So, what happens when you take two of the biggest movie stars in the world and put them in a critically lauded sci-fi adventure? Exactly what you would think, as "Gravity" not only destroyed the box office competition this weekend, it set a new record for an October debut with a dominating $55.6 million.
That amount further bolsters the building Oscar buzz for "Gravity" stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, not to mention writer/director Alfonso Cuarón. And the film's performance is particularly good news for the flagging 3D craze, as 3,150 of the 3,575 theaters showing "Gravity" presented it in 3D. As these box office figures show, when 3D is used for a storytelling purpose rather than as a gimmick, fans will still pony up extra bling for the experience.
One experience film fans apparently didn't want to pay for, though, was "Runner Runner." Thanks in part to a tepid media campaign that stressed Justin Timberlake's social media credentials over co-star Ben Affleck's status as, you know, Ben Affleck, "Runner Runner" fizzled in its debut, managing only $7.6 million over the weekend.
Those were the only major new releases this weekend, allowing returning champion "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" to hold strong in second place with $21.5 million. And the indie romance "Enough Said," which features the final performance of the late James Gandolfini, continues to build momentum in limited release, sneaking into the top ten with $2.2 million despite running in only 437 theaters over the weekend.
"Gravity" should have strong competition next weekend from "Captain Phillips," which likewise features a worldwide superstar in Tom Hanks. But for now, here's this weekend's box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Gravity" - $55.6m (our review)
2. "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" - $21.5m (our review)
3. "Runner Runner" - $7.6m (our review)
4. "Prisoners" - $5.7m (our review)
5. "Rush" - $4.4m (our review)
6. "Don Jon" - $4.2m (our review)
7. "Baggage Claim" - $4.1m (our review)
8. "Insidious: Chapter 2" - $3.9m (our review)
9. "Pulling Strings" - $2.5m
10. "Enough Said" - $2.2m (our review)