Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, the animated sequel from Columbia Pictures, took first place at the U.S. and Canadian box office in its debut, collecting $34 million in sales.
Rush, Ron Howard’s Formula One racing movie, rose to third with $10 million in its second week, expanding broadly after a limited debut, Hollywood.com said. Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, was second with $10.9 million.
Cloudy 2, the follow-up to Columbia’s 2009 hit, marks the fourth No. 1 debut this year for the studio, which has seen its U.S. ticket sales slide 32 percent, leaving it ranked fifth, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. Columbia Pictures removed its head of marketing last week following criticism of the performance of its entertainment division.
The latest Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was made for $78 million, less than the original’s $100 million cost, according to Box Office Mojo. It was projected to collect $45 million by Boxoffice.com in its debut.
The first Cloudy garnered $243 million total at the global box office.
The PG-rated films’ central character is an inventor named Flint Lockwood, who in the first movie concocts a machine that turns rain into food, culminating in a disastrous storm. In the latest version, Lockwood is forced to leave his job when he finds that the machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids. The movie, featuring the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris and Will Forte, was well received in reviews for the quality of its animation and its visual humor.
Rush returned in wide release after its debut in a handful of cinemas.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, it recounts the 1970s Formula One racing rivalry between the late James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Director Howard, who won the Oscar for 2001’s A Beautiful Mind, conveys the intensity of racing and the contrasting personalities of the British playboy Hunt and the studious Austrian Lauda.
Prisoners, the suspense thriller from Warner Bros., finished second. It has been buoyed by reviews praising the forceful performances of its lead actors. It features Jackman as a father who reacts to his daughter’s kidnapping by turning vigilante after police, lacking evidence, let the chief suspect go. Gyllenhaal plays the detective keeping tabs on Jackman while investigating the case.
The movie’s receipts total $38.5 million in two weeks of release.
Baggage Claim from Fox Searchlight made its debut in fourth place, collecting $9 million, against a projected $8 million. The romantic comedy features Paula Patton as a woman who vows to get married and embarks on a 30-day, 30,000-mile expedition to charm a potential suitor into becoming her fiance.
Don Jon, a dramatic comedy from Relativity Media LLC, was fifth with $8.7 million in its opening weekend. Directed and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the movie follows Jon Martello, who arranges his life around family, church, gym and sex but is hooked on pornography, making him unable to deal with the women he seduces.
The f ilm, which also stars Scarlett Johansson, was praised for Gordon-Levitt’s direction. It was projected to collect $11.5 million by Boxoffice.com.
MovieStyle, Pages 32 on 10/04/2013
Print Headline: Meatballs is tops at box office