saturday to a stellar $123.4 cume in just 10 days. It’s the smallest second-week decline for a film that debuted to more than $55 million. Gravity is already the fourth and third highest-grossing film for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, respectively. A whopping 84 percent of the yield comes from 3-D showings and 20 percent from I-MAX, proving moviegoers are still willing to pay the surcharges, at least when promised panoramic zero-gravity shots and inner-helmet closeups of Bullock’s face. Expect small drop-offs in the future as word of mouth continues to spread and awards season draws nearer.

Captain Phillips, another awards hopeful, earned a strong $26 million opening weekend and scored the No. 2 spot. The biggest hit for Tom Hanks since 2009′s Angels & Demons, the PG-13 true story of a U.S. cargo ship captain who protected his crew from Somali pirates in 2009 will play well to families and older audiences through the holidays.

With little family-movie competition, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 has matched its budget of $78 million after its 17th day. Lagging far behind is Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, which earned a brutal $3.79 million. The sequel to 2010′s Machete  is the director’s lowest-grossing wide opening. Runner Runner, the online poker drama starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck, seems to be folding early — after a $7.7 million opening weekend, Fox’s $30 million bad bet dropped to $3.73 million.

1. Gravity – $44.2 million
2. Captain Phillips – $26 million
3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $14.2 million
4. Machete Kills – $3.79 million
5. Runner Runner – $3.73 million

Box office update: 'Gravity' eclipses 'Captain Phillips' with $12.7 million sophomore Friday

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Alfonso Cuaron’s space juggernaut, Gravity, held strong in the No. 1 spot this Friday, bringing in $12.7 million. That brings Gravity’s domestic haul to $91.9 million in its first eight days in theaters. The film is on target to accrue around $44 million in its sophomore weekend, guaranteeing it will break the $100 million mark by Saturday.

Though it couldn’t take the top spot, Sony’s $55 million thriller, Captain Phillips — based on the true story of a captain who protects his cargo ship crew when they’re attacked by Somali pirates — brought in a solid $8.5 million on Friday. Captain Phillips‘ star, Tom Hanks, should be pleased to break his recent streak of under-performing films at the box office that began with 2011’s Larry Crowne. Plenty of positive critical buzz sets the film on course for a debut weekend in the $25 million range.

The lone family film on the big screen, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, brought in $3.5 million on its third Friday in theaters. Less lucrative, was Robert Rodriguez’ Machete Kills, which pulled $1.4 million in its opening Friday, setting the film up for a $4 million opening frame. That’s significantly less than the original Machete’s $11.4 million opening weekend in 2010.

It continues to be a rough go for Runner Runner. The poker drama starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake brought in just $1.15 million on Friday, putting it in the $3.5 million range for its second weekend in theaters. Space and sea are in; sequels and singers are out.

1. Gravity – $12.7 million
2. Captain Phillips – $8.5 million
3. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 – $3.5 million
4. Machete Kills – $1.4 million
5. Runner Runner – $1.15 million

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.

Box office preview: Can 'Captain Phillips' sail past 'Gravity'?

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Gravity scored an out-of-this-world $55.6 million on its opening weekend, and it’s held up remarkably well over the Monday-to-Thursday period. The Sandra Bullock/George Clooney spectacle has already earned over $73 million in its first six days, and it’s destined to soar past $100 million this weekend. Of course, the Oscar-hopeful Captain Phillips and the couldn’t-care-less-about-an-Oscar title Machete Kills will both hit theaters this weekend, but neither has much of a chance of dethroning the sci-fi blockbuster. Here’s how the chart might look this weekend.

1. Gravity – $40 million
Warner Bros.’ $100 million hit has earned an average of $6 million over the past three weekdays, which suggests it’s headed for big numbers this weekend. Thanks to incredible word-of-mouth, Gravity could dip by less than 30 percent this weekend to about $40 million, which would give it over $120 million total after only 10 days. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Gravity' blasts off with $17.5 million Friday, could hit $50 million for the weekend

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Warner Bros.’ $80 million thriller Gravity demonstrated some major pull on its opening day at the box office. The film, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as stranded astronauts, scored a tremendous $17.5 million on its first day, which puts the film on pace for a weekend in the $50 million range.

Gravity will almost certainly become the best opening weekend ever for both of its stars, surprassing Bullock’s $39 million start for The Heat earlier this year and Clooney’s $42.9 million debut for Batman & Robin in 1997. It looks like Warner Bros.’ bold, stylish ad campaign has paid off. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Gravity' headed for a stellar debut

Gravity has been earning out-of-this-world reviews, but will its box office match the buzz?

Here’s how I think the box office might shake out this weekend:

1. Gravity – $41 million
Warner Bros. has put its full marketing force behind Gravity over the past few months — a sure sign that the studio is feeling good about Alfonso Cuaron’s $80 million sci-fi thriller, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The film has garnered spectacular pre-release buzz thanks to glowing critical reactions (it has a 98 percent “Fresh” rating on RottenTomatoes) and its strikingly sparse trailers, which conclude with the harrowing image of a heavy-breathing Bullock floating away helplessly into the void of outer space.

It’s been a mixed year for original sci-fi films at the box office. Oblivion and Pacific Rim both opened with about $37 million, but they proved exceedingly frontloaded, finishing with $89.1 million and $101.6 million domestically — far less than their budgets. Elysium, meanwhile, opened to an underwhelming $29.8 million. Gravity has a more accessible plot line than any of those films, and Bullock’s presence should draw more women to the theater. Add in Oscar buzz and popcorn appeal and Gravity seems poised to have major pull. I’m thinking it hits $41 million for the weekend. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' rolls past 'Rush', 'Don Jon' with $35 million debut

Four years after the original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs stormed theaters, Sony’s $78 million sequel Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 topped the chart once again, earning $35 million in its first weekend. The film opened in an ultra-wide 4,001 theaters, and it notched a strong $8,748 location average.

The first Cloudy scored $30.3 million in its debut frame on the way to a $124.9 million finish. Most prognosticators were expecting Cloudy 2 to finish above the $40 million mark — in the same range as Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, which opened last September with $42.5 million, the best September debut in history. Cloudy 2 finished a bit below that, but it still notched the fourth best September bow of all time behind Transylvania, Insidious Chapter 2 ($40.3 million), and Sweet Home Alabama ($35.6 million).

The film benefited from a lack of animated competition in the marketplace. Planes, the last animated title to hit theaters, debuted nearly two months ago, and moving ahead, Cloudy should endure quite well due to a dearth of family films in October. The next kiddie flick entering theaters is the Thanksgiving-themed Free Birds on Nov. 1. Thus, Cloudy, with its “A-” CinemaScore grade, should have no trouble playing to parents and children for weeks to come.

Last weekend’s champion, Prisoners, locked up another $11.3 million in its second frame, with a 46 percent drop from its $20.8 million debut last weekend. Warner Bros.’ $46 million revenge thriller, which stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, has now earned $39 million. Despite great reviews, though, the drama is facing serious competition from other well-reviewed adult fare such as Rush and Don Jon (and next weekend’s Gravity), which could limit its final box office potential.

That said, Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama Rush raced off with a rather lackluster $10.3 million in its expansion from five theaters into 2,297 locations. The Universal-distributed film, which stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, marks a major decrease from Howard’s last sports drama, Cinderella Man, which punched up $18.3 million in its 2005 debut. For Hemsworth, Rush (obviously) started off slower than both Thor and The Avengers, but it also under-performed compared to his non-superhero vehicles The Cabin in the Woods ($14.7 million) and Red Dawn ($14.3 million). The film will need great word of mouth to drive it to profitability, and given its strong “A-” CinemaScore, it may achieve that. Also working in Rush‘s favor? Its relatively low $38 million budget.

Two newcomers rounded out the Top 5, though both finished the weekend with rather lackluster totals. The Paula Patton-starring romantic comedy Baggage Claim flew away with $9.3 million from 2,027 theaters, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s porn-addiction comedy Don Jon pulled in a more tepid $9 million from 2,422 theaters. Baggage Claim‘s  “A-” CinemaScore grade suggests it could find an audience in the weeks to come, though Don Jon’s weak “C+” grade may signify challenging word of mouth (despite strong reviews) down the road. Fortunately, Don Jon cost only $6 million to produce, so it should turn  a nice profit for Relativity. Fox Searchlight did not disclose the budget for Baggage Claim.

1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $35 million
2. Prisoners – $11.3 million
3. Rush – $10.3 million
4. Baggage Claim – $9.3 million
5. Don Jon – $9 million

Further down the chart, Eugenio Derbez’s Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included scored another $3.4 million from 948 theaters, for a remarkable $38.6 million cumulative total. The film surpassed Pan’s Labyrinth ($37.6 million) this weekend to become the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in U.S. box office history. It’s a major winner for young distributor Pantelion, a joint venture of Lionsgate and Mexican media company Televisa.

This weekend, Sandra Bullock’s ultra buzzy sci-fi thriller Gravity floats into theaters — as does the rather unbuzzy Justin Timberlake-Ben Affleck thriller Runner Runner. Check back to EW to see how both films fare at the box office.

Box office update: 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' wins Friday with $9.3 million; 'Rush' races into second place

Sony’s $78 million sequel Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 pulled in $9.3 million on its Friday debut, putting it at the top of the box office. The film will easily outgross the original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs‘ $30.2 million debut, though it will likely miss the $40 million mark that most prognosticators assumed it would reach this weekend. Cloudy 2 should make it rain to the tune of about $35 million.

In second place, Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama Rush drove away with $3.7 million on Friday after expanding from five theaters into 2,297 locations. The film, which stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, should score about $11 million this weekend — a big step down form Howard’s last sports drama, Cinderella Man, which punched up $18.3 million in 2005. READ FULL STORY

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