Gravity with its 3D depiction of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s lost in space adventure has managed to pull down Carrie and Captain Phillips weekend box office sales. The Alfonso Cuarón thriller has come in at number one for the last three weekends since the film opened. Keeping a stranglehold on the box office, the film has lost very little in terms of popularity with audiences and has grossed over $170 million on top of leaving its competition over the weekend stranded in terms of ticket sales.
This past weekend Gravity pulled in $31 million knocking the Tom Hanks true story film Captain Phillips in second place with $17.3 million in ticket sales and Carrie came in a close third. The remake of the 1976 Brian De Palma adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel, only pulled in £17 million on its opening weekend.
Gravity, with Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and the off-screen presence of The Right Stuff star Ed Harris, has been a consistent crowd pleaser since it opened. Even film critics have unanimously given the movie high marks and audiences are still flocking in to see it. While not making the sort of money associated with bona fide blockbusters like Fast & Furious 6, Marvel’s Avengers, or Iron Man 3, the film is doing very well for this time of year.
Captain Phillips has benefited from the presence of “the most trusted man in America” Tom Hanks, and some first time actors who play the Somali pirates have caught plenty of attention from critics for their excellent work in the film. The story of the captain kidnapped by Somali pirates is true, but, behind the scenes there have been cries of foul from the real sailors who served with Phillips during the actual incident. Whether that has had any bearing on the opening ticket sales is not known. It could, however, have been a factor.
The biggest surprise comes from the Carrie remake coming close third. Starring Kick Ass‘ (1 and 2) Chloe Grace Moretz as the film’s main protagonist Carrie White and Joanne Moore as White’s mother, this remake has been eagerly anticipated by fans of the original. The 1976 original landed Oscar nominations for the original cast of Sissy Spacek, as Carrie White, and Piper Laurie, as Mrs. White. Initial reviews from critics have not been overly enthusiastic about director Kimberly Peirce’s reimagining of the De Palma classic.
Gravity, with its “word of mouth” promotion and its stunning special effects, has pulled down not only Carrie and Captain Phillips, but has halted other films from getting a big share of the ticket sales. The IMAX ticket sales made up a whopping $38 million of the gross sales for the outer space thriller. According to Warner Brothers executive vice president for domestic distribution Jeffrey Goldstein, Gravity‘s winning combination of 3D FX and audience’s passing on their excitement from seeing the film has culminated in the film ruling the box office for the third weekend running.
Sadly, the Stephen King horror film Carrie has not lived up to studio expectations in terms of ticket sales. The website Box Office Mojo reported that the studios had predicted an opening weekend ticket sale figure of $22 million which the film failed to achieve. Despite this, Sony Pictures are still said to be happy with the film’s opening figures as they felt it performed inside “the realm of expectation.”
The studio has good reason to still have confidence in their film. 2013 has been the year of the horror film with just the Warner Brothers film The Conjuring pulling in $137,3 million in domestic ticket sales alone. While other horror films, including the follow up James Wan film Insidious Chapter 2 pulling in very respectable ticket sales.
Fourth place went to another follow up film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, after grossing $10.1 million nudging Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Escape Plan to fifth place with an opening weekend figure of $9.8 million. The prison escape escapade did not set many hearts racing over the weekend and it shows in the ticket sales.
Sixth place went to Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal’s crime thriller Prisoners; seventh place went to the final film of James Gandolfini Enough Said, which also stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The thriller The Fifth Estate, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, who panned the film, came in eighth place. Not surprising when considering that Assange called the movie a “snoozefest.”
Gravity, a Warner Brothers film, tells the story of two astronauts who are separated from each other in space and who must save themselves before their oxygen runs out, has pull down Carrie, Captain Phillips, and all the other competing films over the weekend. Captain Phillips, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Carrie were all Sony Corp films; Walt Disney’s Touchstone films released The Fifth Estate and Lionsgate released Escape Plan.
By Michael Smith