‘Carrie,’ Cumberbatch, Schwarzenegger Feel The Weight Of ‘Gravity’

'12 Years a Slave' is off to strong art-house start as 'Gravity' sinks all wide releases.

Gravity” maintained its box-office dominance for a third time over the weekend, easily sinking newcomers “Carrie,” “Escape Plan” and “The Fifth Estate.” Meanwhile, Oscar hopeful “12 Years a Slave” made almost $1 million as it opened in just 19 theaters.

Box-office watchers predicted a close race between “Gravity” and “Carrie,” but the horror flick came up short. Sandra Bullock’s sci-fi hit grabbed another $31 million for a 17-day total of $170.6 million, making it the 10th biggest movie of the year. The remake of the 1976 horror hit, featuring a script more faithful to Stephen King’s novel, opened at #3 with $17 million. Reviews were mixed for “Carrie,” even with breakout “Kick-Ass” star Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role of the bullied teenager who manifests telekinetic powers.

Sticking Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger together proved to be more lucrative than either of the action-movie legends’ respective solo outings from earlier this year, but nevertheless, “Escape Plan” fell short of “Expendables”-sized business. The duo’s prison movie took in $9.8 million during its opening weekend, which was a better start than Stallone’s “Bullet to the Head” or Arnold’s “The Last Stand.” Production is already underway on “The Expendables 3,” of course, which is due in theaters August 15, 2014.

Julian Assange hasn’t hidden his distaste for “The Fifth Estate,” which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the beleaguered Wikileaks founder, which means he’s probably celebrating the movie’s terrible numbers. “The Fifth Estate” took the “worst opening of the year” crown from Liam Hemsworth’s bomb, “Paranoia.” With just $1.7 million, “The Fifth Estate” had the lowest debut of 2013 for any movie opening in more than 1,500 locations.

Cumberbatch is part of the ensemble for “12 Years a Slave,” so the news wasn’t all bad for him over the weekend. The likely Oscar contender didn’t crack $1 million over the weekend, but considering it started off in just 19 locations, the period drama’s $960,000 haul was beyond impressive. That’s a very strong per-screen average of more than $50,000 per theater. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson and Paul Giamatti are among the actors earning rave reviews for the buzzed-about critical hit.

No stranger to the Academy Awards, Tom Hanks could earn his third Oscar for “Captain Phillips,” which held onto the #2 spot for the second weekend in a row. The real-life hostage drama took in another $17.3 million for a total of $53.3 million, roughly the same amount as its production budget. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2″ was #4 with $10 million for a domestic gross of $93 million.

Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender have another ensemble film on the way this weekend. “The Counselor,” directed by Ridley Scott and adapted from a Cormac McCarthy story, hits theaters on October 25 alongside “Paranormal Activity V.”