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October 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Nary a major critic is defying Gravity, bestowing on it some of the most adulatory reviews since, well, ever. What some of them are defying is conventional wisdom that an original, live-action release, i.e. not a sequel, can not perform well at the box office in October. None, they note, has ever opened above $40 million, but Gravity could prove to be the exception. In the first place, virtually everyone who has bought tickets for it in advance wants to see it in 3D and pay the 3D surcharge for it. Then, there is what everyone regards as an effective marketing campaign, which has put stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock on television talk shows nonstop, along with striking promotional clips from the film — not to mention celebrity websites, magazine covers, and newspaper feature articles. Then there are those trailers that have been posted on YouTube and that have now been viewed an amazing 25 million times. And, finally, there are those reviews — which could bring in the irregular collection of older and other infrequent moviegoers. On the other hand, there’s the history of lackluster October openings and the record of director Alfonso Cuarón, who last had a movie in theaters seven years ago. Although Children of Men opened wide with good reviews in January 2007, it earned just $10 million and just $36 million over its entire run. Also hitting screens this weekend is the Justin Timberlake-Ben Affleck thriller Runner Runner, which is not expected to go anywhere. Analysts are predicting that the 20th Century Fox release will wind up with around $10 million.