October 13, 2013 / 4:24 PM / in 4 years

Force of 'Gravity' foils pirates at North American box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Oct 13 (Reuters) - “Gravity,” the 3D thriller about two stranded astronauts, kept its grip on U.S. and Canadian movie charts for a second straight weekend, eclipsing the debut of Somali pirate drama “Captain Phillips” in a battle between two Oscar hopefuls.

The outer space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney pulled in $44.3 million from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates. “Captain Phillips,” featuring Tom Hanks in the title role, captured $26 million.

Both films have earned critical acclaim and are mentioned as likely Oscar contenders. “Gravity” wowed critics with its 3D depictions of space and weightlessness, while Hanks won praise for his portrayal of real-life captain Richard Phillips, whose ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009.

Animated “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” grabbed the weekend’s No. 3 slot, pulling in $14.2 million. The film featuring the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Faris is the story of a small island stalked by food/animal hybrids known as “foodimals.”

“Gravity” was released by Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc. Sony Corp’s movie studio released “Captain Phillips” and “Cloudy 2.”

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