Last weekend, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity exploded out of the gate en route to a $55 million weekend for the record books. By Sunday evening, the film had carded the largest opening in Sandra Bullock’s career, the largest opening in George Clooney’s career and more importantly, the largest opening in the history of October. Thanks to incredible word of mouth and great reviews, it now seems poised to break even more records this weekend.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gravity grossed $12.7 million on Friday, and early estimates indicate it could bring in $45 million for the weekend, which would only correlate to an eighteen percent drop in ticket sales. That not only would be another record for a non-holiday second weekend, it would be another record by a long shot. The only film ever to open to more than $50 million and drop by less than thirty percent the following weekend is The Incredibles, and that beloved family flick still dropped by twenty-nine percent (Avatar, which dropped less than two percent, had the benefit of Christmas). By the end of the weekend, Gravity should easily surpass the $100 million mark in the United States and the $175 million mark around the world, and there’s a good possibility it’s just getting started.
In just the last forty-eight hours, I’ve heard both my parents and several older men I play poker with all talk about wanting to see Gravity, and these aren’t exactly regular moviegoers. They hit up the cinema a few times a year. Considering more than half of Gravity’s audience has been over thirty-five, one would imagine similar scenes will be playing out around the country, which means the buzz should continue for weeks more.
Coming in second place at the Friday box office this week was Captain Phillips. The Tom Hanks/ Paul Greengrass collaboration about a hostage situation with Somali Pirates brought in $8.2 million, which means it could bring in about $25 million for the weekend. Under normal October circumstances, that would probably be enough to win the weekend, but there’s just no stopping the Gravity juggernaut. Still, the $25 million forecasts a very promising future for the moderately budgeted ($55 million) flick that’s also receiving great reviews.
With two overachieving flicks this weekend, there was bound to be a loser, and sadly for Robert Rodriguez, his newest effort Machete Kills drew the short straw, though with very good reason. The sequel just isn’t crazy enough or funny enough to support its runtime, and with less than stellar reviews, apparently audiences decided to stay away. It only made $1.4 million yesterday and could fail to even hit $4 million by the end of the weekend.
We’ll have a full box office report for you tomorrow once more figures come to light.