As we foresaw – alongside a number of commentators – in our box office preview last Friday, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity topped the box office on the second October weekend, posting record figures along the way. We’ll come clean; the record-breaking part wasn’t under the spell of our clairvoyance.
The special effects in Gravity have been lauded
So Gravity managed $55.6m on its opening weekend, putting it on track to surpass its $100m production budget, and more than likely blow the marketing budget out of the water, too. A budget, which, when you consider how much we’ve seen of the film – not much – won’t have been astronomically high anyway.
A combination of intrigue – Gravity’s best marketing tool was not to give too much away in spoiler-filled trailer material – star power in George Clooney and Sandra Bullock and a critical response that has seen the film settle to a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes can all be held accountable for a breaking debut for Cuaron’s follow up to Children of Men.
Financial forecasts saw Gravity’s chances somewhere between the $40m-$50m mark, so $55.6 is certainly a triumph. And the record-breaking headlines are simply the cherry on top. Last year, Taken 2 – a mess of a sequel that proved to be a critical disaster – grabbed $49m, probably due to an existing an loyal fan base, who still chant the line: “I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Gravity
Elsewhere in the box office, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 hasn’t managed to live up to previous animated sequels, dropping from 1st place down to 2nd with $21.5m. Runner Runner debuted to a paltry box of $7.6m, proving even Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck couldn’t save the poor movie. Prisoners and Rush round off the top 5 with $5.7m and $4.4m respectively. Figures courtasy of Box Office Mojo.