Warner Bros.’ (NYSE:TWX) Gravity is not letting up just yet as the Alfonso Cuaron-helmed space thriller led the box office for the third straight weekend, collecting an impressive $31 million at the box office. But while Gravity‘s box office performance landed neatly within projections leading into the weekend, other projections proved inaccurate, including an underperforming wide release and a slightly over-performing Oscar hopeful in its second week. Here’s a look at the weekend box office’s biggest stories.
1. Gravity (Warner Bros.) — $31 Million
Despite a slew of new openings, including several limited release films primed for Oscar success, Warner Bros.’ Gravity has continued its impressive run at the box office amid near universal acclaim and incredible word of mouth. With Gravity’s star Sandra Bullock already garnering strong awards buzz for her performance and director Cuaron impressing audiences and filmmakers alike, the film was able to gross $31 million to be the first since Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in December 2012, to lead the box office for three straight weeks.
In an emailed statement to Bloomberg on Sunday, researcher Rentrak Corp. wrote that Gravity has taken in $170.6 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters since its October 4 release. “It’s a direct reflection of good word of mouth,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “It doesn’t matter what the competition is. It steamrolls along.”
Once considered a risky undertaking given the studio’s increased reliance on tentpoles and established properties, the $100 million Gravity has now lifted Warner Bros. to the number one spot in domestic sales this year — and helped along by the studio’s dark drama Prisoners, Warner Bros. has held first place at the box office in four the past five weekends.
Additionally, Gravity has already made $114 million overseas and is still looking forward to expansion into various strong territories, including China where it was recently accepted for distribution. China, now the second largest market for films, is expected to boost Gravity’s international sales immensely while strong word of mouth continues to drive the film’s success in North America.