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Weekend Estimates: Gravity Floats Past Captain Phillips

October 13th, 2013

What could have been a close-run race at the box office this weekend turned into a comfortable win for Gravity, but for all the right reasons. Captain Phillips opened with a sturdy $26 million, on the back of some excellent reviews. But that isn't close to enough to unseat Gravity, which will post one of the best second weekends for a wide release in a long time. Comparisons with Argo are inevitable -- the Oscar-winner fell just 15% in its second weekend, while Gravity will be off 21%, but Gravity opened with over $50 million, compared to Argo's $20 million or so, which makes the performance all the more impressive.

In fact, by the end of the weekend, Gravity will have records for both the biggest, and the 7th-biggest weekend in October, while Captain Phillips will land in the top 30 in that chart. These starts will do both films no harm at all in their Oscar quests.

One film not expecting much traction during awards season is Machete Kills. Even so, its $3.8 million opening is a major disappointment for the grindhouse film. A theater average under $1,500 will condemn it to a short life in theaters (although perhaps a slightly longer one on video). The same fate will befall Romeo & Juliet, which will open around $509,000 in 461 theaters, for an average barely over $1,100.

Also making a disappointing debut is The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, which is set for about $260,000 in 147 theaters

Among returning films, Enough Said appears to have topped out this weekend with $1.9 million from 606 theaters in this frame.

There are no standout art-house films this weekend, with Gravity reporting the highest theater average so far. God Loves Uganda is having a good start with $7,300 predicted in a single theater. Other films doing well in a single location are Broadway Idiot ($6,496) and As I Lay Dying.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Gravity, Romeo & Juliet, Captain Phillips, Machete Kills, As I Lay Dying, Enough Said, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, God Loves Uganda, Broadway Idiot