LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock’s power and added 3-D premium concerted to help “Gravity” shot to the top of North America box office chart, while the weekend’s another wide release “Runner, Runner” finished in the third place with a much smaller take.
The 3-D sci-fi drama, which stars Bullock as a NASA astronaut opposite George Clooney, is projected to take in 55.6 million U.S. dollars worth of tickets from Friday to Sunday, replacing last week’s No. 1 film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.”
This performance represented the highest unadjusted debut for a film released in October, which was formerly held by 2011’s ” Paranormal Activity 3″ with 52.6 million dollars. It also is the largest unadjusted three-day opening ever for both Bullock and Clooney.
IMAX and 3-D screenings contributed to the better-than- anticipated opening. IMAX grosses accounted for 20.2 percent of the overall gross, while 3-D receipts made up about 80 percent of the take.
The thriller, made with nearly 100 million dollars, was helmed by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, an Oscar nominee whose other directorial projects included “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” in 2004.
The film earned an “A-” CinemaScore from first-night moviegoers and won over 98 percent of critics, according to reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
The Warner Bros. release, hitting 3,575 theaters in the United States and Canada, appealed to mostly male audience which made up 54 percent, and 59 percent of those was 35 years and older.
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” a Sony 3-D animated film placed at No. 2 with a 21.5 million dollar weekend. It is on track for a 60.6 million dollar gross over two weeks.
“Runner, Runner” opened in the third place with a disappointing estimated 7.6 million dollar haul. The R-rated crime thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck failed to win over audiences and critics, as it only received a “C” rating on CinemaScore, and an 8 percent positive rating from Rotten Tomatoes. The 20th Century Fox distributed movie, showing at 3,026 theaters, was made with a 30 million dollar budget.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films this weekend in North America, as estimated by studios, were “Prisoners” (5.7 million dollars), “Rush” (4.4 million), “Don Jon” (4.1 million), “Baggage Claim” (4.1 million), “Insidious: Chapter 2″ (3.9 million), ” Pulling Strings” (debuting at 2.5 million), and “Enough Said” (2.2 million).