Gravity took off in a huge way this weekend, debuting with $55.55 million, the biggest October opening of all time (passing Paranormal Activity 3's $52 million in 2011). It also marks the biggest opening weekend of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's careers (although funnily enough, not director Alfonso Cuaron, whose Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban did $93 million back in 2004). The film overperformed with audiences and made 80% of its money from 3D screens, along with $11 million from IMAX, but the real sign of strength came from the 32% increase from Friday to Saturday, which means word of mouth is extremely strong, and spread across the board among all ages. The movie played 59% over the age of 35 this weekend, and split 54% male, 46% female, which shows that it's going to have real legs, and the success solidifies its surefire Oscar frontrunner status in multiple categories, including Picture, Director, and Actress. Audiences also issued the film a great "A-" Cinemascore.
The other new release, Runner Runner did not fare well despite stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, earning just $7 million and getting a weak "C" from audiences, while Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 held on ok with $21 million, but also seemed to lose some steam to Gravity. It's going to be an interesting fall as we see how Gravity holds up against competition from other adult targeting films in the coming weeks, like Captain Phillips and 12 Years a Slave, but I have a feeling the "event movie" nature of the film is going to keep this one going for while.
- Gravity- $55.55 million
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2- $21.5 million
- Runner Runner- $7.6 million
- Prisoners- $5.7 million
- Rush- $4.4 million
Prisoners and Rush filled out the rest of the Top 5, but Prisoners' $46 million total so far shows how hard it's been for that film to hold onto its audience with the arrival of direct competition, while Rush has severely underperformed despite excellent reviews, and will not make back its budget in the end. Next week, it's Captain Phillips, which had sneak previews this weekend to 75% full audiences and played with a mostly older crowd, so that could start well, and the camp sequel Machete Kills, with Danny Trejo.