Repeat Viewers Drive Gravity Revenues to Over 200 Million

Posted by at 9:42 am on October 16, 2013

GravityIn just over two weeks “Gravity”has gone into orbit, the film has now crossed the $200 million worldwide boundary. During its long gestation, industry skeptics believed “Gravity” could crash and burn if director Alfonso Cuaron couldn’t develop the cutting-edge technology needed to make the story fly.

Ultimately, with the arrival of the high tech know-how tailor-made for screening the film in 3D and on mega-format Imax, the effect has been astounding. Audiences are turning out in droves — and not just for a single screening, but for the kind of multiple viewings that signal titanic box office.

During opening weekend, when “Gravity” soared to an October record $55.8 million, more than 3% of the domestic moviegoers said they had already seen the film more than once, according to Warner Bros. That percentage will only grow over the coming weeks, based on the popularity of the premium formats, which foster repeat viewing.

“We know what we have here,” says Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “This is a phenomenon where people are asking friends and family not only if they’ve seen the film, but where.”

Indeed, Imax contributed 21% of the opening-weekend domestic cume for the film — about an astronaut, played by Sandra Bullock, stranded in Earth’s orbit following an accident in space. Coin from 3D viewing from all venues soared to 80% of the initial take, eclipsing even “Avatar,” which earned 71% from 3D.

“We’re letting (‘Gravity’) percolate and breathe, encouraging people to come back and see it again,” says Imax chairman Greg Foster.

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