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Whisper Numbers: Captain Phillips fights Gravity

After setting a new opening weekend record for October, the space-set thriller Gravity [GRVTY] has pull in strong summer-like weekday numbers. The phenomenal word of mouth has pegged the film as a must-see event in 3D, which accounted for 80% of the box office. The audience will broaden as Gravity attracts the less frequent moviegoers. Gravity could lose than 40% in its second weekend and remain in first place with about $35 million.

Tom Hanks [THANK] stars as the real-life Captain Phillips [CDUTY] of the cargo container ship Maersk Alabama that’ was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. The Sony film has the unenviable task of opening against a new box office juggernaut, though last year Argo managed to score $19.4 million against the second weekend of also massive Taken 2. Online ticket sales for Captain Phillips are currently ahead of Argo. Directed by Paul Greengrass [PGREE], the PG-13 rated film has earned rave reviews and award buzz since its festival premiere. Sailing into 3020 theaters, Captain Phillips could stow away $24 million.

Danny Trejo [DTREJ] is back in the R-rated action comedy sequel Machete Kills [MCHT2]. Although the first Machete opened to $11.4 million three years ago, the sequel is being distributed by Open Road rather than Fox. Writer-director Robert Rodriquez [RRODR] has loaded up more starpower with Sofia Vergara [SVERG], Lady Gaga, Mel Gibson [MGIBS], and Charlie Sheen [CSHEE], but the story and many of the stunts look like a rehash of the first film.  The novelty that began as a joke trailer in 2007’s Grindhouse has worn off, and the campy film looks to appeal only to the older male hardcore fans. Debuting in 2538 theaters, Machete Kills may cut through $9 million.

As the only family-friendly film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 [CWCM2] should once again hold around 35% to $14 million in its third weekend. With poor reviews and word of mouth, Runner Runner [RUNER] is likely to drop more than 50% in its second outing to $3.5 million.

Relativity is releasing the latest adaptation of Romeo & Juliet [RUMJU] in 461 theaters. The PG-13 rated period drama may be hard-pressed to attract much of the desirable under 25 crowd. Hailee Steinfeld [HSTEI] and Douglas Booth [DBOOT] are newcomers without any box office draw. Romeo & Juliet may be lucky to cross $2 million.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, October 10, 2013 @ 03:17 PM 2947 views

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