Box Office Results: Gravity Blasts Off with Record $55.6 Million Opening!


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

After years of production, director Alfonso CuarĂ³n’s space thriller Gravity dominated the box office its opening weekend with an estimated $55.6 million from 3,575 theaters domestically, an impressive average of $15,538 per theater. The opening marks the highest ever for the month of October, surpassing previous record holder Paranormal Activity 3, which earned $52.6 million in 2011. The film also is the best opening ever for its stars – Sandra Bullock’s previous best was The Heat ($39.1 million) and George Clooney’s was Batman & Robin ($42.9 million).

The $100 million Warner Bros. space thriller, produced by David Heyman of the “Harry Potter” films, runs only 90 minutes long and received an A- CinemaScore from audiences. The film also managed to jump 31% in ticket sales on Saturday, meaning word-of-mouth is spreading fast which could mean impressive legs. Internationally, Gravity earned $27.4 million from 27 markets for a worldwide total of $83 million.

80% of ticket sales came from 3D screens domestically and the international share was 70%. Those are promising stats considering the big decline in 3D attendance this year. The film opened on 323 IMAX screens domestically where it generated $11.3 million, or about 1/5th of the total gross. Internationally on 89 IMAX runs, Gravity grossed $3.2 million this weekend for a worldwide total of $14.4 million, breaking IMAX’s previous October record of $10 million.

Dropping down a spot to second place was Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Made for $78 million, the sequel lost just 36.8% in ticket sales with $21.5 million. Featuring a voice cast that includes Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews and Kristen Schaal, the film has earned $60.6 million domestically after 10 days.

Moviegoers didn’t care much about the new 20th Century Fox thriller Runner Runner, starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton and Anthony Mackie. The film debuted with $7.6 million from 3,026 theaters, an average of $2,512 per theater. Receiving a poor C CinemaScore from audiences, the Brad Furman-directed film cost $30 million to make.

Warner Bros.’ Prisoners came in at No. 4 with $5.7 million its third weekend in theaters. The $46 million-budgeted thriller has reached $47.9 million total.

Rounding out the top five was Ron Howard’s Rush. The Formula 1 drama added $4.4 million and has collected $18 million. The film cost $38 million to produce.

Columbia Pictures also sneaked the Paul Greengrass thriller Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, in 800 locations on Saturday night. The studio says the sneaks were about 75% full throughout the country.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.