Weekend Box Office: ‘Gravity’ Won’t Be Defied

Despite competition from another acclaimed Oscar-contender, ‘Gravity’ held its grip on the box office this weekend. Meanwhile, the ‘Machete’ sequel was dead on arrival, and North America said “No More!!!” to cinematic reiterations of Shakespeare’s most iconic romance.

In its second weekend, ‘Gravity‘ managed to hold onto the top spot while passing a few milestones. First, the stranded-in-space survival flick only dropped 20.7% in attendance, which marks the lowest ever decline for a movie that opened north of $55 million. Secondly, its $44.2 million second weekend pushed the film past the $100 million mark. After ten days in theaters, it has already earned $123.4 million domestically. Thirdly, it also set a new high for 3D attendance, rising from an already-record 80% up to 82%. Looking at the Salt Lake City area, I see that ‘Gravity’ is still filling most of the IMAX and XD screens despite the weekend’s other large-format release.

Although ‘Captain Phillips‘ wasn’t able to dethrone ‘Gravity’, it still made some waves. The film’s $26 million debut is strong for the Oscar hopeful. A lot of buzz continues to surround the movie for Tom Hanks’ performance as the real life cargo ship captain who risked everything after Somali pirates raided his boat.

The domestic total for ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2‘ has matched the animated comedy’s $78 million production budget. A $14.2 million third weekend placed it in the third spot, but it would have had to slip quite far in order fall into fourth place.

The #4 spot went to Robert Rodriguez’ self-indulgent sequel, ‘Machete Kills‘, which probably should be called ‘Machete Got Killed’. On more than 2,500 screens, the intentionally over-the-top action flick only pulled in $3.7 million, proving that an aggressive marketing campaign won’t do squat for a film that doesn’t appeal to viewers.

Rounding out the Top 5 was week-old ‘Runner Runner‘, also at $3.7 million. After ten days on the big screen, the Justin Timberlake/Ben Affleck gambling thriller has only earned $14.1 million.

On 461 screens, Relativity’s rendition of William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ flopped. The period drama only earned $509,000, for a per-screen average of $1,104.

James Franco’s ‘As I Lay Dying‘ received a strong single-screen debut, pulling in $6,000. I imagine that Millenium will expand its release over the next few weekends, but I don’t expect to see Relativity do the same for ‘Romeo’.

The opening numbers for seven-year-old ‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane‘ have yet to be announced.

Top 10:

1. ‘Gravity’ (Warner Bros.) – $44,265,000

2. ‘Captain Phillips’ (Sony) – $26,000,000

3. ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ (Sony) – $14,200,000

4. ‘Machete Kills’ (Original Film) – $3,797,000

5. ‘Runner Runner’ (Fox) – $3,725,000

6. ‘Prisoners’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,665,000

7. ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ (FilmDistrict) – $2,650,000

8. ‘Rush’ (Universal) – $2,364,000

9. ‘Don Jon’ (Relativity) – $2,340,000

10. ‘Baggage Claim’ (Fox Searchlight) – $2,075,000


  1. William Henley

    Escape From Tomorrow earned $66,100 on only 30 screens, for an average of $2,203 per screen. It also had a same day Vudu / iTunes release (I got my copy from Vudu). I don’t see on BoxOfficeMojo a listing for how well it did on VOD.

  2. I VOD’d ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW over the weekend, and was disappointed. While the first half is rather fun to watch – moreso because the filmmaker takes you on tour of popular Disney World spot you’ve probably visited yourself – the second half turns really dark and really surreal to the point where I lost interest. Still, for a first-time filmmaker, it’s not a complete failure.

    Finally saw GRAVITY this weekend and loved it.

    • William Henley

      Really? I was bored by the first third, and thought the second half was where it started to get good – glad I made it through the first 20 minutes to get to the good stuff. I was a bit disappointed by the end, though.

      • I guess it depends on what you like…I felt ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW would have worked better as tongue-in-cheek dark comedy, but they went into David Lynch territory (without the brilliance of Lynch) in the second half and I felt like I was watching a badly-made episode of The Prisoner. 🙁

        • William Henley

          🙂 Well, it was an indie film, first time filmmaker – I wasn’t expecting filmmaking gold here. I liked the overall concept and and story. The pacing is off in a few areas, and there are some moments of bad acting here and there. I just found the concept fascinating as it is pretty much the story told from the dad’s perspective as he slowly goes crazy while at Disney World.

          Could the execution have been better? Yeah. But its an indie film, B list actors, first-time filmmaker, shot secretly on location, so I give it a bit of leeway.

          I found the film unique and edgy and an interesting concept.

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