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Box Office: ‘Gravity’ Ascending to Near-$50 Million Bow

'Runner Runner' tanking with $8 million expected for weekend

With $17.5 million from Friday, Warner Bros.’ “Gravity” has become untethered to its $40 million pre-weekend prediction and is exploring new heights. The thriller is now expected to earn about $47 million in three days.

Though not out of this world, it’s a very strong showing for a post-summer actioner. Current expectations put “Gravity” within the top five October openings on record (“Paranormal Activity 3” is the champ with $52.6 million), and there is good reason to believe word of mouth will push the film to overperform even more.

Audience numbers for 2D versus 3D versus Imax viewership won’t be available until tomorrow morning, but pre-weekend sales suggest a record may be broken in the overall share of 3D ticket sales for the film. Also, “Gravity” should easily become both Sandra Bullock’s and George Clooney’s best openings of all time.

A strong showing for “Gravity” has all but eclipsed attention for Fox’s “Runner Runner” starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck. Pic earned $2.8 million Friday, with a soft $8 million now expected for the weekend. “Runner Runner” cost a reported $30 million to produce, and it’s looking like an embarrassing misstep for a pic with two high-profile stars.

Sandwiched between the two and counterprogramming the frame’s heavier fare, Sony’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” continues strong in its soph sesh with $4.7 million Friday and a weekend in the low $20 million range, down only about 38% from its opening.

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