Expected to earn roughly $45-50 million based on its Friday bow, critically-acclaimed “Gravity” accelerated its pace for a whopping $55.6 million weekend debut.
Far stronger than anticipated, the dominant total befits the film’s rave reviews and resonant marketing. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, its pair of A-list stars, certainly did not adversely affect the film’s appeal.
And if word-of-mouth is tantamount to a long shelf life in this day and age, “Gravity”‘s A- CinemaScore suggests it has a strong chance of showing off those legs.
Down 37% from last week’s chart-leading bow, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2″ claimed second place with $21.5 million.
Distantly behind was critically-panned new release “Runner Runner.” That one, highlighted by a pairing between Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, flopped with an abysmal $7.6 million in receipts. Holdovers “Prisoners” ($5.7 million) and “Rush” ($4.4 million) completed the top five.
On the semi-wide front, new release “Pulling Strings” earned $2.5 million from 387 screens for a ninth-place finish.