This past weekend saw two heavyweights go head-to-head. In one corner, an original sci-fi pic with phenomenal special effects and Sandra Bullock lost in space (read our review here). In the other, another American darling, Tom Hanks, gets captured by Somali pirates (our review). Both are getting their fair share of Oscar buzz, but only one could claim the top spot. Overall weekend box office was down only 10% from last year, and the top two films scored much better (even if the rest teeter off into the low seven-figures), with the film in the top spot making over double this time around. Similarly to last year, when "Taken 2" ($21.9 million) trumped "Argo" ($19.5 million), holdover "Gravity" beat out debut "Captain Phillips."
In its second week, "Gravity" made $44.3 million, crossing the domestic $100 million mark with a running total of $123.4 million. Dropping only 21% in ticket sales since last weekend, "Gravity" also has had the best second weekend hold of 2013. As of this moment, it is the fourth highest grossing film of both Sandra Bullock's and George Clooney's careers along with being the second highest of Alfonso Cuaron's career. The film is on its way to beat out the $183.4 million of "Ocean's Eleven," but it's still up in the air if it will knock out the $249.5 million of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" or the $256 million of "The Blind Side." Considering next week's competition ("Carrie" and "The Fifth Estate"), it looks like "Gravity" will continue to be up here (at least on the leader board) for some time to come.
In second, "Captain Phillips" opened with $26 million, marking the third best opening for Paul Greengrass and the eighth best for Tom Hanks, his highest grossing live-action film since 2009's "Angels and Demons." Similarly buzzed about and based on a real life story, "Argo" opened the very same weekend last year and made $19.5 million, going on to make a grand worldwide total of $232.3 million and win a few awards along the way (including the big gun, Academy Award for Best Picture). It looks like "Captain Phillips" could be on a similar track, which would be a big boon for distributor Sony after such a dismal summer ("Grown Ups 2" being their highest grossing of the year so far with $132 million).
Coming in at third, "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2" made $14.2 million, crossing the domestic $75 million mark with a running total of $78 million (which means the film has already made back its budget of an estimated $78 million domestically).
In fourth, "Machete Kills" opened with $3.8 million, which marks the third lowest opening of Robert Rodriguez's career (after "El Mariachi" and "Four Rooms"). Even similarly star-studded/stunt-casted (Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Sofia Vergara and more) and a fall opening, the film barely made a third of what its predecessor "Machete" made its opening weekend ($11.4 million).
In fifth, "Runner Runner" didn't keep up, suffering the largest dip on the board (down $51.7%) and making only $3.7 million. "Prisoners" slipped down two spots into a close sixth with $3.7 million. In seventh, "Insidious: Chapter 2" conjured up $2.7 million. "Rush" dropped down three spots with $2.4 million, finally crossing the domestic $20 million mark with a running total of $22 million. Following suit, both "Don Jon" and "Baggage Claim" were bumped down three spots with $2.3 million and $2.1 million, respectively,
1. Gravity (Warner Bros.) - $44,265,000 ($123,400,000)
2. Captain Phillips (Sony) - $26,000,000
3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony) - $14,200,000 ($78,037,000)
4. Machete Kills (Open Road Films) - $3,797,000
5. Runner Runner (Fox) - $3,725,000 ($14,114,000)
6. Prisoners (Warner Bros.) - $3,665,000 ($53,620,000)
7. Insidious: Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) - $2,650,000 ($78,447,000)
8. Rush (Universal) - $2,364,000 ($22,202,000)
9. Don Jon (Relativity Media) - $2,340,000 ($20,141,000)
10. Baggage Claim (FoxSearchlight) - $2,075,000 ($18,272,000)