Weekend Box Office Report: November 1-3, 2013

Ender wins the Game!

The young military commander who will save us from invading aliens also conquered the box office this weekend, as ENDER'S GAME opened at #1 with $28 million!

The long-in-development adaptation of Orson Scott Card's best-selling 1985 sci-fi novel, featuring Asa Butterfield as the titular prodigy with support by Harrison Ford and Sir Ben Kingsley, acquired a decent 'B+' CinemaScore from audiences (along with a not-great 62% Rotten Tomatoes rating by critics). And ENDER'S GAME will need some word-of-mouth business, because with its $100-plus million budget and a number of high-profile challengers arriving in the next few weeks, Ender may not be back for Game #2…

Speaking of heavy competition, Marvel continued its practice of opening their films internationally before the US, with more impressive results. THOR: THE DARK WORLD dropped the hammer on most foreign territories over the weekend, already pounding out $109.4 million before the Thunder God lands in North America this Friday.

Meanwhile, Johnny Knoxville's elderly alter-ego in JACKASS PRESENTS BAD GRADPA skidded to second place with $20.5 million, a stumble of only 36% from its opening weekend. It was enough to stay ahead of two new releases — the all-star senior citizen Sin City trip LAST VEGAS opened in third with $16.5 million, while the CG-animated family flick FREE BIRDS was just a few feathers behind with $16.2 million.

Neither movie impressed critics (43% Rotten Tomatoes for LAST VEGAS, 21% for FREE BIRDS), but both movies received an 'A-' CinemaScore from paying crowds, and the Thanksgiving theme of FREE BIRDS and shortage of family alternatives may help keep it gobbling along through the holiday weekend.

GRAVITY is finally starting to be drawn back to Earth, now down from #2 to fifth place (on its fifth weekend) with $13.1 million and a worldwide total currently at $426 million. And still cruising along behind Alfonso Cuaron's space film is Tom Hanks' oceanic misfortune CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, in sixth with $8.5 million as it sails past the $100 million mark worldwide.

The acclaimed drama 12 YEARS A SLAVE added nearly 300 screens and bumped up a slot to seventh with $4.6 million and (once again) the highest per-screen average in the Top 10. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 and the remake of CARRIE trailed behind, while the A-list fiasco THE COUNSELOR barely clings to the list in its second weekend.  

Outside the chart, ESCAPE PLAN got locked away along with ENOUGH SAID and PRISONERS. The time-travel romcom ABOUT TIME opened on 175 screens (before expanding next week) and came in at #12 with $1.1 million, while Keanu Reeves' feature directing debut MAN OF TAI CHI only kicked up $112k on 110 screens (though it's already been available via VOD and download for some time). For limited releases, the Matthew McConaughey/Jared Leto drama DALLAS BUYERS CLUB had the best showing ($29k per-screen average) while the Naomi Watts-starring princess biopic DIANA got dissed with just $1,700 per-screen.

Next weekend offers only one wide release, the return of Marvel's strapping Asgardian and his Tumblr-approved half-brother Loki in THOR: THE DARK WORLD.

What Marvel characters now at other studios would you most like to see in Marvel's movie universe? VOTE HERE!

1 Ender's Game $28 M NEW
2 Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa $20.5 M $62 M
3 Last Vegas $16.5 M NEW
4 Free Birds $16.2 M NEW
5 Gravity $13.1 M $219.1 M
6 12 Years a Slave $4.6 M $8.7 M
7 Captain Phillips $8.5 M $82.5 M
8 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 $4.2 M $106.1 M
9 Carrie $3.4 M $31.9 M
10 The Counselor $3.2 M $13.3 M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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