Displaying remarkable staying power at the box office, Warner Bros.' "Gravity" is poised to win its third consecutive weekend, tracking at north of $30 million. The 3D space odyssey should easily eclipse Sony-Screen Gems' horror entry "Carrie," which observers predict will land in the low $20 millions.
So far, "Gravity" has amassed $215.3 million worldwide, with $136 million from North America. Warner launches the film this weekend in Mexico and South Korea.
Hoping to show similar resiliency with domestic auds, Sony's "Captain Phillips" enters its sophomore outing and is expected to gross somewhere in the high teens. That means the Tom Hanks starrer, which scored an 'A' CinemaScore last weekend, would have a drop of approximately 25%. Pic scored a better-than-expected $25 million Stateside debut, with $34 million through Wednesday.
The recent glut of adult-targeted fare, including "Gravity" and "Captain Phillips," means Disney-DreamWorks' WikiLeaks drama "The Fifth Estate," starring Benedict Cumberbatch, looks like it will get lost in the crowd. Mid-week tracking suggests the film will gross a meager $4 million-$6 million from 1,769 locations.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight launches Brit helmer's Steve McQueen slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" at 19 domestic engagements. The film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, has been building solid buzz playing the festival circuit. Some auds may be turned off by the film's graphic nature, however.
Another festival film bowing this weekend is Roadside Attractions' marooned-at-sea action-drama "All Is Lost," starring Robert Redford. The film, from writer-director J.C. Chandor, opens at six theaters.
Adult-targeted films are more review-dependent than other titles, and while "Gravity," "Captain Phillips," "All is Lost" and "12 Years a Slave" all stand at more than 94% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, "The Fifth Estate" is at just 37%.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate-Summit's Sylvester Stallone-Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner "Escape Plan" also is expected to land in single digits, though closer to $8 million domestically. Lionsgate bows the pic at 2,880 North American playdates.
Despite "Gravity" overperforming, domestic box office has been struggled to keep pace with last year over the past few weekends. The tide should turn this weekend, however.
This time last year, Paramount launched "Paranormal Activity 4" to a so-so $29 million; the only other wide release was Summit's "Alex Cross," which grossed just north of $11 million in three days.
"Carrie" has the best opportunity to overperform, especially considering several horror films have outdone tracking predictions this year. Sony is trying to manage expectations, citing predictions for the remake in the $18 million-$20 million range.
The weekend before Halloween typically sees at least one horror release as the holiday itself is exceptionally sluggish at the movies. This year, however, Halloween falls on a Thursday, which affect box office next weekend quite as much.
For "Gravity," Warner says younger auds are starting to boost ticket sales, while adults uncharacteristically are turning out for premium shows in 3D and Imax. The pic's stellar word-of-mouth and reviews helped it nab the best soph-sesh hold (during a non-holiday weekend) for a film that opened to north of $55 million.
The only other film this year to score three consecutive weekends at No. 1 was "Lee Daniels' The Butler," though the pic's third frame was Labor Day weekend, in which "One Direction: This is Us" won the three-day set. Ultimately, "The Butler" triumphed in four days.
Film (Distributor): Locations
- Carrie (Sony): 3,157
- Escape Plan (Lionsgate): 2,883
- The Fifth Estate (Disney): 1,769
- 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight): 19
- All Is Lost (Roadside Attractions): 6
- Kill Your Darlings* (Sony Classics): 4
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