Hijacking the box office crown from “Captain Phillips,” Warner Bros.’ 3D space phenom “Gravity” is expected to land in the $30 million range this weekend, beating Sony’s adult-targeted wide release, which should land somewhere in the low-$20 millions through Sunday.
“Gravity,” which crossed $100 million worldwide in less than a week, should see a lower-than-normal soph-sesh drop domestically, down 45% or less.
Last weekend, “Gravity” scored the biggest Stateside debut in October, with $55.8 million. The film’s opening was driven largely by 3D ticket sales, including Imax, which accounted for a whopping 21% of the gross with less than 10% of the screens. “Gravity” should see plenty of repeat business as auds go back to catch the premium formats.
While “Gravity” scored a record debut last weekend, the frame still was down from this time last year, meaning there’s still room in the marketplace. That’s good news for the over-25-skewing “Captain Phillips,” especially since “Gravity” is broadening to younger auds.
Also bowing wide this weekend is Open Road’s “Machete Kills,” which observers expect to gross between $8 million and $10 million. Open Road acquired Robert Rodriguez’s sequel for $2 million from Aldamisa Entertainment.
Though theatrical business looks soft for “Machete Kills,” the film, starring Danny Trejo, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Lady Gaga and Michele Rodriguez, should have a strong life in ancillaries. The first film, which grossed just $26 million at the domestic box office via Fox, nearly doubled that in the downstream.
“Captain Phillips,” meanwhile, should have strong legs consistent with other awards-bait films playing this time of year. The film, toplining Tom Hanks as the real-life Capt. Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by Somali pirates, cost $55 million to produce. Sony successfully sneaked the film last weekend, selling out screenings in smaller markets like Vancouver and Plano, Texas.
The lawsuit filed by the real-life crew of the hijacked ship Maersk Alabama, claiming the captain purposely put his men in jeopardy, could actually spark interest in “Captain Phillips” this weekend. A similar occurrence happened last year with the controversy surrounding Sony’s “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Playability for “Captain Phillips” will hinge mostly on word-of-mouth; the film has received strong reviews so far.
In limited release, Relativity Media launches the “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes-penned “Romeo and Juliet” at 461 locations. The adaptation stars Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth as the doomed star-crossed lovers. Release is a rent-a-system deal for Relativity.
Lionsgate’s African American-targeted “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” starring Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks, bows at 146 theaters, while surreal drama “Escape From Tomorrow,” which has drawn attention for its guerrilla-style Disneyland shoot, launches at 30 locations via Producers Distribution Agency.
Film (Distributor): Locations
- Captain Phillips (Sony): 3,020
- Machete Kills (Open Road): 2,538
- Romeo and Juliet (Relativity Media): 461
- The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete (Lionsgate): 146
- Escape From Tomorrow (PDA): 30
- Enough Said (Fox Searchlight): 437-606