Box Office Report: Gravity gets biggest October debut of all time, while Runner Runner… fails to run ahead…

This weekend was a mixed one at the box office, and despite the toughest efforts of Gravity trying to keep up with the record pace, this weekend ultimately had to fall behind 13% from last year, when Taken 2 consumed all business.

Gravity was the biggest success story October has ever seen in it’s history. Pre-release tracking only suggested a opening in the $30 million range, but it deceived all expectations, and managed to open to $55.8 million. That easily makes it the biggest October opening of all time, beating Paranormal Activity 3, which previously opened with $52.6 million. Putting that aside, it also became the biggest opening for the whole of the fall season (Sep-Oct). It also allowed Sandra Bullock and George Clooney to have new highs in their career, which definitely is great. Warner Bros. indeed is having a great year, with hits like the Superman film Man of Steel, surprise hits We’re the Millers and The Conjuring and Great Gatsby. This film is all but certain to earn big bucks by the time October comes to a close, but how high it gets totally depends on it’s holding power. With a 98% rotten tomatoes score and a A- cinemascore, this film is definitely all but certain to hold on well, but big openings generally lead to bigger drops, and the onslaught on adult dramas certainly don’t help either (award darlings like Rush are not holding well because of this). What is perhaps most surprising is it’s 3D and IMAX share. It’s 3D share domestically comandeered nearly 80% of the total share, while it’s IMAX share, from 323 locations, grabbed $11.2 million, while was close to 20% of the share. With such impressive numbers, and a multiple of 3.17 over the opening day. That gives it a record 3D share, which once again proves that people are more choosy these days on what to watch in 3D, and that 3D isn’t a unreliable format, as long as directors know how to maximise it. 59% of moviegoers were over the age of 35, while 54% of the audience was male.

Second place was holdover Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2. Despite not holding as well as its predecessor did, it at least tried to match the hold of last year’s Hotel Translyvania. It dipped 38.4% (last year’s Hotel Translyvania dropped 36%). It still held on very well, and earned $20.95 million this weekend. If this continues holding this well, it should have no trouble earning up to $100 million by the end of its run, but earning back the original film’s gross looks difficult at this juncture. After opening bigger than the original film, it’s up-to-date gross is slightly down now (Cloudy 1 is at $60.0 million, while Cloudy 2 is at $60.6 million).

In third was a film which disappointed to quite a degree, and that title belongs to Runner Runner. It had potential running into the weekend, with both Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck attached in the film, but the film’s marketing unfortunately did not click, and both star’s fanbases did not find the need to catch this film. Word of mouth definitely isn’t anywhere near great anyway, with it just getting slammed with a C cinemascore. The film just managed a meagre $7.7 million this weekend, despite being pushed into 3026 theatres. This gives Justin Timberlake his lowest opening in over 6 years, right above Alpha Dog’s $6.4 million but much lower than In Time, which earned $12.05 million. Meanwhile, for a film that opened in over 3000 theatres, it was really terrible, as it’s theatre average is just $2,512. This was enough to make it rank 15 on the lowest gross for a film which got boosted into 3000 or more theatres. Fortunately, overseas grosses have been decent at best, but that should be enough for this film to at least earn back it’s budget.

In fourth was Prisoners. Unfortunately, two adult dramas opening this weekend further affected this film, and holding power is still bad- it dropped over 47.5% to $5.7 million. It has earned $47.88 million to date, which is really low considering it’s opening weekend gross was over $20 million, and that this is a awards contender with great buzz and reviews.

Fifth went to Rush, with $4.5 million. It has also been affected by the recent onslaught of adult dramas, causing it to plummet 55.3% for a final gross of $18.2 million. Don Jon and Baggage Claim suffered either, dropping 52.1% and 54.9% for a current domestic cume of $16.1 million and $15.1 million.

Eight went to Insidious 2, which earned $3.9 million this weekend. It’s large drops seem to have stabilized, with it dropping a little over 40% for a current cume of $74.77 million. That makes it the second highest grossing horror movie of the year, eclipsing Mama ($71.6 million). Ninth went to Pulling Strings, yet another hit for Pantelion. However, this one will not come anywhere close to Instructions Not Included, but it still provided them with their second biggest opening to date, with $2.5 million. Last went to Enough Said, which expanded into two time more theatres for a weekend cume of $2.19 million. It has earned $5.4 million to date.

In other weekend news, Captain Phillips sneaked into over 800 theatres. Unfortunately, no official weekend numbers have been revealed, but at least we get to know that about an average of 75% of theatres were filled. Everything, though, depends next week, when it expands nationwide.Next weekend, two films will premiere, but none of them will topple winner Gravity. The crop will also not be able to beat last year’s set of films. To see how I think Machete Kills and Captain Phillips will perform, you can check out the box office forecast here. Meanwhile, before leaving, remember to like the site’s facebook page and participate in the movie poll on the right sidebar! Don’t forget to check back regularly for more box office news, along with movie reviews!

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