Entertainment & Arts

Gravity holds firm at top of US box office

Sandra Bullock in Gravity
Image caption Sandra Bullock has been tipped for an Oscar nomination for her performance in Gravity

Sandra Bullock's space thriller Gravity has held on to the top of the US and Canadian box office for a third week.

The 3D thriller, co-starring George Clooney, took $31 million (£19m) according to figures from Rentrak.

Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, stayed in second place, taking $17.3 million (£10.6m) in its second week.

WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, had 2013's worst debut weekend so far, taking just $1.7m. (£1m)

Assange, who founded whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, had claimed Disney's film would be a failure. Last week, an email he wrote to Cumberbatch urging him not to take part in the project was released online.

Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Bullock and Clooney as astronauts stranded in space, has now made more than $170m (£105m) in three weeks.

IMAX screenings have proved particularly popular because of the film's groundbreaking visuals, accounting for $38m (£23m) in ticket sales, with 82% of audiences opting for 3D showings.

Warner Brothers' Jeffrey Goldstein has attributed the film's success to "phenomenal word of mouth".

Paul Greengrass's true story-based Somali pirate drama Captain Philips also held off newcomer Carrie. The horror remake, starring Kick-Ass actress Chloe Grace Moretz, took third place, with $17m (£10m).

The original 1976 film, based on Stephen King's novel, saw Oscar nominations for actresses Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.

Family favourite, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, was in fourth after taking $10.1m (£6.2m) in its fourth week.

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger's new action film Escape Plan rounded off the top five with $9.8m (£6m).

In a limited release of just 19 cinemas, Steve McQueen's Oscar-tipped slavery epic 12 Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, opened with a promising $960,000 (£594,000).

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