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Gravity Reaches for the Stars, Sets A New Box Office Record
by Rebecca Pahle | 2:00 pm, October 7th, 2013
Remember how Pacific Rim, one of this summer’s few original studio films, was beaten by Grown-Ups 2 on opening weekend? Even though Pacific Rim proceeded to make a lot of money, particularly in China, that stain upon the American moviegoer remained: Given the choice between Pacific Rim and Grown-Ups 2, more people elected to see a past-his-prime Adam Sandler take whatever goodwill he had left from Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer and vomit all over it.
The opposite happened with Gravity. Faith (partially) restored.
The critically loved Alfonso Cuarón space flick (read Zoe’s review here) made $55.6 million over the weekend, giving it the highest October opening ever. It’s also the biggest opening in the careers of stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Off in his mansion Clooney finds himself unable to hold back relieved sobs as that honor finally, finally belongs to a film that’s not Batman & Robin.
A major factor in Gravity‘s box office triumph is 3D: Eighty percent of the film’s gross came from its 3D screenings, while the number is usually between thirty and fifty percent. Those 3D surcharges sure do pile up, don’t they? An extra five dollars here, three dollars there, and several million people later, bam: You have the highest-ever October opening. That said, Gravity still pulled in over ten million more than the rest of this weekend’s top five combined, so even without the 3D surcharges factored in a heck of a lot of people went to see it.
The general buzz is that the 3D in Gravity is absolutely amazing. I, for one, was going to see the film in IMAX 3D last night, but the screening was sold out, and I elected to wait until a weekday instead of settling for seeing what’s suppose to be the less-technically-amazing version. As frustrated as I was to be delayed in seeing it, I’m over the moon (pun intended) that so many people are flocking to see an original sci-fi film.