There’s been a torrent of animated, family friendly flicks over the summer, all wrestling in a pit of polygons for those lovely lovely dollars, most of which perished under the demonic shadow of DESPICABLE ME 2.
However, in a divine slip of unobtainium business sense, Sony held CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 back for a September release and have come out $34 million better off for it. It’s not a September record setter like may have been hoped for – that still belongs to last year’s HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA ($42.5 million) – but it’s still nearly $4 million up on its predecessor, which launched in September 2009.
With a wave of sunny optimism from CLOUDY 1’s success, a robust marketing effort and a dearth of competition following the high-summer animation bloodbath, CLOUDY 2 was well set for a clean sweep. It’s got quite literally no competition for the entirety of October too – along with strong word-of-mouth and a CinemaScore of A- – so a healthy finish around the $120 million mark can be expected.
Falling one place to 2nd, PRISONERS tumbled 48% for $10.9 million, a harsh drop for a well-reviewed, well-timed film. It’s earned $38.5 million after 10 days on release and will at least break its budget mark next weekend.
Ron Howard’s remarkable F1 biopic RUSH expanded nationwide this weekend and earned itself 3rd place to the tune of $10.01 million. In the grander pantheon of sport dramas, it’s not brilliant. But F1 isn’t a particular big draw for most Americans – it’s hand-egg, baseball or bust unfortunately – and will struggle to finish up above the $40 million mark, especially with the onrushing competition of GRAVITY and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.
It’s been a hefty week for new(ish) releases and joining the party are rom-com BAGGAGE CLAIM in 4th and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut DON JON in 5th. With $9.03 million and $8.7 million respectively, neither film set the world on fire exactly, though JGL (as the cool kids call him) will likely be the happier, pulling numbers similar to other actors-come-directors (Affleck’s GONE BABY GONE, $5.5 million) and his own 50/50. Gordon-Levitt’s films – including 50/50 and (500) Days – tend to hold up decently, but a poor CinemaScore of C+ bodes poorly for DON JON.
Another fairly short one this week, so how about a bit more wordplay. This time, here’s an anagram built from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s name, where JH – a Geordie – takes the piss out of his GAME OF THRONES-loving friend:
JH: Drogo lives, pet…not!
Domestic Top 10
1) Cloud With a Chance of Meatballs 2
4) Baggage Claim
5) Don Jon
6) Insidious Chapter 2
7) The Family
8) Instructions Not Included
9) We’re the Millers
10) The Butler
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