As expected, Warner Bros.' Gravity will maintain its hold on first place for a third consecutive weekend--the first* film to pull such a feat in 2013, and the first since WB's own The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey won the final three weekends of 2012. The space drama added $9.07 million to its haul on Friday, off just 28 percent week-to-week and giving it a 15-day domestic haul of $148.61 million. The flick is now running 28.6 percent ahead of The Blind Side's pace, and 14.6 percent behind Inception. Look for Gravity to net around $31 million this weekend.
Sony reports an estimated $6.6 million opening day for their Carrie remake, a respectable figure but far short of a breakout. By comparison, the studio's Evil Dead remake bowed to an $11.9 million first day earlier this year. The built-in appeal of Carrie as well as rising star Chloë Grace Moretz and veteran actress Julianne Moore helped bring out horror fans. Word of mouth appears underwhelming with a Flixster score of 67 percent (so far), although its "B-" CinemaScore ("B+" for audiences over the age of 25, as Sony notes) isn't too bad for the horror genre. Carrie was hoping to take advantage of being the lone new horror release this October as this year marks the first since 2003 that a Saw or Paranormal Activity film won't be around to dominate Halloween/horror fans. Nevertheless, market competition proved to be too much. Look for Carrie to grab $17 million this weekend.
Sony reports that Captain Phillips eased 39.3 percent from its opening day to $5.15 million on Friday. Strong reviews and audience buzz for Tom Hanks' likely-to-be-nominated role are propelling the true story thriller even in the wake of Gravity's enormous success. Phillips' 8-day haul stands at $41.18 million domestically--just 5.7 percent behind the pace of 2006's The Departed, which, as Phillips did, also opened on the weekend before Columbus Day. Captain Phillips is projected to total a strong $17.2 million for its sophomore frame.
Despite their success in the The Expendables films, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone weren't able to turn Escape Plan into a hit. The team-up flick brought in $3.36 million yesterday and is headed for a $9.5 million debut weekend. That tops the $6.3 million and $4.55 million opening weekends, respectively, of Arnold's The Last Stand and Sly's Bullet to the Head earlier this year, but unfortunately, still leaves Escape Plan in flop territory. With a 71 percent Flixster score (and dropping) at the time of writing, audience reception doesn't appear to be very positive.
The Fifth Estate is also heading toward a disappointing weekend. The WikiLeaks movie bagged $0.587 million yesterday, putting it on course for a $1.7 million weekend. Those figures are very similar to the $1.4 million first day and $4.1 million opening weekend of Rendition on the same weekend back in 2007, another government-related conspiracy thriller that failed to leverage its moderate star power (though it arguably had a bit more than Estate). Word-of-mouth is tanking early with a disastrous 48 percent Flixster score.
Meanwhile, Fox's 12 Years a Slave saw a limited debut in 19 theaters and rang up $274,691 yesterday. Director Steve McQueen's period drama has been getting rave reviews from critics since its festival debut last month and is considered one of the early Oscar frontrunners. The film has earned a 96 percent score from 106 critics on Rotten Tomatoes thus far, as well as a strong 93 percent score from Flixster users. The brutal nature of the film's depiction of slavery could be a deterrent for mass consumption by an audience when the November 1 wide release arrives, but time will tell. For now, 12 Years is off to a solid start and should bank approximately $0.95 million this weekend.
* = Lee Daniels' The Butler won the 4-day Labor Day weekend after placing first in its first two weekends, however, it did not win the standard 3-day weekend ahead of the holiday.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris