For the third straight week, the space-thriller "Gravity" — starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock — took the top spot at the weekend box office. Tom Hanks' "Captain Phillips," a drama based on Somali pirates hostage-taking from several years ago, came in 2nd for the second consecutive week.
The Associate Presss reports that the two blockbusters far outshined this weekend's new releases:
The two movies and their veteran stars were able to keep three new wide releases at bay: the horror remake "Carrie" ($17 million for Sony and MGM), the Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick "Escape Plan" ($9.8 million for Lionsgate), and the WikiLeaks drama "The Fifth Estate."
The last utterly flopped — a fate predicted by its subject, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — taking in a paltry $1.7 million for Disney. It's the worst debut this year for a film in such wide release (1,769 theaters).
The Hollywood Reporter says the release of "The Fifth Estate" might have come when global interest in the WikiLeaks saga has begun to wane:
Insiders close to the project concede that Americans appear to have little interest in WikiLeaks or its founder. However, Fifth Estate is likewise struggling overseas, where it has only taken in $1.6 million so far.
Director Kimberly Pierce's remake of "Carrie," based on a book by Stephen King and an earlier film by Brian De Palma. A senior media analyst for Rentrak, which keeps track of the box office totals, suggested to the AP that a "competitive marketplace" was to blame. The Hollywood Reporter points out that the film did well with young women. It's audience was made up of 54 percent women, and 56 percent under 25 years old, according to Rentrak.
Sony saw some silver lining in the release in their interview with the Reporter:
"It's not a bad place to be," said Sony president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer. "In regards to Carrie, it opened within our expectations, although maybe on the lower end. Overall, the picture was made very reasonably and it will be success for us."
The Stallone- Schwarzenegger action flick "Escape Plan" fared far worse, bringing in $9.8 million and "marking another blow for Schwarzenegger's campaign to resurrect his acting career," in the Reporter's words.
Here's Rentrak's listing of this week's box office sales:
1. "Gravity," $30 million.
2. "Captain Phillips," $17.3 million, ($9.1 million international).
3. "Carrie," $17 million.
4. "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," $10.1 million.
5. "Escape Plan," $9.8 million.
6. "Prisoners," $2.1 million.
7. "Enough Said," $1.8 million.
8. "Fifth Estate," $1.7 million.
9. "Runner Runner," $1.6 million.
10. "Insidious Chapter 2," $1.5 million.