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Weekend Estimates: Meatballs Makes Tasty Debut

September 29th, 2013

As expected, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 will be the comfortable winner of this weekend's box office race with a healthy $35 million beginning, according to Sony's Sunday estimate. That puts the film on course for the 4th-biggest weekend in September and is about $5 million ahead of the opening for the first film in the franchise. Given hopes of a $40 million debut, the film could be said to have underperformed slightly (and it will almost certainly not top the original's $124.8 million domestic total), but given the timing of the release, the studio will have reason for modest celebration in the midst of their worst year since 2005. The top of the chart in general has a middling-to-good-enough look to it this weekend.

Prisoners will claim second place with $11.3 million, down 46% from last weekend. As mentioned this time last week, its awards chances really depended on doing much better than that in its second weekend (Argo was off just 15%, for example), so you can probably cross this one off your Oscar list, fine film as it is.

In third place, Rush will earn about $10.3 million from 2,297 theaters for a theater average around $4,500. Not a bad result for a film with niche subject-matter appeal. Again, all eyes will be on next week to see if it will mount a serious Oscar campaign.

Two romantic comedies round out the top 5, with Baggage Claim delivering a decent $9.3 million from 2,027 venues and a beating Don Jon's $9 million start from 2,422. Audience reactions to the latter film are decidedly mixed, which doesn't bode well for an extended theatrical run, but it could yet enjoy strong demand on video.

Further down the chart, Enough Said will pick up about $2.1 million from 227 theaters as it expands. A theater average over $9,000 suggests it could yet expand a little more. Meanwhile, the reconstituted Picturehouse is happy with a $1.67 million kick-off for Metallica Through the Never in IMAX theaters.

We don't have numbers from many limited releases yet, but it looks as though the two standouts will be Muscle Shoals, with around $12,700 from a single theater, and Atharintiki Daaredi, with $1,500,000 expected from 112 locations.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Rush, Prisoners, Baggage Claim, Metallica Through the Never, Enough Said, Muscle Shoals, Atharintiki Daaredi