Weekend Box Office Report: October 18-21 2013

BOX OFFICE REPORT "” October 18-21, 2013(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


1. Gravity ($31.0 million)2. Captain Phillips ($17.3 million)3. Carrie ($17.0 million)4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ($10.1 million)5. Escape Plan ($9.8 million)


Nothing can hold Gravity. Alfonso Cuarón's groundbreaking sci-fi remained on top, taking in a whopping $31 million in its third week. The film is already the 10th highest-grossing film of the year and shows no signs of slowing as it makes its way toward a slew of Oscar nominations.

Captain Phillips also held up well in its second weekend, earning $17.3 million. The Tom Hanks drama about the 2009 Somali hijacking of the Maersk Alabama continues to do well with older audiences, the ones who give a movie legs after the big opening weekend. The devastating thriller could easily stick around like last year's Argo, as it also heads toward an all-but-certain Best Picture nomination.

Carrie debuted decently for yet another horror remake, but it pales in comparison to James Wan's one-two punch of The Conjuring and Insidious: Chapter 2 or even this year's Texas Chainsaw 3D. Maybe Hollywood will invest in original horror instead of remaking everything from the '70s and '80s? Oh, who am I kidding? 

What they will stop doing is giving action films to Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Despite their fruitful collaborations in The Expendables films, the biggest action stars of the '80s are having a terrible 2013. Escape Plan opened with just $9.8 million, while their solo efforts "” Bullet to the Head and The Last Stand "” instantly flopped. Maybe it's time to hang it up.  

Outside the top 5: - This Weekend's Indie Champ: Unsurprisingly, it's the most buzzed about movie from the Toronto Film Festival, 12 Years a Slave. Steve McQueen's adaptation of Oliver Northrup's harrowing memoir opened with an impressive $50,526 on each of its 19 screens. 

- Maybe audiences just aren't interested in WikiLeaks anymore? The Fifth Estate, Bill Condon's biopic on Julian Assange, the website's founder, debuted with only $1.7 million. That would be fine if it only opened on a handful of screens. But debuting on more than 1,500 is kind of a disaster.

- All is Lost might be the name of Robert Redford's new solo seafaring adventure, but it's not for indie box-office prospects. The film opened with $16,233 on each of its six screens. 

Next week: The Counselor was supposed to be the big drama for grown-ups this year, but Gravity and Captain Phillips have shared that title. Plus, buzz hasn't been quite as good as you would expect with that cast, plus Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men) and Ridley Scott tied to it. I think $12 million is a respectable opening given tempered expectations. Sadly, that means the Jackass spinoff Bad Grandpa is poised to win the weekend with $20 to $25 million. That would be a drop for the franchise, but still a huge win for Paramount, who had to spend next to nothing on it.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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