‘Gravity’ Rockets Sandra Bullock's Box-Office Hot Streak to a New Level

'Gravity' Rockets Sandra Bullock's Box-Office Hot Streak to a New Level

The space saga's huge debut caps a late-career renaissance for the actress, who has become a multiplex magnet

When it comes to box office, you can take Sandra Bullock to the bank.

The weekend's $55 million opening for “Gravity,” the stranded-in-space saga in which she stars with George Clooney, put an exclamation point on that and adds another jewel to her late-career renaissance.

Bullock, who won a Best Actress Oscar for 2009's “The Blind Side,” has come a long way since breaking out in 1994's “Speed.”

Also read: 10 of Sandra Bullock's Biggest Box Office Bombs and Blockbusters (Photos)

Warner Bros.’ “Gravity” marked her the fourth consecutive wide release that's opened bigger than her last. Her last three major films – “The Proposal,” “The Blind Side,” “The Heat” – opened to $33 million, $34 million and $39 million respectively, before the “Gravity” debut went into the stratosphere.

In other words, she's getting better with age, at least in terms of the box office.

“Her career couldn't be hotter,’ said Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analyst Jeff Bock, “and that's pretty impressive, given Hollywood's givens.”

Other than Meryl Streep or maybe Julia Roberts, it's rare for a middle-aged woman to be a box-office force. But the 49-year-old Bullock is just that.

Also read: Why ‘Gravity’ Should Stay in Box-Office Orbit Through the Oscars

“The Heat” is at $226 million in worldwide grosses, but “The Proposal” and “The Blind Side” both topped $300 million globally, and “Gravity” is headed that way.

“She has a unique sort of star power that really makes her different,” said Bock. “She's not a Michelle Pfeiffer-type beauty, for example, but she has a luminescence and a personality that's really engaging. When she does a project, she really commits to it, and she comes off as really likable in interviews.”

Bullock is set to voice a character in Universal's upcoming “Despicable Me” spin-off “Minions,” but beyond that her film plans are unclear. They don't seem to include a follow up to her buddy cop comedy with Melissa McCarthy.

Also read: Did ‘Gravity’ Really End as It Seemed? An Alternate Theory (Spoilers)

“I'm not doing a sequel to ‘The Heat,'” Sandra Bullock told TheWrap at the “Gravity” premiere in New York last week. “I've done two sequels. They were horrible. What Melissa and I had was beautiful. We might do another film together. I think we should do a silent film together.”

Twentieth Century Fox is steaming ahead with plans for another project with “Heat” director Paul Feig, however, and she could wind up in that.

At this point, what we know is that whatever film she winds up doing will have a very good chance at box-office success.

  • Credit where credit is due

    Let's give credit where credit is due. To Alfonso, for amazing direction and writing, to Jonas to co-writing and keeping it from being boring.

    Sandra's great, but space and the intensity of the film is why it's doing so well.

    • etlib

      I seldom go to films becasue of the actors BUT some actors know good screenplays and don't appear in anything but the best and work only with the best. Sandra knows good and works with the best. Her name on a film is a good indication that you're going to see the whole package.

  • David

    She's been on a real tear since dumping her cheating ex, and more power to her.

  • seren

    I agree that the box office sucess of “Gravity” is more about Cuaron than Bullock, but it is also true that she brought female audience to a film which they are not always interested in. Anyway, she's been choosing a film very carefully since “The Blind Side,” which is really good.

  • jan

    If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage. While Sandra Bullock is clearly a talented and very charming actress, her success as a box office magnet is due to THE SCREENPLAY, that's the right THE SCREENWRITER, and in the case of Gravity, which is the definition of special effects greatness, you can also add the spectacular gifts of the cinematographer and the director.

    To say that Sandra Bullock's time on the screen is the sole reason that the aforementioned movies made big bucks is, quite frankly, obscene.

    • etlib

      The best know good screenplays. Sandra has her pick and part of the skill is picking good screenplays that she can knock out of the park. Being a great comedic and dramatic actress means she can work with any good screenplay.

  • Chris

    GRAVITY….will go down as an all-time Classic….This will be around many years from now….like 2001 Space Oddessy…this is a movie…that many people will return eo see over and over….its different and one of a kind….like nothing you have ever seen bofore….I saw it yesterday, Oct 9, 2013…I LOVED IT…WOW…IT WILL CLEAN UP AT THE AWARDS SHOWS…..Chris….Carson, CA…USA….Peace Out…!!!…The movie has been out a little more than a week and its already made over 100 Million Dollars…This will be Sandra Bullocks's best movie ever..!!

  • John W. Adam

    You go Sandy, definately a “MOVIE-STAR” now. As well as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood!