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Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Does ‘Gravity’ Have Such Pull?

(Warner Bros.)

(Warner Bros.)

Alfonso Cuaron’s stunning space adventure, “Gravity,” crushed October box office records with a $55.6 million North American weekend debut.

What did Warner Bros. do right?




SANDRA BULLOCK: (As Ryan Stone) Houston, this is Mission Specialist Ryan Stone. I am off-structure, and I'm drifting. Do you copy?


That is a very anxious Sandra Bullock in the new film "Gravity." Bullock and George Clooney are astronauts who are left in space after their mission goes awry when the shuttle is hit by debris. The sci-fi thriller opened this weekend, pulling in $55.6 million in North America, breaking the record for the top October opening film of all time.

Joining us to talk about "Gravity" is Ty Burr, film critic for The Boston Globe. And Ty, what was it that we all wanted to see in this film?

TY BURR: Well, there's a couple of factors. There's a number of factors here. You've got a very popular actress, Sandra Bullock, well-known, well-liked, and George Clooney of course. You've got a movie that's being sold in theaters in trailers for six months now. You also have a very straightforward gimmick, and it's a novel gimmick or, you know, story hook. It's not just a story of people in peril, it's sort of the utmost idea of peril. What would you do if you were out there in space and cut off from anything?

What would you do? How would you get back home? It's so simple that it's kind of a grabber. And also I think this got really good reviews with the reviews stressing that it's something to see on the big screen in 3-D, in IMAX if you can, that it's a really impressive, astonishing experience.

I think all of those combined, but especially the simple hook of the story, brought people in.

HOBSON: Well, you say it got good reviews. What did you think of it, and do you think it's got Oscar buzz?

BURR: I think it's a terrific movie. I'm not, you know, totally over the moon for it. I like it. I think it's a great movie, and again if you want to see it, and you should because it's very brilliantly made, you should see it on a big screen. This is one of those movies that, you know, don't wait for it On Demand, don't watch it on your iPhone. See it on the biggest screen you can.

And as far as Oscar potential, I think certainly Alfonso Cuarón, the director, and the technical crew might be up for something and Bullock as well.

HOBSON: Ty Burr, film critic for The Boston Globe, thanks as always.

BURR: Thank you.

HOBSON: And stay tuned for the latest news, it is coming up next, HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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