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Gravity

We knew it’d be good. We just didn’t know it would smash box office records. Warner Bros.’ 3D space thriller “Gravity” landed an estimated $55.6 million, of which IMAX contributed $11.2 million domestically. Both totals were records for October.

Internationally, “Gravity” estimated $27.4 million from 27 markets, including Russia, which led with $8.1 million, followed by Germany and Australia, each contributing upwards of $3 million.

Previously, “Paranormal Activity 3” held the October record with $52.6 million in 2011. The weekend’s other wide release, Fox’s Ben Affleck-Justin Timberlake action flick “Runner Runner,” grossed a meager $7.6 million at the U.S. box office. The studio launched the film last weekend internationally; the worldwide total to date is $31.2 million.

Interestingly, I think the release date for “Gravity” is playing into the high numbers (along with the fact that it’s an excellent film). If it had been released earlier in summer with big-budget blockbusters to compete with, I wonder if the numbers would have been as strong. This time of year has moviegoers yearning for a solid movie to go see, and “Gravity” fills that bill nicely.

The film’s debut is a major coup for the studio’s marketing and distribution teams, and it’s also the largest domestic opening for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, as well as the second-largest for Cuaron, behind “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

“October is strong, but not a lot of people have taken a shot at it,” said Warner domestic distribution helm Dan Fellman. “To jump out at 80 percent in 3D opening weekend is phenomenal.” Which makes you wonder what we’ll be seeing NEXT October.

The Imax portion — which was 20 percent, the largest percentage for the company with a $50 million-plus opener — contributed greatly to the 3D share, especially at the newly renovated TCL Chinese theater in Hollywood — now the largest Imax theater in the world.

“A lot of people who grew up going to see Imax space documentaries like ‘Space Station’ and ‘Hubble 3D’ made the connection to see this film also in Imax,” said Greg Foster, chairman and president of Imax Entertainment. “This is proof that quality and commercial success can co-exist when made and crafted in the right way.”

Meanwhile, Sony’s week-early sneak of “Captain Phillips” saw enthusiastic responses capacity at approximately 800 locations (unfortunately, not in Traverse City). Sell-outs included not only New York’s Lincoln Square, but also places like Plano, Texas, Minneapolis and Vancouver.

Fox Searchlight’s Nicole Holofcener-directed dramedy “Enough Said” landed in the top ten for the first time, estimating $2.2 million from only 437 locations. The film, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini, now totals $5.4 million. Fox Searchlight plans to expand the pic next weekend to roughly 650 locations.

Domestic Box Office:

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Gravity (1): $55.6; 3,575; $15,538; $55.6; –
  2. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2): $21.5; 4,001; $5,374; $60.6; -37%
  3. Runner Runner (1): $7.6; 3,026; $2,512; $7.6; –
  4. Prisoners (3): $5.7; 3,236; $1,761; $47.9; -48%
  5. Rush (3): $4.4; 2,308; $1,910; $18.1; -56%
  6. Don Jon (2): $4.2; 2,422; $1,718; $16.1; -52%
  7. Baggage Claim (2): $4.1; 2,030; $2,032; $15.2; -54%
  8. Insidious Chapter 2 (4): $3.9; 2,607; $1,487; $74.7; -41%
  9. Pulling Strings (1): $2.5; 387; $6,460; $2.5; –
  10. Enough Said (3): $2.2; 437; $4,920; $5.4; +2%

Overseas Box Office: 

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. Gravity (1): $27.4; 27; 4,763; $27.4; $83.0; –
  2. Turbo (12): $9.6; 15; 3,946; $112.8; $194.8; +75%
  3. Insidious Chapter 2 (3): $8.7; 29; 1,725; $15.5; $90.2; +123%
  4. Cloudy With … Meatballs 2 (2): $8.1; 15; 2,575; $11.2; $71.8; +999%
  5. Runner Runner (2): $7.6; 52; 4,380; $23.6; $31.2; -32%

*in millions of $

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