THR is reporting that “Gravity” sets October Record With $55.8 Million Debut.
Once again proving the power of older moviegoers, Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D space epic Gravity debuted to a record-breaking $55.8 million in North America, the top October opening of all-time and the best three-day showing for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Overseas, Gravity also won the weekend with a solid $28.4 million from 27 markets for a worldwide total of $84.2 million.
Gravity’s launch caps a substantial production and marketing effort by Warner Bros. and years of work on Cuaron’s part. The $100 million movie — doing huge business in 3D cinemas ($44 million) — appears destined to be a player in this year’s awards race, based on critical reaction and box-office returns.
Running only 90 minutes, Gravity received an A- CinemaScore and skewed male (54 percent). Adults over the age of 25 made up more than 82 percent of the audience, while nearly 60 percent was over the age of 35. This was evidenced by a sizeable 31 percent jump Saturday, when more adults become available.
“In two days, this movie has become a cultural phenomenon. People who haven’t gone to the movies in years, or who only see one or two movies a year, are going to see Gravity,” explains Warners domestic distribution president Dan Fellman. At the same time, he says, the film has already begun to play younger.
Gravity revolves around two astronauts left floating in space after their space shuttle is damaged (Bullock has a far bigger role). Producers include David Heyman, who played a key role in Warners’ Harry Potter franchise. Heyman and Cuaron, who directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, brought the project to Warners after Universal put it into turnaround.
All told, 80 percent of Gravity’s opening-weekend revenue came from 3D screens. It’s a needed boost, considering the dramatic decline in 3D attendance. It’s one of the highest 3D splits ever. (Avatar’s 3D share on opening weekend was 72 percent, while Life of Pi’s was 68 percent.) Internationally, the 3D share was 70 percent.
Imax theaters generated a hearty $11.2 million in North America, or 20 percent of the total take, representing the top October showing of all-time for the large-format cinema chain, as well as the No. 9 opening of all-time.
Paranormal Activity 3 was the previous record holder for a top October opening ($52.6 million), followed by Jackass 3-D ($50.4 million), Taken 2 ($49.5 million) and Scary Movie 3 ($48.1 million). Bullock’s previous best was The Heat ($39.1 million); Clooney’s record was Batman & Robin ($42.9 million).
Internationally, Russia — a booming market for 3D — led with $8.1 million. In Europe, Gravity did solid business in Germany ($3.8 million), Italy ($2.6 million) and Spain ($2.3 million). The movie has yet to open in a raft of key markets, including the U.K., France, Brazil, Mexico and Japan.
Imax’s foreign take was $3.2 million for a global total of $14.4 million.