CARS HOMES JOBS

'Gravity' maintains grip on No. 1 with movie fans

Sunday, October 20, 2013
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Sandra Bullock stars in a scene from "Gravity," which prevailed as the most popular film for the third weekend in a row. (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Sandra Bullock stars in a scene from "Gravity," which prevailed as the most popular film for the third weekend in a row. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

— Star power and Oscar aspirations are reigning at the box office, where the space adventure “Gravity” and the Somali pirate docudrama “Captain Phillips” are holding off all comers.

With $31 million over the weekend according to studio estimates Sunday, “Gravity” topped the box office for the third straight week, cementing its status as the juggernaut of the fall movie-going season. The 3-D Warner Bros. movie, staring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, has now made more than $170 million in three weeks. The film’s groundbreaking visuals have been particularly popular on IMAX screens, where it made an “Avatar”-like $7.4 million on the weekend.

“Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass, also held in second place, taking in $17.3 million in its second week. The Sony film slid only 33 percent from its debut last weekend of $25.7 million.

The two movies and their veteran stars were able to keep three new wide releases at bay: the horror remake “Carrie” ($17 million for Sony and MGM), the Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick “Escape Plan” ($9.8 million for Lionsgate), and the WikiLeaks drama “The Fifth Estate.”

The last utterly flopped — a fate predicted by its subject, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — taking in a paltry $1.7 million for Disney. It’s the worst debut this year for a film in such wide release (1,769 theaters).

“It’s a very strong lineup that is not budging,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak, who noted the primary family choice, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” is also holding steady with $10.1 million in its fourth week. “‘Carrie’ came into a very competitive marketplace.”

In a limited release of just 19 theaters, Steve McQueen’s highly-anticipated slavery epic “12 Years a Slave,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, opened with $960,000. The exceptionally high theater average of $50,000 suggested considerable audience eagerness for the already much-lauded film.

Estimated ticket sales are for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak.

The Top 10

1. “Gravity,” $30 million

2. “Captain Phillips,” $17.3 million

3. “Carrie,” $17 million

4. “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” $10.1 million

5. “Escape Plan,” $9.8 million

6. “Prisoners,” $2.1 million

7. “Enough Said,” $1.8 million

8. “Fifth Estate,” $1.7 million

9. “Runner Runner,” $1.6 million

10. “Insidious Chapter 2,” $1.5 million

 
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