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Weekend Wrap-Up: Gravity Soars Above, but Box Office Lacks Depth

October 15th, 2013

Both Gravity and Captain Phillips topped expectations, which is a reason to celebrate. However, it's practically the only reason to celebrate. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 did well, but from that point on, the box office was a disaster. Overall, the total box office was $116 million, which was down 8% from last week. Compared to last year, the box office was down by 10%. How can this year's top film earn more than twice as much as last year's number one film, but still lose out overall? Last year, the fourth place film was Hotel Transylvania, which earned $17.24 million. This year the fourth place film was Machete Kills, which earned just $3.84 million. The depth this year is simply terrible. Year-to-date, 2013 is still ahead of 2012, but by less than 1% at $8.21 billion to $8.15 billion.

For the second weekend in a row, Gravity topped even the highest expectations with $43.19 million over the weekend. It fell just 23% during its sophomore stint, which seems barely possible in this day and age. After just ten days of release, the film already has $122.32 million. At this pace, it will easily reach $200 million, while I don't feel confident guessing where it will get to in the end. It's beaten expectations by such a large degree that there's no way to predict what will happen next.

Captain Phillips opened on the very high end of expectations with $25.72 million over the weekend. This is a great opening, and it could get even better, and it has reviews that are 95% positive and lots of Oscar buzz surrounding the film, especially for Tom Hanks. Films rarely have a multiplier greater than 3, but I think this one will cruise past $100 million.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 matched predictions perfectly with $13.77 million over the weekend for a total of $77.61 million after three. It remains on pace to reach $100 million, but it will fall out of the top five before then.

Machete Kills bombed. There's really no other way to describe it. The film managed fourth place, but with just $3.84 million in 2,538 screens. It made less over the weekend than the original made during its opening day. The reviews are bad, but not this bad. Its per theater average was an anemic $1,512, so theater owners will be quick to drop the movie as soon as possible.

Runner Runner was right behind with $3.77 million over the weekend for a total of $14.16 million after ten days of release. It needed to make this much during its opening weekend to have a shot at breaking even.

Pulling Strings fell out of the top ten with $1.27 million over the weekend for a total of $4.24 million after ten days of release. This would be bad for a wide release, but it is only playing in 428 theaters.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Runner Runner, Machete Kills, Pulling Strings, Tom Hanks