In spite of being in its third weekend and with Halloween right around the corner, "Gravity" took the number one spot, with "Captain Phillips" following right behind, beating out a gang of newcomers: horror remake "Carrie," Schwarzenegger and Stallone actioner "Escape Plan," and the Julian Assange story starring Sherlock, "The Fifth Estate."
With critic praise and clearly great word of mouth, "Gravity" continues to do big business, taking $31 million this weekend. With a running domestic total of $170.6 million, the only other film to do better in its third weekend this year was "Iron Man 3." This marks both George Clooney's and Sandra Bullock's third highest-grossing film to date. Out of that $170.6 million, $38 million (22%) was from over 300 IMAX screens. It is also the tenth highest-grossing "disaster" movie of all time (not adjusting for inflation), knocking out "2012."
Another strong holdover, "Captain Phillips" made $17.3 million, bringing its domestic haul to $53.3 million. It seems audiences aren't being swayed by the slight backlash against the supposed "authenticity" of the picture. Meanwhile, as the only horror movie out this month before Halloween and a reported $30 million budget (not including the massive ad campaign), "Carrie" underwhelmed at the box office in third place and with $17 million. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, the film is an updated remake of the 1976 Brian De Palma classic based on the Stephen King novel. On the more positive side, it's the fourth highest opening of a King film adaptation (not adjusting for inflation) and is already the highest grossing film of director Kimberly Peirce's career, beating out the $11.5 million of "Boys Don't Cry" and the $10.9 million of "Stop-Loss."
In fourth, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" zapped up $10.1 million. In a disappointing albeit predictable fifth, "Escape Plan" opened with $9.8 million. The prison thriller starring the action dream team of a bygone era marks the worst opening of Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, beating out "The Last Stand" from earlier this year, but only the third smallest of Sylvester Stallone's career, the "worst" honor remains with 2003's poker-themed crime thriller "Shade." "Prisoners" came in sixth with $2.1 million. In seventh, "Enough Said" made $1.8 million.
In a dismal eighth, "The Fifth Estate" opened with $1.7 million in 1,769 theaters, with the third worst wide opening of the year (averaging $969 per theater). Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the film received mixed reviews out of Toronto and it seems the headline-grabbing subject matter didn't mean audiences wanted to see a narrative version of that tale. The questions remains ... Where were all of the Cumberbitches at? Still recovering from New York Comic Con? Oh well, here's a clip of Cumberbatch talking with Harrison Ford about the upcoming 'Star Wars' to brighten things up ..."Runner Runner" jogged in at ninth with $1.6 million, and not off of the leader board just yet, "Insidious: Chapter 2" hung in there with on $1.5 million in tenth.
As for specialty box office, Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" had a very strong opening amongst similarly buzzed about (Oscars and otherwise) fellow festival contenders. Starring Chiwetal Ejiofor, the festival megahit about a man sold into slavery (with rave reviews out of Telluride, Toronto, NYFF) opened in 19 theaters with $960,000, averaging $50,525 per theater. In a strong second and starring a near-silent Robert Redford as an old man (in a boat) on the sea, J.C. Chandor's "All Is Lost" opened (after receiving great reviews out of Cannes, Telluride and NYFF) in six theaters with $97,000, averaging $16,225 per theater. In third, John Krokidas' first feature, "Kill Your Darlings," opened in four theaters with $57,722, averaging $14,431 per theater. Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan, the Beat generation film was a hit at Sundance and Toronto. In fourth, Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson's "American Promise" opened in two theaters with $18,250, averaging $9,125 per theater. The film about two African-American students studying at Dalton, which explores the issues of race and socioeconomics, was one of the best-received documentaries out of Sundance and NYFF. In fifth, Bruno Dumont's "Camille Claudel 1915" opened in one theater and made $5,500 for the weekend. Starring Juliette Binoche, the film about French sculptor Camille Claudel (specifically her years in an asylum) received praise for Binoche's riveting performance out of Berlin and Karlovy Vary.
1. Gravity (Warner Bros.) - $31,030,000 ($170,566,000)
2. Captain Phillips (Sony) – $17,300,000 ($53,300,000)
3. Carrie (Sony) - $17,000,000
4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony) - $10,100,000 ($93,137,000)
5. Escape Plan (Lionsgate) - $9,800,000
6. Prisoners (Warner Bros.) - $2,065,000 ($57,259,000)
7. Enough Said (Fox Searchlight) - $1,800,000 ($10,787,000)
8. The Fifth Estate (Disney) - $1,714,000
9. Runner Runner (Fox) - $1,625,000 ($17,536,000)
10. Insidious: Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) - $1,533,000 ($80,923,000)