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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 report: 'Gravity' pulls in record-breaking $55.6 million

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Warner Bros.’ $100 million Alfonso Cuarón-directed thriller Gravity blasted off on its opening weekend at the box office, scoring a stunning $55.6 million from 3,575 theaters. The sci-fi title, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, set a new October opening weekend record, surpassing Paranormal Activity 3‘s $52.6 million debut in 2011.

Gravity also marks the best-ever debut for both of its stars, beating Bullock’s $39.1 million start for this summer’s The Heat (talk about having a great year at the box office!) and Clooney’s $42.9 million debut for Batman & Robin in 1997. And to put a cherry on top of Warner Bros.’ incredible weekend, audiences issued Gravity an excellent “A-” CinemaScore grade, which will yield great word-of-mouth for weeks to come. 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

Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck clash in new 'Runner Runner' trailer -- VIDEO

Before Batfleck Ben Affleck dons the Dark Knight’s mask, he’ll be squaring off against Justin Timberlake in gambling thriller Runner Runner.

The upcoming film, penned by Rounders writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, centers on a cat-and-mouse game between Princeton grad student Richie (Timberlake) and gambling con man Ivan Block (Affeck). Richie initially flies to Costa Rica to confront Block about his losses in online poker, but soon gets taken under the corrupt Block’s wing — and trapped in the harsh underground world of gambling.

The latest trailer teases the rapid turn of events — as J-Kwon’s “Tipsy” inexplicably plays in the background — with shots of Timberlake running (running) and Affleck in full villain mode.

“If your boss says you gotta go out there and take a beating,” Block barks at Richie. “Take it and then say, ‘Do you need me to take it again?’”

Check out the new trailer below. Runner Runner opens in theaters October 4.
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'Runner Runner': Ben Affleck teaches Justin Timberlake how to get his own island -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Runner Runner follows Justin Timberlake as a savvy Princeton student who winds up embroiled in an offshore online-poker empire run by Ben Affleck. It’s a film built on subterfuge and double-crosses, set in the decadent landscape that can only be bought with ill-gotten kabillions of dollars. Just in time for EW’s Fall Movie Preview, we’re excited to share an exclusive teaser from the film, which features Affleck offering some inspiring words to his minion. Check it out below:
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'Runner Runner' trailer: Justin Timberlake vs. Ben Affleck -- VIDEO

Know what’s cooler than visiting a tropical island? Owning your own tropical island.

Justin Timberlake, 32, plays a poor Ivy League prodigy desperate enough to gamble for his tuition money on online poker, “one of the internet’s dirty little secrets.” When he goes bust, he suspects the game he thought he’d cracked just might be rigged. So he arranges a face-to-face with the man he thinks cheated him, a sly offshore entrepreneur played by Ben Affleck (reminiscent of the high-rolling scammer he played in 2000′s Boiler Room.)

From there, it becomes a mystery of who’s bluffing whom. The script is written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the duo who scripted Rounders, so expect a lot of insider gambling lingo and an annoying female character. Watch the trailer now:
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