(AFP) Space disaster movie “Gravity” continued its meteoric path at the top of North America’s box office in its second weekend, earning $44.3 million, industry estimates showed Sunday.
The film, directed by Oscar-nominated Alfonso Cuaron and starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney — both Oscar winners — as astronauts adrift in space after a devastating accident, has already been winning rave reviews and Oscars buzz.
The film’s debut earnings of $55.8 million were the biggest ever for a film released in October, traditionally a slow month for the box office, according to the IMDb movie industry website.
It remained leaps and bounds ahead of the second place finisher, new release “Captain Phillips.”
The film, based on a true story, stars Tom Hanks as a cargo ship captain captured by Somali pirates, earned $26 million, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.
Dropping to third place in its third week, animated sequel “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” took in $14.2 million.
Another new release opened in the fourth slot: action flick “Machete Kills,” starring Danny Trejo as a US government recruit battling through Mexico to stop a plot to launch a weapon into space. It took in $3.8 million in ticket sales.
Not far behind in fifth place was crime drama “Runner Runner,” starring Justin Timberlake as a Princeton grad student who travels to Costa Rica to confront a tycoon, played by Ben Affleck, he believes has taken him for a ride on an online poker site. The film earned just over $3.7 million.
And just a hair behind in sixth place was crime thriller “Prisoners.” The film, starring Hugh Jackman as a desperate parent in search of his child and Jake Gyllenhaal as the detective in charge of the investigation, pulled in just under $3.7 million.
Horror sequel “Insidious: Chapter 2” rose one position to seventh place with $2.7 million. The film, starring Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson as a haunted husband and wife, is a follow-up to the successful 2010 horror flick “Insidious.”
In eight place, Formula One motorsport drama “Rush,” Ron Howard’s acclaimed account of the famous duel for the 1976 world championship between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, earned $2.4 million.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s raunchy comedy-drama “Don Jon,” written and directed by “The Dark Knight Rises” actor, took ninth with $2.3 million in receipts.
The film sees Gordon-Levitt play a porn addict who seeks to change his ways in order to win the woman of his dreams played by Scarlett Johansson.
And rounding out the top ten was “Baggage Claim,” a romantic comedy about a lovelorn flight attendant who traverses America looking for Mr Right. The film took in $2.1 million.