Alfonso Cuarón's 3-D sci-fi drama "Gravity" shot to the top of the box-office charts on Friday with more than $17.5 million in ticket sales, according to estimates.
The story of two stranded astronauts starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, "Gravity" is one of the top-reviewed movies of the year with a 98% positive rating on the fim review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. To open his review, L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan wrote: "'Gravity' is out of this world."
Filled with head-spinning action depicting outer space action and weightlessness, the film is Cuarón's first since "Children of Men" from 2006. That film, despite critical raves and three Oscar nominations, took in only $35.6 million at the domestic box office. "Gravity" is expected to exceed that number in its opening weekend.
The weekend's other debut, the Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck-led "Runner Runner," opened with an estimated $2.7 million on Friday and is on track for third place. The story of a college student (played by Timberlake) who gets tangled with an online gambler (Affleck), the film has earned mostly negative reviews. Its 8% score on Rotten Tomatoes is among the season's lowest.
Tracking for second place for the weekend, the animated film "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" earned an estimated $4.7 million on Friday. Rounding out the top five, "Prisoners" earned an estimated $1.7 million and "Don Jon," written and directed by star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, earned $1.4 million.