Gravity has 2nd stellar weekend
Posted: October 18, 2013 at 2:25 a.m.
Gravity, the Warner Bros. thriller starring Sandra Bullock, collected $43 million to repeat as the top movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters last weekend, following its record debut for an October film.
Captain Phillips, a drama featuring Tom Hanks as a ship captain facing down modern-day pirates, took in almost $26 million for Columbia to place second, Rentrak said.
Both films have been well received. At Rottentomatoes.com, which compiles movie reviews, 97 percent of critics rated Gravity fresh, while Captain Phillips generated 95 percent positive reviews.
Anchoring Gravity are Bullock’s performance and Alfonso Cuaron’s direction, which uses 3-D effects to depict the sensation of being in space.
Bullock plays Ryan Stone, a new-to-space medical engineer, opposite George Clooney, a veteran astronaut who talks Stone through her panic when debris from a satellite hits the shuttle and damages it. The two are left floating in space and cut off from communications with Earth, while trying to make it to a space station before their oxygen runs out.
Made for $100 million, Gravity collected $55.8 million last weekend, a record for October, traditionally a quiet month at the box office. Over two weeks, the movie has brought in about $122 million.
It has also lifted Time Warner Inc.’s studio to No. 1 in domestic sales this year, moving ahead of Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures.
Captain Phillips is based on the true story of the hijacking of a U.S. cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama, by Somali pirates. It stars Hanks as Richard Phillips, the real-life captain of the ship.
Directed by Paul Greengrass, the British filmmaker behind the second and third films in the Bourne franchise, the movie casts the heroic figure of Phillips against the desperate plight of his captors.
After the ship was attacked by the pirates in April 2009, Phillips agreed to go with them to spare the crew. After five days in captivity, he was rescued from a lifeboat in the Indian Ocean as Navy snipers killed three pirates.
Captain Phillips was made for $55 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo, and was projected to collect $21 million for Columbia, according to BoxOffice.com.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, the animated sequel from Columbia, dropped to third place from second, collecting about $14 million. The movie, released Sept. 27, has taken in about $78 million to date in its domestic run.
Another new movie, Machete Kills, from Open Road Films, had sales of about $4 million to place fourth. The action picture was projected to collect $7.5 million in its opening weekend, according to BoxOffice.com.
The follow-up to 2010’s Machete from 20th Century Fox, it again stars Danny Trejo as Machete Cortez, a secret agent who is recruited by the U.S. president, played by Charlie Sheen (billed as Carlos Estevez), to stop a power-mad arms dealer.
The movie, which was directed by Robert Rodriguez and also features Sofia Vergara, Cuba Gooding Jr., Walton Goggins, Antonio Banderas and Lady Gaga, faced critical reviews ahead of its opening, with just a 30 percent fresh rating from Rottentomatoes.
Runner Runner, the online poker movie from 20th Century Fox, fell to fifth place after its debut in third last weekend, collecting about $4 million.
MovieStyle, Pages 36 on 10/18/2013