After a stellar marketing campaign and extremely positive word-of-mouth from critics, industry legends and even a former astronaut, director Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" blasted off with this weekend's box office, taking in an estimated $55.6 million.

The film, which provided the best opening ever for stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, also raked in $27.4 million from international markets, giving it a worldwide total of $83 million. The North American numbers alone are enough to give "Gravity" the top October opening of all time, topping 2011's horror pic "Paranormal Activity 3."

"In two days, this movie has become a cultural phenomenon," Warner’s domestic distribution chief Dan Fellman said. "People that haven't gone to the movies in years, or who only see one or two movies a year, are going to see 'Gravity'."

Reflecting its appeal, "Gravity" is currently enjoying a tremendous 98 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes — with 91 percent of audiences in agreement. 

"Pulse-pounding sound design, gut-wrenching performances, and visually masterful, 'Gravity' is one of the more surprisingly beautiful films of 2013," writes one moviegoer. "Sandra Bullock and George Clooney both deliver superb performances, and if Bullock does not get a nomination there is something seriously wrong."

Check out the trailer for the film below, and if you've seen it, let us know what you think of the move below! 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Gravity' soars with record-breaking $55.6M debut
Director Alfonso Cuaron's new film grabs the top October opening of all time.