Box office: The only thing weighing down ‘Gravity’ is money

Sandra Bullock is relieved that people rushed to see "Gravity." Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Sandra Bullock is relieved that people rushed to see “Gravity.”
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Gravity,” a new 3D thriller about two stranded astronauts floating through space, soared to the top of weekend movie charts, setting a box office record for the month of October by pulling in $55.6 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

The film, which stars Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and wowed critics with its special effects, added $27.4 million from sales in international markets, for a combined debut of $83 million, distributor Warner Bros. said on Sunday.

Last week’s box office winner, animated “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” dropped to second place with $21.5 million from Friday through Sunday. “Runner Runner,” a new drama about the dark and murky world of online gambling, finished third after earning $7.6 million.

“Gravity” defied the most optimistic pre-weekend forecasts from box office analysts, who saw the film starting off with up to $42 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters. It beat the previous October record, the $52.5 million opening for “Paranormal Activity 3″ in 2011.

In “Gravity,” Bullock plays a novice astronaut and engineer alongside Clooney as a mission commander. After an accident caused by flying debris, the pair are sent hurtling into space with depleting oxygen and remote chances of returning to Earth.

“It’s great because it’s a film that’s played well with the press and also equally well with the public,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution.

Critics raved about the visual effects in the film, which cost close to $100 million to make and reproduced space and zero gravity in ways never seen on screen. Eighty percent of “Gravity” filmgoers purchased the higher-priced 3D tickets, Warner Bros. said.

Overall, 98 percent of critics recommended “Gravity” in reviews collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website, with many suggesting Bullock will be a contender for another best actress Oscar.

“Runner Runner” was far less popular with critics, scoring a meager 8 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes on Saturday. The movie stars Justin Timberlake as a graduate student who goes to Costa Rica to confront an online gambling tycoon, played by Ben Affleck.

The movie was produced by New Regency for $30 million and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film studio owned by 21st Century Fox.

“Cloudy 2″ has now earned $60.6 million at domestic theaters since its release a week ago. The movie features the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Faris as characters in a world where food has come to life as food/animal hybrids called “foodimals.”

The week’s other top films included “Prisoners,” a drama starring Hugh Jackman as a father searching for his missing daughter, which took in $5.7 million. Car racing drama “Rush” took the No. 5 slot with $4.4 million.

Also this weekend, Sony released “Captain Phillips” in 800 theaters on Saturday to build advance buzz ahead of its wide release next Friday. The film stars Tom Hanks as the leader of a ship hijacked by Somali pirates. A Sony spokesman said he did not have a dollar estimate for Saturday’s showing but said theaters were 75 percent full.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc, released “Gravity” and “Prisoners.” “Cloudy 2″ and “Captain Phillips” were released by Sony Corp’s movie studio. “Rush” was distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.