Box Office: Gravity Repeats With $44 Million; Captain Phillips Is Tom Hanks’ Best Opener In Years

gravity-movie-bullock-astronaut

Sandra Bullock has her Ellen Ripley moment

As a little sidebar to go along with Scott Sawitz’s Monday Morning Critic column from last week where he discussed Tom Hanks and his ability to not always be mailing it in, I looked over Hanks’ filmography and paired it with his record as a box-office star.

Since 2000, Hanks has been part of 15 productions. Of those 15 productions, he has the Dan Brown franchise pics The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Pixar’s Toy Story 3, and several more book-to-film translations like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Charlie Wilson’s War. In these last baker dozen years he’s worked with such filmmakers as Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away, The Polar Express), Joel & Ethan Coen (The Ladykillers), Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition), Steven Spielberg (The Terminal), the Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas) and Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips).

His star presence may have waned since 2002, after having had a string of hit films earn more than $1.2 billion domestic, and his selection of film projects may not be all that great – hey at least he’s not picking films like Boat Trip (poor Cuba) – but at least he trying new things. Sadly, the projects come at times when the filmmakers aren’t at the top of their games (I’m looking at you Coens!). Still, the man is an aging heavyweight with more to offer. (Though looking at his IMDB page, it seems his only acting projects is starring in another Dan Brown book adaptation and possible fourth Toy Story installment).

This weekend Hanks took on the combination of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney for box office superiority. Last week’s Gravity got the better of Tom Hanks and his apprehension by Somali pirates in Captain Phillips. With both films getting strong critical praise (Oscar buzz even) and geared towards a 25-52 audience – a viewing demographic that Hollywood studios routinely overlook for a majority of the year – it’s a shame only one could claim the top of the box office. But the winner ultimately went to the film that felt more like an “event” than the one that included Paul Greengrass’ signature “shaky cam.”

Gravity made an estimated $44.3 million, as it vaulted past the domestic $100 million mark with an ongoing total of $123.4 million. Remarkably, the film only dropped 21% in ticket sales. That’s good enough for Gravity to have the best second weekend hold of 2013. For director Alfonso Cuaron, the film is the second-highest grosser of his career, behind Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. For stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney the film will most assuredly overtake some of their other hit films in terms of earnings, including Ocean’s Twelve ($125 million), The Heat ($153 million), and The Proposal ($163 million). Surpassing such hits as Ocean’s Eleven and The Blind Side may prove difficult unless the movie offerings in the coming weeks don’t offer decent competition. Which could very well be the case. Carrie may get a big boost due to that “Carrie” scene that went viral on YouTube. Plus Jackass presents: Bad Grandpa could net a strong opening total. Maybe not to the heights of Jackass 3-D‘s $50 million, but mid-$20s to low-$30 million wouldn’t come unexpected.

Captain Phillips opened in second with $26 million. The opening was Tom Hanks’ biggest live-action film opening since 2009’s Angels and Demons. For director Paul Greengrass, this is third biggest debut, behind The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Slipping from second to third was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which made $14.2 million. In three weeks time it has recouped its production budget of $78 million.

After the top three it was slim pickings in terms of earnings. Fourth place Machete Kills opened with $3.8 million. To compare, the original Machete made $11.4 million its opening weekend. So much for those thinking Machete Kills…Again was a remote possibility.

Runner Runner keeps falling behind, down 51.7% in attendance, and making only $3.7 million. Prisoners slipped from fourth to sixth with $3.7 million as well. As the only horror offering currently, Insidious: Chapter 2 maintains top 10 relevancy with $2.7 million. Audiences aren’t racing to see Rush, which dropped three spots to eighth with $2.4 million. Rounding out the list we have different relationship comedies Don Jon and Baggage Claim earning $2.3 million and $2.1 million, respectively.

Upcoming we have Carrie taking on Julian Assange and The Fifth Estate while Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger try to come up with an Escape Plan. Who do you have finishing where in this weekend box office?


Weekend Box Office Top Ten for October 11 – October 13, 2013

1. Gravity (Warner Bros.) – $44,265,000 ($123,400,000)

2. Captain Phillips (Sony) – $26,000,000

3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony) – $14,200,000 ($78,037,000)

4. Machete Kills (Open Road Films) – $3,797,000

5. Runner Runner (Fox) – $3,725,000 ($14,114,000)

6. Prisoners (Warner Bros.) – $3,665,000 ($53,620,000)

7. Insidious: Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) – $2,650,000 ($78,447,000)

8. Rush (Universal) – $2,364,000 ($22,202,000)

9. Don Jon (Relativity Media) – $2,340,000 ($20,141,000)

10. Baggage Claim (Fox Searchlight) – $2,075,000 ($18,272,000)

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