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Gravity tops box office for 3rd week

2013-10-21 08:29
New York - Star power and Oscar aspirations are reigning at the box office, where the space adventure Gravity and the Somali pirate docudrama Captain Phillips are holding off all comers.

With $31m over the weekend according to studio estimates on Sunday, Gravity topped the box office for the third straight week, cementing its status as the juggernaut of the fall movie-going season.

The 3D Warner Bros movie, staring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, has now made more than $170m in three weeks. The film's groundbreaking visuals have been particularly popular on IMAX screens, where it made an Avatar-like $7.4m on the weekend.

Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass, also held in second place, taking in $17.3m in its second week. The Sony film slid only 33% from its debut last weekend of $25.7m.

Worst debut this year

The two movies and their veteran stars were able to keep three new wide releases at bay: the horror remake Carrie ($17m for Sony and MGM), the Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger action film Escape Plan ($9.8m 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 $1.7m for Disney. It's the worst debut this year for a film in such wide release (1,769 theatres).

"It's a very strong lineup that is not budging," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak, who noted the primary family choice, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, is also holding steady with $10.1m in its fourth week. "Carrie came into a very competitive marketplace."

In a limited release of just 19 theatres, Steve McQueen's highly-anticipated slavery epic 12 Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, opened with $960 000. The exceptionally high theatre average of $50 000 suggested considerable audience eagerness for the already much-lauded film.

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