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'Captain Phillips' Opens Well Against Mighty 'Gravity' at Number One

Thompson on Hollywood By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood October 13, 2013 at 2:01PM

Two well-reviewed, high-quality films -- "Gravity" and "Captain Phillips" -- lead the Top 10 this weekend with impressive numbers. The studios, building on such late 2012 successes as "Argo," "Lincoln" and "The Life of Pi," are continuing to push a small number of awards-targeted quality projects at low-risk, non-tentpole budgets. The bad news is that business is really, really bad. Only three films did solid business, the top two and in its third go-round, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2." The top 10 grossed $105 million, down 10% from last year.
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Detail from the Michelle Rodriguez character poster for "Machete Kills"
Detail from the Michelle Rodriguez character poster for "Machete Kills"

What comes next: This start also enhances the film's Oscar hopes in multiple tops categories, with it likely staying on screens through Thanksgiving.

3. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Sony) Week 3 - Last weekend #2

$14,200,000 (-32%) in 3,824 theaters (-127); PSA: $3,665; Cumulative: $78,037,000

The good news for Sony continued with the decent hold for their animated sequel, which fell slightly less in its third weekend than the original films, with a total gross so far just under its more expensive predecessor. It doesn't hurt that it is about the only kids' film in the market (though "Gravity" seems to be starting to get a family audience). And its total should get a boost from the semi-holiday tomorrow.

What comes next: This has a shot at equaling the $124 million take of "Cloudy 1."

4. Machete Kills (Open Road) NEW - Cinemascore:; Criticwire: C; Metacritic: 42

$3,797,000; PSA:; Cumulative: $3,797,000

Very disappointing results for Open Road and director Robert Rodriguez, with this Danny Trejo-starring sequel, which came in at only about a third of the gross of the first go-round. Acquired by the exhibitor-owned distributor for $2 million + marketing, this is their lowest opening weekend so far. This is also the lowest opening for any Rodriguez film (biggest hits are the "Spy Kids" series, but a series of other low-budget edgy genre films found better results.)

Aimed in part at the significant Latino market, which in recent weeks has flocked to a pair of Spanish-language Mexican comedies, this seems to have missed reaching any major slice of the audience. This is the second straight underachieving film for Open Road ("Jobs" in August underperformed to a $16 million total).

What comes next: Despite the #4 placement, this won't be in the Top 10 for long.

5. Runner Runner (20th Century-Fox) Week 2 - Last weekend #3

$3,725,000 (-52%) in 3,026 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,231; Cumulative: $14,114,000

The good news is the unexpected #5 placement for the second weekend. That ends the good news -- this is a gross that some weeks usually is found at the bottom end of the Top 10. The second weekend fall of around 50% from its weak opening -- far below what a pairing of Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck might have been expected to do --reveals that this movie never found its footing.

What comes next: A total domestic take of under $20 million is a huge disappointment for all involved.

6. Prisoners (Warner Bros.) Week 4 - Last weekend #4

$3,665,000 (-36%) in 2,855 theaters (-381); PSA: $1,284; Cumulative: $53,620,000

Stabilizing somewhat despite stiff competition for its core older, review-oriented audience, the Hugh Jackman thriller shows some decent word of mouth. This modest hit (helped by a budget under $60 million) that should stick around for a few more weeks.

What comes next: Foreign is starting to open, with this film's ultimate fate resting on at least matching its domestic take.

7. Insidious Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) Week 5 - Last weekend #8

$2,650,000 (-32%) in 2,156 theaters (-451); PSA: 1,229; Cumulative: $78,447,000

Holding much better than most horror sequels, and in this soft weekend actually going up a position, this Jason Blum/James Wan collaboration now is close to 50% above the first entry's b.o. performance.

What comes next: "Carrie" next weekend will provide strong competition, but this has been a great performer.

8. Rush (Universal) Week 4 - Last weekend #5

$2,364,000 (-47%) in 2,130 theaters (-178); PSA: $1,100 ; Cumulative: $22,202,000

The grim news for this Ron Howard film that entered the market with high hopes continues, with another sizable drop and a domestic total looking likely to not get much above $30 million.

What comes next: Not surprisingly, international is doing far better (Universal only has domestic for this) given the story's strong European flavor. That will ultimately determine if the filmmakers can claim modest success.

10. Baggage Claim (20th Century-Fox) Week 3; Last weekend #7

$2,075,000 (-49%) in 1,320 theaters (-910); PSA: $1,572; Cumulative: $18,272,000

A further drop for this Fox Searchlight-produced African-American comedy that despite a wide release continues to lag behind similar previous films.

What comes next: This likely loses another large number of theaters next week.




This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Gravity, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks


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