Sony's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 easily led the way this weekend with an estimated $35.0 million. The 3D computer animated sequel outpaced the $30.30 million debut of 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by 15.5 percent, though it should be noted that with a location count of 4,001, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opened in 882 more locations than its predecessor did. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 had been anticipated by many to be able to challenge the $42.52 million debut of last year's Hotel Transylvania, but the film ultimately opened 18 percent below that mark. With that said, Cloudy 2 still registered the fourth largest unadjusted opening weekend ever for the month of September (behind only Hotel Transylvania, Insidious Chapter 2 and 2002's Sweet Home Alabama), and performed well when considering that it carried a relatively modest reported production budget of $78 million (making it less expensive than both its predecessor and Hotel Transylvania).
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opened with $9.3 million on Friday, increased 63 percent to take in $15.15 million on Saturday and is estimated to decline 30 percent on Sunday to gross $10.55 million. That gave Cloudy 2 an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.76 to 1. The film received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore. Family audiences made up 80 percent of the film's overall audience this weekend. Cloudy 2 is likely to hold up quite well going forward, thanks in part to there being no new options for family audiences until Relativity unleashes Free Birds on November 1 (a factor which may have deflated this weekend's performance a bit).
It was a close race for second place this weekend, with Warner's Prisoners edging out Universal's Rush. The thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal fell a so-so 46 percent from last weekend's first place debut to gross an estimated $11.27 million. Despite good word of mouth, new competition from four new wide releases clearly took a toll on Prisoners this weekend, especially since the overall marketplace tends to expand less in September than it does at most other times of the year. The marketplace for adult moviegoers will become even more crowded next weekend with the release of fellow Warner Bros. film Gravity and Fox's Runner Runner. Prisoners has grossed a solid $38.95 million in ten days, placing it 12 percent behind the $44.26 million ten-day take of 2011's Contagion (which fell 35 percent in its second weekend to gross $14.55 million).
In its first weekend of wide release, Rush placed in third with $10.31 million. The Ron Howard directed racing film starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl debuted towards the lower end of its modest expectations, which were held in check in part by the lack of popularity of Formula 1 racing in the United States. This weekend's performance for Rush was 15 percent below the $12.16 million start of last September's Trouble with the Curve. Including last week's platform launch, Rush has grossed $10.57 million through ten days.
Rush grossed $3.7 million on Friday, was up 8 percent on Saturday to take in $4.0 million and is estimated to fall 35 percent on Sunday to gross $2.61 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.79 to 1. Strong critical reviews and an A- CinemaScore are positive early signs for Rush going forward. However, with the marketplace for adult moviegoers to be especially crowded throughout October, strong holding power is by no means a lock for the film at this point (as already witnessed by Prisoners this weekend). Rush is expected to perform stronger overseas than domestically.
It also proved to be a close race for fourth place this weekend, with Fox Searchlight's Baggage Claim just edging out Relativity's Don Jon. Baggage Claim took in an estimated $9.3 million, while Don Jon took in an estimated $9.0 million. Both films opened in line with their respective modest pre-release expectations, though expectations for Don Jon tended to be a tad higher than those for Baggage Claim.
Baggage Claim, starring Paula Patton, opened with $3.28 million on Friday, increased 17.5 percent to gross $3.85 million on Saturday and is estimated to fall 43.5 percent on Sunday to gross $2.18 million. The film generated an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.84 to 1. With an A- rating on CinemaScore, Baggage Claim could hold up better than Don Jon going forward (which received a lackluster C+ rating).
Don Jon, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson, grossed $3.29 million on Friday, increased 5.5 percent to take in $3.47 million on Saturday and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $2.24 million. The film registered an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.74 to 1. Don Jon slightly outpaced the $8.64 million start of 2011's 50/50, but is unlikely to hold up as well as 50/50 did, especially given its rating on CinemaScore.
On the limited front, Fox Searchlight's Enough Said grossed $2.12 million from just 227 locations. The romantic comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini earned a per-location average of $9,317 for the weekend. The ten-day total for Enough Said stands at $2.48 million.
Also on the limited front, Picturehouse's Metallica Through the Never took in an estimated $1.67 million from 308 locations. That gave the 3D concert film a per-location average of $5,482 for the frame. Metallica Through the Never opened in IMAX locations this weekend and is scheduled to expand into non-IMAX locations this coming Friday.
In other box office news, Lionsgate's Instructions Not Included is now the highest grossing Spanish Language film of all-time at the domestic box office. After taking in an estimated $3.38 million this weekend, the Eugenio Derbez comedy vehicle from Pantelion Films has grossed $38.57 million to date. The previous record holder was Pan's Labyrinth with a total gross of $37.63 million.