Space thriller 'Gravity' soars with $55.6 mln debut


LOS ANGELES, Oct 6 (Reuters) - "Gravity," a 3D thrillerabout two stranded astronauts floating through space, lifted offwith $55.6 million in ticket sales to win the weekly box officerace in the United States and Canada, according to studioestimates on Sunday.

Last week's winner, the animated "Cloudy With a Chance ofMeatballs 2," dropped to second place with $21.5 million inticket sales from Friday through Sunday. "Runner Runner," athriller about the dark and murky world of online gambling,finished third with $7.6 million.

In "Gravity," Sandra Bullock plays a novice astronaut andengineer alongside George Clooney as mission commander. After anaccident caused by flying debris, the two are sent floating intospace with depleting oxygen and little chance of returning toEarth.

"Cloudy 2" features the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Farisas characters in a world where fruit, vegetables andcheeseburgers have come to life as food/animal hybrids called"foodimals."

"Runner Runner" stars Justin Timberlake as a graduatestudent who goes to Costa Rica to confront an online gamblingtycoon played by Ben Affleck.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc, released"Gravity." "Runner Runner" was distributed by 20th Century Fox,a unit of 21st Century Fox. "Cloudy 2" was released bySony Corp's movie studio.

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