Gravity shatters predictions and sets a box-office opening record

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Oct 7, 2013, 10:24 AM EDT

Alfonso Cuaron's visually stunning space drama was expected to open big, but not this big.

A lot of buzz and plenty of rave reviews heading into its opening weekend led to some healthy box-office predictions for Gravity last week. According to, it was expected to haul in something like $40 million this past weekend, and then it went and did a good deal better. 

According to Deadline, the Sandra Bullock and George Clooney-led thriller is now projected to rake in $55.5 million domestically in its opening weekend. If those numbers are accurate, that makes it the best opening ever for a film releasing in October, and one of the top 10 live-action original (meaning non-sequel) film openings of all time. So that's two entries in the box-office record books for this much-talked-about film, which Cuaron spent years perfecting.

But wait, there's more. Not only is Gravity the second-biggest opening for Cuaron ever (behind, of course, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), but it's also the best opening weekend ever for both Bullock and Clooney. That means that, after 16 years, Clooney can finally say that his best opening weekend ever is no longer Batman & Robin, which held the top slot in his filmography for nearly two decades, with more than $42 million on its opening weekend in 1997. 

So it seems all those rave reviews and months of buzz paid off even bigger than expected for Gravity. Did you catch it this weekend, and do you think it deserves all the praise it's getting?

(Via Vulture)