It’s probably the most obvious, most elementary part of Newton’s law of universal gravitation: What comes up must come down.
Unless, of course, you’re talking about Gravity itself.
Gravity, the much-lauded space thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, spent its second weekend in high orbit, vacuuming up an estimated $44.3 million to retain its lofty No. 1 status. No one else—not even the well-regarded Captain Phillips—came close to sharing Gravity’s rarified air, and with the flick still making more than $12,000 per theater, it may be some time before it comes back to Earth.
That said, it’s not like Captain Phillips sank or anything. Tom Hanks’ 2013 Oscar contender collected $26 million over the weekend to finish in silver medal position, leaving in its wake Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. Cloudy earned $14.2 million, bringing its three-week total to $78 million. Not too shabby for a movie featuring anthropomorphic pickles.
Perhaps Machete Kills should’ve taken a page from Cloudy. The R-rated splatter comedy opted to steer clear of foodimals and instead brought in scads of name-brand actors (plus Lady Gaga) in apparent need of a paycheck. No matter: The cinematic might of Mel Gibson, Sofia Vergara, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Charlie Sheen, and Vanessa Hudgens (yes, that Vanessa Hudgens) could not save Machete from getting cut to ribbons by moviegoers. It earned just $3.8 million—what Box Office Mojo called “one of the worst openings ever for a movie in over 2,500 locations.” It barely edged Runner Runner ($3.7 million) for fourth place.
Regardless, it seems as though sequel for Machete Kills could be iffy. Unlike Gravity, Machete Kills Again … in Space may crash before it even hits the launch pad.
Final figures update: 1. Gravity, $43.2 million; 2. Captain Phillips, $25.7 million; 3. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, $13.8 million; 4. Machete Kills, $3.84 million; 5. Runner Runner, $3.77 million.