Box Office: 12 Years a Slave Shines in Limited Release

Gravity tops for third week in a row, Church Girl gets love.

Posted: 10/21/2013 08:45 AM EDT

(Photo: Plan B Entertainment)

After months of mounting anticipation — including rave reviews and deafening Oscar buzz — 12 Years a Slave delivered at the box office. The gut-wrenching antebellum drama, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and directed by Steve McQueen, grossed nearly $1 million from a handful of theaters in limited release, and scored the best per-screen average of any film this weekend. The film's distributor, Fox Searchlight, plans to roll out 12 Years a Slave to more cities and theaters in the coming weeks.

Topping the charts this weekend, and for the third week in a row, was Gravity. The interstellar survival tale, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, took in another $31 million this weekend, for a domestic total of $170 million. Gravity is also on Oscar watch, particularly for writer/director Alfonso Cuaron and Bullock.

Tom HanksCaptain Phillips came in second place with an additional $17.3 million, followed by Carrie in third place with $11 million. Rounding out the top five were Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 with $10.1 million, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone‘s Escape Plan with $9.8 million.

A surprise success in limited release was I'm in Love With a Church Girl, the romantic drama starring Ja Rule and Adrienne Bailon. The film just crossed the million dollar mark in ticket sales from 457 screens. 

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