Box Office: ‘Gravity’ no. 1 movie for third weekend in a row

There were three new major releases this weekend, but “Gravity” defied the laws of the box office and refused to fall from the no. 1 position. The critically acclaimed 3D thriller dropped only 28% pulled in another $31 million for $170.5 million to date. It official cracked the top 10 grosses of the year surpassing another Sandra Bullock film, “The Heat,” which found $159 million over the summer.

Only two other films have stayed on top of the box office for three weeks in a row this year, “Fast & Furious 6” and “Lee Daniel’s The Butler” whose reign ended on the extended Labor Day weekend last month (it actually lost the true weekend to “One Direction: This is Us”).   Next weekend should be a big test for “Gravity” as “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” or “The Counselor” could knock take the crown.  Whether that occurs or not, “Gravity” is on its way to $250 million domestic.  That’s a remarkable come for a fall release.

Second place went to “Captain Phillips” which earned another $17.3 million for $53.3 million to date. “Phillips” also displayed superb word of mouth with a just 32% drop.   An eventual $80 million plus domestic take looks likely for this potential best picture nominee.  

Arriving in third place was Screen Gems’ remake of “Carrie.” The film warned just $17 million over the three-day. That’s below the $20 million pre-release polling indicated. The new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel received mix notices from critics and a deathly B- Cinemascore from moviegoers.  

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” continued to be the one option for families and earned another $10.1 million in fourth with $93.1 million to date. It should cross the $100 million mark sometime next weekend.

Fifth place went to the Stallone vs. Schwarzenegger thriller “Escape Plan” with just $9.8 million.  Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate saw the writing on the wall for this one quite awhile ago so the results were not surprising..  This is likely a sign that third or fourth (depending on how you count it) renaissance of Stallone’s career may be nearing an end.

Debuting in seventh place was DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Fifth Estate.” Even in just 1,769 theaters, “Estate” had one of the worst openings of the year with just $1.7 million. The studio was reportedly in for just $10 million of the negative cost, but Disney’s expensive marketing campaign will keep this one in the red for quite some time.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight opened “12 Years A Slave” in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Toronto and Chicago in 19 theaters. The critic’s favorite wowed crowds with a $960,000 gross and a fantastic $50,000 per screen. “12 Years” will continue to expand nationally over the next two weeks.

As previously mentioned, new releases Friday include “Jackass: Bad Grandpa” and Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor.”

Box office actuals are released on Monday.