Box Office Report US: GRAVITY Hits the Stratosphere, RUNNER RUNNER Hits a Wall

Written by Zachary Fox Wednesday, 09 October 2013

Movie News

And so it begins. We’re now into October, so the run up to award’s season has officially begun. And Alfonso Cuaron’s GRAVITY has set one hell of a benchmark.

A strong marketing effort, combined with universally glowing reviews (currently 98% on Rotten Tomatoes) and, of course, the handy monetary boosts from 3D and IMAX set GRAVITY off on a $55.8 million debut.

It marks a new record debut for the month of October (beating PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3’s $52.6 million in 2011). It also sets new record openings for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

Kudos where it’s due, Warner Bros. really pulled it out of the bag with this one. The advertising was right on the money – figuratively and now literally – focusing on the technology, unique visuals and general sense of breathtaking action. Bullock did more than her job too, swanning all over the place in a marketing push that doubtlessly helped to create a 46% female audience.

Most importantly however was the push for 3D/IMAX viewings. And it obviously worked; premium-priced showtimes accounted for 80% of GRAVITY’s weekend takings. A remarkable statistic. It’s the highest 3D share of any contemporary new IP, even ahead of AVATAR (71%). Which is kinda like facing Clint Eastwood in a shootout and winning.

GRAVITY is very likely to stick around (snrk). It increased from Friday-to-Saturday by 32% (a very healthy sign) and it’s A- CinemScore indicates strong word-of-mouth. Not to mention the fact that there’s little 3D/IMAX competition for the rest of the month.

Also opening this week, but to far less happy news, is action/thriller type RUNNER RUNNER. The joint draw of Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake was apparently not enough to save this woefully ordinary crime caper and it slumped to just $7.7 million in 3rd place. Oops. It’s targeting the same adult audience as GRAVITY – a suicidal move – and with a C- minus CinemaScore it’s looking like $20 million tops by the end of its run.

Dropping one place to 2nd this week stands CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2, which fell just 38% for $21 million. After 10 days on release the animated sequel has earned a merry $60 million.

Elsewhere in the realms of post-release, PRISONERS dropped 47% to $5.75 million ($47.9 million total) in 4th while RUSH, despite it’s critical acclaim, slumped 55% for $4.5 million and a nervy $18.2 million gross in 5th.

Still though, it’s worse news for DON JON and BAGGAGE CLAIM, who both plummeted over 50% for $4.16 million and $4.1 million respectively.

Domestic Top 10

01. Gravity

02. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

03. Runner Runner

04. Prisoners

05. Rush

06. Don Jon

07. Baggage Claim

08. Insidious 2

09. Pulling Strings

10. Enough Said

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