I knew Gravity was something special when my Facebook wall exploded with awe-struck mini-critiques from my friends (especially my Baby Boomer friends) the night the movie opened. Alfonso Cuarón’s meditation on life and death in space went on to enjoy the highest-grossing opening October weekend of any movie and an amazing 98-percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (the kind of overwhelming critical approval that is generally reserved for Pixar’s best movies, such as Toy Story 3).
Within two weekends, Gravity has racked up $123 million in the United States and (for once) has given audiences a reason to shell out more money to see a 3D film. And before all is said and done, Gravity may very well rescue the science fiction genre from the clutches of the young male audience. Here are three major lessons of Gravity‘s success (warning: plot spoilers ahead):
Audiences Reward Risk Taking
Americans are equal opportunity movie goers: we’ll turn out in droves for Adam Sandler, schlock, but we’ll also reward ambitious movies that take risks and challenge us, too. Gravity does a number of things that challenge our expectations of the sci-fi genre. It’s not action packed. The entire movie takes place in essentially one location. One of the major stars dies Continue reading