“Gravity” was still a force to be reckoned with at this weekend’s box office. After setting a sales record for the highest October opening last weekend with $55.8 million, the movie remained on top this week with a $44 million haul. This is only a drop of 21 percent, which brings the $100 million film’s overall gross to $123.4 million, nearing the $200 million level internationally.
The Warner Bros. space adventure is directed by Alfonso Cuaron and stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, who play two astronauts cast adrift in outer space after an accident.
“They say what goes up must come down, but that’s not really true with ‘Gravity,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker Rentrak. “To have opened as big as it did last week and only drop 21 percent, that’s really an amazing hold. It’s a direct testament to the word of mouth on the movie.”
“Gravity” also fared well overseas, making $28 million in 38 territories such as Russia, Australia, Germany and Spain.
Sony’s “Captain Phillips” finished in a distant second place with a respectable $26 million against a $55 million budget and besting projections of a $20 million opener. Based on the 2009 hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates, the high-seas drama stars Tom Hanks as a cargo ship captain who is taken hostage by pirates led by Abdulwadi Muse (Barkhad Abdi). The movie is directed by Paul Greengrass.
Both Gravity and Captain Phillips earned stellar reviews and mentions as likely Oscar contenders. According to the Toronto Sun, “Gravity” wowed critics with its 3-D depictions of space and weightlessness, while Hanks won praise for his portrayal of Captain Richard Phillips.
“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” the animated sequel from Sony, fell to third place from second, collecting $14.2 million. The movie, released on Sept. 27, has taken in $78 million to date in its domestic theatrical run.
Another new movie, “Machete Kills,” from Open Road Films, had very disappointing sales of $3.8 million to place fourth. According to BoxOffice.com, the action picture was projected to collect $7.5 million in its opening weekend. The film is the follow-up to 2010’s “Machete” from Twentieth Century Fox, and it again stars Danny Trejo as Machete Cortez, a secret agent who is recruited by the U.S. president, played by Charlie Sheen, to stop a power-mad arms dealer, Mel Gibson.
The movie, which was directed by Robert Rodriguez and also features Cuba Gooding Jr., 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 Twentieth Century Fox, rounds out the top five, bringing in $3.7 million.
Here’s the top 10 films at this weekend’s box office, according to boxofficemojo:
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: $3.72 million
6. Prisoners: $5.7 million
7. Insidious Chapter 2: $2.6 million
8. Rush: $2.36 million
9. Don Jon: $2.34 million
10 Enough Said: $2 million