Stop us if you've heard this one before: Despite what was expected to be strong competition from the horror remake "Carrie," it was Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and "Gravity" once again topping the box office this weekend, as Alfonso Cuarón's space thriller earned an estimated $31 million for its third straight number one finish.
And "Gravity" shows no signs of slowing down, dropping a modest 28% from last weekend as strong word of mouth continues to fuel the surprise megahit. After three weekends in release, "Gravity" has racked up an impressive $170.6 million so far in the United States alone.
All of which was more than enough to doom "Carrie," which started strong and then quickly faded as horror fans frontloaded the weekend. When the dust settled, "Carrie" ended up bringing in a decidedly mediocre $17 million, giving it a disappointing third place finish behind Tom Hanks and "Captain Phillips," which hung on to second place with $17.3 million in its second weekend.
Of course, things could have been far worse for "Carrie." For example, it could have been "Escape Plan," which bombed out to the tune of $9.8 million despite behind headlined by a pair of one time superstars, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwartzenegger. And then there was the absolute ignominy suffered by Benedict Cumberbatch's "Fifth Estate," which imploded to the tune of $1.7 million and a eighth place debut. Yikes.
Next weekend should prove interesting thanks to the buzzy thriller "The Counselor," which has its own slew of big name stars (Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz et al.) looking to take down Clooney and Bullock. For now, though, here's a look at this weekend's box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Gravity" - $31m (our review)
2. "Captain Phillips" - $17.3m (our review)
3. "Carrie" - $17m (our review)
4. "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" - $10.1m (our review)
5. "Escape Plan" - $9.8m (our review)
6. "Prisoners" - $2.1m (our review)
7. "Enough Said" - $1.8m (our review)
8. "Fifth Estate" - $1.7m (our review)
9. "Runner Runner" - $1.6m (our review)
10. "Insidious: Chapter 2" - $1.5m (our review)