Box Office: “Gravity” soars, “Carrie” uhh, bleeds out


Another great weekend for “Gravity,” which holds 3D IMAX screens captive and appears to have enough staying power to do top five well into November. Over $30 million this weekend.

“Captain Phillips” had a good “hold,” as the Box Office Watchers say, and is headed towards $100 million domestic, with a few Oscar nominations seemingly in the bag.  Another $15 million+.

But Screen Gems’ “Carrie” skidded from a promising Thursday night to a fading Friday and Saturday. It should earn $15 million ($17 million) over the weekend. Indifferent reviews didn’t help. Screen Gems foolishly bought themselves ill will and bad buzz by not previewing it widely — just a select few “easy lays” in the critical universe.

I spent the better part of last week trying to get them to show it to me in advance. And as it turned out, it wasn’t awful. But remember Roger’s Rule.

Studios never hide movies they’re proud of.

A Stephen King “Brand Name” film, all alone as a horror offering in October, this should have been review proof. But when you hide it, NOBODY talks about it. Good or bad. And ill will among critics can be costly. Teachable moment, Screen Gems. Preview your movies. Or don’t. But this half-hearted, play favorites crap? Doesn’t work out, does it? Cost you $10 million, probably.

The conception of the film was flawed. The idea of giving feminist “Girls Don’t Cry” filmmaker Kimberly Peirce a chance to give her take on the material made it bully-centric and timely. But not scary. Give it to a horror director and let them go back to King’s “Rashomon” like novel — different accounts of how Carrie turned out that way and what happened that fateful night.


“Escape Plan” kind of drives a nail into the Stallone-Schwarzenegger comebacks — unless it blows up overseas. Under $10 million. “Expendables” or bust for this two geezers.

Biggest bomb of the weekend? Indifferent reviews KILLED “The Fifth Estate.” The title didn’t help, Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t box office, yes. Where were all his Cumberbitches? Nobody showed up — $1.7-2.0 million. For a picture that opens wide (over 1700 screens), that’s a notable flop. Biggest of the year, according to IMDb.

“Prisoners” and “Meatballs” continue to cash in and hang around the top ten, and will be there until Nov. 1.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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