Weekend Wrap-Up

Gravity Remains Aloft as Captain Phillips Set Sail

By John Hamann

October 13, 2013

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For Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips is exactly what the star needed. Hanks hasn’t been seen in a live action original hit since 2006 in The Da Vinci Code ($77 million opening), and that was mostly on the strength of Dan Brown’s book. So we really have to go back to 2002’s Catch Me If You Can ($30 million opening) for Hanks’ last big original hit. Hanks did succeed in Charlie Wilson’s War ($9.7 million opening, $67 million domestic finish) in terms of opening-to-total multipliers, but that is explained by a December 21st release date. The Terminal also saw decent legs, opening to $19 million and earning $78 million domestically. Those are the kind of legs that Sony will be looking for here, and the Paul Greengrass flick could improve on it. Captain Phillips is 95% fresh at RottenTomatoes, with only eight critics overall not liking it (out of 156). It did even better than Gravity when it comes to Cinemascore, as Captain Phillips earned an A, where Gravity earned an A-. Captain Phillips cost Sony a muted $55 million to bring to the screen, and given that like Gravity, Captain Phillips is going to be a worldwide hit and a big financial win for the studio.

Finishing third is Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2, which is now in its third weekend. After a solid second frame where it earned $21 million and dropped 38% from its opening, the animated sequel held decently this weekend, pulling in $14.2 million and falling 32%. So far, the animated sequel has earned $78 million, which is exactly even with its budget. It's lagging just a bit behind the original film, as it had tallied $81.5 million after its third weekend, but had a larger, $100 million budget to contend with. Cloudy 2 is just getting started overseas as well, where it has pulled in more than $11 million from only a handful of smaller countries.

Machete Kills, the completely forgotten other opener, finishes fourth, but the ranking is not good news. The Robert Rodriguez film flopped, earning only $3.8 million from 2,538 theaters. The film, which features the likes of Danny Trejo, Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson, is a follow-up to the small 20th Century Fox hit that opened to $11.4 million and carried a $10.5 million budget. Obviously, lightning was not caught in the bottle twice, and unfortunately, Open Road Films will take the hit, as this one cost $20 million to produce.

Fifth is Runner Runner, which also takes a football to the groin. The Ben Affleck/Justin Timberlake flop only got worse this weekend, as after opening to only $7.7 million last weekend, Runner Runner earned only $3.7 million this frame, falling 52%. Had the films outside of the top three been strong this weekend, Runner Runner would have ended up much further down the list, but will have to be happy with a gross so far of $14.1 million against a budget of $30 million.

Sixth goes to Prisoners, the four-weekend-old thriller with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaall. Prisoners earned $3.7 million and dropped 36% from its fourth place finish last weekend. The Warner Bros. release has now managed to earn more than its production budget stateside, as it cost $46 million to make, and has a gross so far of $53.6 million. It has also pulled in almost $15 million overseas.


FilmDistrict's Insidious Chapter 2 finishes in seventh. The Jason Blum horror flick earned $2.7 million in its fifth weekend and declined 32%. Chapter 2 has now earned $78.4 million, and pulled ahead of some of its horror brethren like The Purge ($64.5 million) and Mama ($71.6 million). It’s also about 25% better than the original Insidious, which took in $54 million. This one cost $5 million, and has a worldwide gross beyond $100 million.

Eighth is Universal’s Rush, and the studio has to be crying after seeing returns for Gravity and Captain Phillips. After opening to only $10 million, Rush grossed only $4.5 million last weekend. This weekend, it falls another 47% to $2.4 million. Despite the domestic gross of only $22.2 million so far, the good news for Rush is that it cost only $38 million to make, and has an overseas take beyond $30 million so far.

Don Jon, the odd little film from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, finishes in ninth place. The comedy pulled in another $2.3 million but fell 44% from last weekend’s take. The $6 million film has now earned $20.1 million, but Relativity committed to a $20 million plus marketing campaign when they picked it up, so they will still be looking at a loss.

Finally in tenth is Baggage Claim, the rom-com featuring Paula Patton. It earned $2.1 million, down 49%, bringing its overall domestic tally to $18.3 million.

Overall, the box office continues to lag behind last year despite being so strong with the top three films. A year ago, Taken 2 remained on top even with the debuts of Argo and Sinister. Last year, the top 12 had five new films and earned a combined $120.7 million. This weekend, the top 12 earned $108.2 million. Next weekend brings Carrie, 2013’s lone Halloween release, as well as Escape Plan with Stallone and Schwarzenegger and The Fifth Estate, about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Top Weekend Box Office for 10/11/13-10/13/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Gravity WARNER BROS. $44,265,000 - 21% $123,400,000
2 Captain Phillips SONY $26,000,000 New $26,000,000
3 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 SONY $14,200,000 - 32% $78,037,000
4 Machete Kills Open Road $3,797,000 New $3,797,000
5 Runner Runner Fox $3,725,000 - 52% $14,114,000
6 Prisoners Warner Bros. Pictures $3,665,000 - 36% $53,620,000
7 Insidious: Chapter 2 Filmdistrict $2,650,000 - 32% $78,447,017
8 Rush UNIVERSAL $2,364,300 - 47% $22,201,569
9 Don Jon Relativity $2,340,000 - 44% $20,141,150
10 Baggage Claim FOX SEARCHLIGHT $2,075,000 - 49% $18,272,500
11 Enough Said FOX SEARCHLIGHT $1,935,000 - 12% $8,186,600
12 Pulling Strings Lionsgate/Pantelion $1,150,000 - 53% $4,124,468
  Also Opening/Notables
  Romeo And Juliet Relativity $509,000 New $509,000
  The Inevitable Defeat of Mister And Pete Lionsgate $260,000 New $260,000
  Escape From Tomorrow Pda $66,112 New $66,112
  Ghost Team One The Film Arcade $8,458 New $8,458
  God Loves Uganda Variance Films $7,300 New $7,300
  Broadway Idiot Filmbuff $6,496 New $6,496
  Grace Unplugged Roadside Attractions $525,000 - 47% $1,750,000
  Parkland Exclusive Media $85,000 - 73% $520,000
  Linsanity Ketchup Entertainment $51,500 - 48% $184,444
  A.c.o.d. The Film Arcade $36,000 + 89% $62,505
  Metallica: Through the Never Picturehouse $230,000 - 66% $3,190,000
  Instructions Not Included Lionsgate $1,000,000 - 46% $42,674,488
  Lee Daniels' the Butler Weinstein Co. $628,000 - 49% $113,548,771
  We're the Millers New Line Cinema $1,127,000 - 30% $146,551,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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