A few months back I began to worry that Alfonso Cuaron’s promising science-fiction drama Gravity was going to crash and burn at the box office. Sure, buzz was growing among bloggers and critics, but after the first trailer hit theaters I was approached on separate occasions by casual moviegoers who made it a point to say how stupid they found the trailer. Each detailed how when they saw it play in theaters, the assembled audience flat-out laughed at it. I began to wonder if this space odyssey was going to be too out there for mainstream audiences. But it seems after that initial (or potentially anecdotal) phase, Gravity is back on track, and tracking phenomenally.

THR reports pre-release tracking for the outer space-set drama that stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney suggests it will make somewhere between $35 to $40 million when it opens next weekend in the US. Part of this could be put down to the A-list talent attached. A portion of this estimate is being allotted to the film’s release in 3D and IMAX 3D. Aside from boosting the sense of a cinematic event, these screenings also mean higher ticket prices. But above all, Gravity is tracking well across all age groups. According to online estimates, males over 25 are the most interested in the film, followed by females under 25, then females over 25, then males under 25.

This swell in interest among young people is especially notable, as they're a demographic not known for showing up in force to fall dramas. In attempting to lower expectations, Gravity’s studio Warner Bros points out that even critically acclaimed adult-skewing dramas—like David Fincher’s The Social Network and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed--don’t do $35 mil or higher in fall opening weekends. (Those movies made $22.4 mil and $26.9 mil respectively.) To that end, Warner Bros insists they’d be happy if Gravity hit even $30 million in its opening weekend. As tracking isn’t an exact science, it’s too soon to declare Gravity a hit. But this is definitely a promising sign for the harrowing space drama that won praise as it hit the Venice, Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals.

If you want to know what all the buzz is about, check out the trailer below, or read Sean’s review out of TIFF. You can also tell us why you’re excited about its upcoming release for a chance to win some out of this world swag. Or take my word for it and just go when Gravity opens in theaters October 4th.

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