The 20 Biggest Opening Weekends of All Time for Films with Over 90 Percent on Rotten Tomatoes
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The 20 Biggest Opening Weekends of All Time for Films with Over 90 Percent on Rotten Tomatoes

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | October 7, 2013 | Comments ()


Gravity placed first at the box office this weekend, and it wasn’t even close. The Alfonso Cuaron film crushed the competition, racking up $55 million, good for the biggest October opening weekend of all time, the biggest opening weekend in the fall of all time, George Clooney’s biggest opener, and one of the biggest opening weekends ever for a film guaranteed to dominate at the Academy Awards. It’s also the 20th biggest opening weekend of all time for a film with over a 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and after a cursory look at that category, I think it will be one of the only Best Picture nominees on the lists, outside of the Lord of the Rings movies. Blockbuster and Best Picture nominees do not typically go hand in hand, but Gravity — one of my top ten moviegoing experiences of all time — will definitely buck that trend.

Here’s the complete list of the biggest opening weekends for films with over a 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Note that, among ALL films, Gravity is the 111th biggest opening weekend of all time (meaning, the other 91 biggest opening weekends belong to films with less than a 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).

1. Marvel’s The Avengers ($207 million) — 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169 million) — 96 percent

3. The Dark Knight ($160 million) — 94 percent

4. Toy Story 3 ($110 million) — 99 percent

5. Iron Man ($98 million) — 93 percent

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ($93 million) — 91 percent

7. Skyfall ($88 million) — 92 percent

8. Spider-man 2 ($84 million) — 94 percent

9. Star Trek ($75 million) — 95 percent

10. The Simpsons Movie ($74 million) — 90 percent

11. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($72 million) — 94 percent

12. The Incredibles ($70 million) — 97 percent

13. Finding Nemo ($70 million) — 99 percent

14. The Bourne Ultimatum ($69 million) — 94 percent

15. Up ($68 million) — 98 percent

16. WALL-E ($63 million) — 96 percent

17. Monsters, Inc. ($62 million) — 96 percent

18. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ($62 million) — 96 percent

19. Toy Story 2 ($57 million) — 100 percent

20. Gravity ($55 million) — 98 percent


Meanwhile, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 fell a spot to number two in its second weekend with $21.5 million, representing only a 33 percent drop. In third place, Runner Runner bombed, bringing in only $7.6 million on a $30 million budget. Prisoners held on at number four, and has quietly nearly put up $50 million overall, while Ron Howard’s Rush continues to disappoint, coming in at number five with a three-week total at less than $20 million.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • John W

    I'm happy for Sandra Bullock's sake.

  • googergieger

    Rotten Tomatoes loves them some shitty movies.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    I still believe that Rush isn't really intended to make huge cash in the US. I bet it will do very very well outside of the US though.

  • Agreed. It's about Formula One and the US is the nation of NASCAR.

  • BWeaves

    To everyone who downvoted my Gravity comments on the previous thread:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson agrees with me. Somebody didn't pass their physics course.

  • e jerry powell

    It's HOLLYWOOD Physics. Completely different course.

  • BWeaves

    That's no reason to shit on me. I never said the movie wasn't enjoyable. (Not you, but whoever downvoted me.)

  • e jerry powell

    Oh, I can't stand downvoters. They need to put their names on it.

  • The actual science behind Gravity may be questionable, but as an experience? It was uh-maaazing. I can't stress that enough. I'm not a fan of paying the extra to see things in IMAX 3D, but in this case, you need to if you can. It needs to win all the awards come awards season.

  • So, I skimmed past something this morning that said Neil DeGrasse-Tyson kinda pooped on Gravity, calling it stupid or some such adjective of disdain. Can I entice someone to get on this? It would appear that this extreme behavior to use scientists to rain on something so bat-shit entertaining merits a think piece about the nature of entertainment and whether and when entertainments are required (expected? hoped?) to conform so tightly to science as we know it. Thanks in advance, and I'll buy beers for the effort, if I can.

  • Dragonchild

    He was just ribbing it. There's nothing in there that implies disdain, much less frothing rage.

  • tmoney

    I believe you are referring to his tweets regarding the movie. They were posted on Buzzfeed. However, he did say he enjoyed the film.

  • melissa82

    Those are great - my favorite: Mysteries of #Gravity: Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space

  • Sassy Pikachu

    I would switch the r.t. rating for Finding Nemo and Up, but mostly because Up is my absolute favorite pixar movie, not to mention it connected to me during a time of great loss.

  • Pawesl

    And how many of those premiered outside the summer or winter?

  • Popping in to note that Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban (#6 above) is another Cuaron joint.

  • Mohammed Al Qemzi

    Heyman also produced all the Harry Potter movies in addition to Gravity so it's all very cool

  • Pants-are-a-must

    And it was the best Harry Potter movie too, I don't care what anyone says.

  • Fruity Fonzie

    "I think it will be one of the only Best Picture nominees on the lists, outside of the Lord of the Rings movies."

    um... Up and Toy Story 3 were also best picture nominees

  • Dragonchild

    Of course the same site gives "Revenge of the Sith" a solid 80%, so while I don't doubt "Gravity" is a good film, it's not like Rotten Tomatoes makes caveat emptor obsolete either.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I just had to confirm this and it is one of the weird cases where the critics liked it more than the audience (65%). You know that there is something not quite right when that happens.

  • AudioSuede

    Wait, The Simpsons Movie got a 90%? See, this is why Metacritic is so much more useful than Rotten Tomatoes. Just because a critic liked a movie doesn't mean they loved it, but of course Rotten Tomatoes doesn't know the difference, it's just a straight up-or-down vote, and it's completely silly.

    All of that said, I saw Rush this weekend, and way more people need to see that movie.

  • Blake

    Gravity earned $55 million? In one weekend?

    That's about $35 Million more than I thought it would do and more than I'd though it gross lifetime.

    Well done Muricans!

  • Zen

    Man, that is a lot of Pixar.

  • VonnegutSlut

    Know what else that is?

    It's a whole hell of a lot of genre fare. Sci-fi and comics, baby. Sci-fi and comics.

    That just continues proves us nerds can represent.

    **ETA: And Pixar is, at this point, is pretty much a (much deserved) "genre" of its own with its own genre-cult following--myself among them.

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