That Carrie White just can’t catch a break. Tormented by her classmates and tortured by her religious-nut mother, the telekinetic teen now faces the indignity of appearing in the only Halloween-friendly movie opening wide this month and still not winning the weekend. Despite a complete lack of fright-flick competition, the horror remake Carrie made only $17 million these last three days, landing in a humiliating third place and earning the cruel scorn of its teenage demographic. In terms the title character could understand, that’s like getting a pity invitation to the prom from Jigsaw’s boyfriend, only to have those ornery poltergeists from Paranormal Activity dump a bucket of pig’s blood on your head. Silly Carrie. They only asked you to October to laugh at you.
Speaking of old things that apparently no one cares about anymore, the combined box-office draw of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenneger is…not what it would have been a couple decades ago. The aging action heroes managed only a fifth place opening, as Escape Plan rustled up a mere $9.8 million—or less than half of what Ahnold got paid to make bad ice puns in Batman & Robin. Has the geriatric ass-kicker fad run its course? If audiences aren’t interested in seeing Rambo and the Terminator join forces to escape from prison, the answer is probably yes. (Don’t tell Sly, though, as he’s trading blows with Bobby DeNiro in a few weeks.) Maybe the filmmakers should have just mounted a live-action remake of this.
The lesson here is clear: Audiences are more than willing to wolf down leftovers, but only if there’s not something fresh and piping-hot for them to feast on instead. In other words, it was Gravity, that unstoppable autumn blockbuster, that really crushed the chances of these retro retreads. Alfonso Cuarón’s visually stunning space thriller won its third consecutive weekend, pulling another $31 million into its orbit. The film has now cracked the top 10 of the year and may finish out north of $250 million. The A.V. Club boldly predicts that it’ll stay on top for one more week, putting the celestial hurt on The Counselor and those Jackass knuckleheads, before finally getting booted out of the top spot by another IMAX space movie—Ender’s Game, which looks kind of like Gravity, but with more children and off-screen scandal.
While the rest of the top five was rounded out by Captain Phillips (#2, with $17.3 million) and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (#4, with $10.1 million), Bill Condon’s WikiLeaks biopic The Fifth Estate flopped hard with just $1.7 million. Did mediocre reviews kill the movie’s box-office, or did a miffed Julian Assange work some Internet juju to bring it to its knees? Either way, a flop is a flop. Great reviews probably did wonders for a different biopic, Steve McQueen’s widely acclaimed 12 Years A Slave, which brought in $960,000 on just 19 screens. But they couldn’t save the Robert Redford vehicle All Is Lost, marooned in hostile waters with an unpromising $97,400 at six locations. Comparisons between the maritime survival tale and Gravity have been numerous, though the bean counters at Roadside surely wish it resembled its cosmic counterpart in one other, crucial way. (The one having to do with money.)
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