Top Five Films for October 2013

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Medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone is on her first Space Shuttle mission accompanied by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky, who is commanding his final expedition. During a spacewalk, debris from a satellite crashes into the space shuttle Explorer, leaving it mostly destroyed, and stranding them in space with limited air.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
November 9th, 2013

Top Five Films for October 2013

Despite the fact that October is seldom a strong month for movies, October 2013 may prove to be an exception. There was an exciting crop of movies released to the hoorays of the movie-going populace, including a few genre films that saw big audiences but probably won't be in the running for any Oscar nods and some that might just sweep an award or two (or six). From the standpoint of box office numbers, five films stood out as must-see additions to Hollywood's growing vault of hits.

"Gravity" took the top slot in October as far as total gross ticket sales go, reeling in more than $201 million since its opening on October 4. That's almost triple the second-runner-up film of the month. This film was anticipated to have a big draw, since it stars two Hollywood megahitters: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The film revolves around an astronaut and a medical engineer who struggle to live after they are set adrift in space. This science-fiction drama from Warner Brothers is directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who also directed "Children of Men" in 2006.

The runner-up at the box office in terms of ticket sales for October 2013 is "Captain Phillips." It grossed just over $70.8 million since opening on October 10, and it stars Hollywood's highest-grossing actor of all time, Tom Hanks. The drama centers on the real-life story of Captain Richard Phillips and the hijacking of the U.S.-flagged cargo ship, the MV Maersk Alabama, back in 2009. It's directed by Paul Greengrass, a director known for his penchant for bringing drama to stories that are based on real events (think "United 93"). Critics are already flagging Hanks for an Oscar for his performance in the flick.

"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" lands the number-three spot for October, despite being released on October 25, which is essentially at the end of the month. This shock comedy brought Paramount Studios $34.8 million in ticket sales in a relatively short period of time, and its total numbers will likely be much greater. Fans of funny man Johnny Knoxville will appreciate his transformation into an eighty-six-year-old grandpa for the role that pits him against his eight-year-old grandson on a hilarious cross-country road trip. The "Jackass" franchise has a definite audience, as evidenced by the success eleven years ago of "Jackass: The Movie" and just a few years later of "Jackass 3D." It appears that a new generation of filmgoers is set to make this "Jackass" installation a hit as well.

What would October at the theater be without at least one great scare flick, and if it's bloody and gory, even better, right? That was the idea of the production team behind the 2013 remake of a Stephen King classic, "Carrie." The team made another surprising choice—this film is the first horror film for director Kimberly Peirce ("Boys Don't Cry"). The film drew in ticket sales of just over $26.6 million during its two-week run after its release on October 18. The film stars Chloe Grace Moretz in the lead role of Carrie, with the always-popular Julianne Moore as her mother, in a bloody remake that pushes the limits of gore to a new level—just in time for Halloween. Fans of the original "Carrie," which first hit movie theaters in 1976, will likely want to see the new version, and may notice that it sticks more closely to King's story than the original film.

What do you get when you throw together two of Hollywood's leading men—Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake? Twentieth Century Fox is hoping that it's a recipe for success with their film, "Runner Runner," which hit the number-five spot with $18.8 million in ticket sales in the weeks following its release on October 4. The film has been dubbed the unofficial follow-up to 1998's "Rounders," and it follows a college student who meets the guy who cheated him at an online poker game. Like the original "Rounders," "Runner Runner" is written by David Levien and Brian Koppelman, two guys who seem to have proven with this second film that they know a thing or two about the seedy underbelly of Internet gaming.

There you have it—five of the best, top-rated October films. These movies run the gamut when it comes to genres, but all have one thing in common: they are well worth watching, whether you see them in the theater, wait for them on pay-per-view, or catch them sooner or later on DVD.