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Weekend Wrap-Up: Another Orbit for Gravity

October 22nd, 2013

As expected, Gravity remained on top of the weekend box office chart for the third weekend it a row. It became the first film released in 2013 to earn the hat trick, and very likely the last. Unfortunately, two of the three wide releases missed expectations, which hurt the overall box office numbers. Compared to last week, the overall box office was down by 11% to $103 million. Compared to last year, the box office was down 35%. Ouch. 2013 is still ahead of 2012's pace, but by less than 1% at $8.36 billion to $8.29 billion.

Gravity matched expectations perfectly with $30.03 million over the weekend for a total of $169.56 million. At this pace, the film will become the ninth film released in 2013 to reach the $200 million mark. It should reach the top five for the year before its run is over, but it might not stay there too long. (There are two films opening in November that have a shot at beating it on the yearly chart. Thor: The Dark World has a thin chance to get past $250 million, while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is virtually guaranteed to earn more than $300 million.)

Captain Phillips also matched predictions, but thanks to weaker than anticipated competition, it managed second place with $16.41 million over the weekend for a total of $52.44 million after two. It is still on pace to reach $100 million, barely. If the numbers are a little weaker next weekend, it might fall of off that pace. It does have somewhat direct competition in The Counselor, so it is too soon to tell.

There have not been a lot of horror remakes that have been hits recently, and Carrie might be added to that list. I say might be, because it is a little too soon to tell. Granted, its opening weekend was weaker than expected at $16.10 million. However, since it only cost $30 million to make, this isn't a bad start, if its legs are at least okay. Given its genre and its reviews, okay legs are not sure things. On the other hand, Halloween is coming up and that could help it thrive a little longer at the box office. If it can get to $40 million to $50 million, it should break even sometime on the home market.

Escape Plan was the only new release to match expectations, and it was barely able do to that. It opened with $9.89 million and earned fourth place in the process. The reviews are not bad, but also not good either. Add in a low per theater average, and the film's legs will likely be quite short. This is bad news for a film that cost $70 million or more to make.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 rounded out the top five with $9.67 million over the weekend for a total of $92.71 million after four weeks of release. It will reach $100 million next weekend, but it will fall out of the top five before then.

The Fifth Estate was the only other wide release of the week, but it did so poorly that I almost feel bad talking about it. The film landed in 8th place with $1.67 million in 1,769 theaters for a per theater average of $946. This isn't the worst ever per theater average for a film that opened in the top ten, but it is only the third worst since the year 2000. (Only The Real Cancun and The Adventures of Pluto Nash had weaker averages.) Given its per theater average, its reviews hardly matter, because theater owners will drop the movie as soon as they are contractually obligated to.

The only film in the sophomore class was Machete Kills, which fell from fourth to twelfth with $1.20 million over the past three days for a total of $6.40 million after ten. If it is still playing in 1,000 theaters on Friday, I will be a little shocked.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Escape Plan, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Carrie, Machete Kills, The Counselor, The Fifth Estate