"Gravity" debuted at No. 1 for movies on demand from Feb. 24 to March 3, 2014, according to Rentrak. Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed, produced and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (played by Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone — tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space. "Gravity" (which was a big hit with critics and audiences) received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. The movie ended up winning seven Oscars: Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.
"Thor: The Dark World" debuted at No. 2. Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) battles to save all the Nine Realms from a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself. However, a shadowy race led by Malekith, who is out for revenge, intends to descend the universe into darkness. Confronted by an enemy that even Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins) and Asgard cannot overcome, Thor must reunite with Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman), enlist the help of his imprisoned brother Loki (played Tom Hiddleston), and set out on a dangerous journey that will force him to make the ultimate sacrifice. "Thor" got mixed reviews from critics but was a huge hit at the box office.
"Dallas Buyers Club" fell from No. 1 to No. 3. Matthew McConaughey stars in "Dallas Buyers Club" as real-life Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, whose free-wheeling life was overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. These were the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and the U.S. was divided over how to combat the virus. Ron, now shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, and bereft of government-approved effective medicines, decided to take matters in his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Bypassing the establishment, the entrepreneurial Woodroof joined forces with an unlikely band of renegades and outcasts, including a transgender woman named Rayon (played by Jared Leto) — who he once would have shunned — and established a hugely successful “buyers’ club.” Their shared struggle for dignity and acceptance is a uniquely American story of the transformative power of resilience. "Dallas Buyers Club," an indie film hit with critics and audiences, received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. "Dallas Buyers Club" won three Oscars: Best Actor (for McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (for Leto) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
"Nebraska" debuted at No. 4. After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father Woody Grant (played by Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son David (played by Will Forte) into taking a road trip to to Nebraska to claim the fortune. They are joined for part of the trip by Woody's feisty wife Kate (played by June Squibb), who is also David's mother. Shot in black and white across four states, "Nebraska" tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America. "Nebraska" received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but did not win any Oscars. The movie was well-received by critics and was a modest indie-film hit.
"Captain Phillips" dropped from No. 4 to No. 5. "Captain Phillips" is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is — through director Paul Greengrass' distinctive lens — simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (played by Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain Muse (played by Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. "Captain Phillips," which received six Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), was a big hit with critics and moviegoers.
Also noteworthy: "The Counselor" (a crime thriller starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt) debuted No. 6. "August: Osage County" (a drama starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Ewan McGregor) debuted at No. 7.
Here are the Top 5 movies on demand for the week of Feb. 24 to March 2, 2014:
1. Gravity (debut)
2. Thor: The Dark World (debut)
3. Dallas Buyers Club (No. 1 in the previous week)
4. Nebraska (debut)
5. Captain Phillips (No. 4 in the previous week)