I was afraid Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity would prove too esoteric for mass consumption. Yes, it stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and is a space survival movie, which is about as high-concept as is possible to get … but it’s also a gorgeous, intelligent, aggressively cinematic experience, and as we’ve seen in the past that’s the sort of thing that can alienate people.
But sometimes the good guys win, and Gravity attracted plenty of moviegoers, earning an estimated $55.6 million — a record high for an October opening, if you keep track of that sort of thing. (It’s also more than Cuaron’s brilliant Children of Men made in its entire domestic run, but of course Clive Owen and Julianne Moore have never been the draws that Bullock and Clooney are.)
The considerably less impressive Runner Runner creaked into third place with $7.6 million, well behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which slipped to second with $21.5 million. Sometimes the world just works the way you want it to.