6 October 2013 12:56 PM, PDT | Box Office Mojo | See recent BoxOfficeMojo.com news »

With a strong marketing effort*and a boost from 3D ticket pricing*Gravity blasted off to a fantastic $55.8 million this weekend. Meanwhile, Runner Runner couldn't find its footing, and overall business wound up down 13 percent from the same weekend last year.At 3,575 locations, Gravity's $55.8 million debut is a new opening weekend record for the month of October ahead of 2011's Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6 million). It's also the highest start ever for stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney ahead of The Heat and Batman and Robin, respectively. Recognizing that Gravity had huge commercial potential, Warner Bros. rolled out a blockbuster-level marketing effort in the past month. Advertisements played up the movie's unique setting and stunning visuals, and also positioned it as a thrilling, action-packed adventure. Leading up to the release, Warner Bros. started emphasizing the movie's critical reception, which was nothing short of fantastic (it currently has a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Also, »

- Ray Subers <mail@boxofficemojo.com>

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