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Weekend Wrap-Up: Partially Cloudy

October 1st, 2013

It wasn't a great weekend at the box office, as four of the five films in the top five missed expectations. On the other hand, no film in the top five really bombed, so it wasn't a bad weekend either. It was solidly mediocre. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opened in top spot with just over $34 million. This was better than its predecessor opened with, but below the lofty expectations. Overall, the box office pulled in $109 million over the weekend, which was 26% higher than last weekend. On the other hand, it was 9% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2013 still has a lead over 2012, but it has shrunk a little bit over the past two weeks. After this weekend, the lead was down to 1.2%, or $7.90 billion to $7.81 billion. It's not reason to panic, yet, but an extended losing streak late in the year is harder to recover from than one that happens in spring.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opened on the very low end of expectations with $34.02 million, which is about 10% more than the first film opened with. Additionally, the film's reviews are at 60%, which is much weaker that its predecessor's reviews were. On the other hand, there's not a single animated wide release coming out in October and the next animated film to come out is Free Birds, which is definitely a secondary animated release. This film could have good legs thanks to the lack of upcoming competition.

Prisoners fell a little more than expected, but still managed second place with $10.87 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $38.55 million. This is weaker than its reviews and target demographic would have indicated, so the competition hurt it more than anticipated, even though the competition was weaker than expected. The film should finish with about $60 million here, but it will need help internationally if it is to break even during its initial push onto the home market.

Rush was right behind with $10.01 million over the weekend for a total of $10.28 million including its one-week limited release run. The film's reviews are great, but Formula One racing is just not popular here, which is a real drag on this film's box office chances. If it can earn some Awards Season buzz, it might have strong legs, but it might be too early in the year for that to happen.

Baggage Claim was the only film in the top five to beat expectations, and it did so by a tiny margin. The film opened in fourth place with $9.03 million in 2,027 theaters giving it the second best per theater average in the top ten. Its reviews are just 15% positive, which is terrible, even for Romantic Comedies, which tend to earn bad reviews. On the other hand, it likely cost very little to make, compared to most wide releases, so this isn't a terrible start.

Don Jon rounded out the top five with $8.68 million, despite its excellent reviews. As I feared, the subject of internet porn addiction was too much for mainstream audiences. However, the film cost just $5.5 million to make, so this is a great start. If it can find an audience internationally, then it will break even before it reaches the home market. Even if it can't find an audience internationally, it might break even on the home market.

The only film in the sophomore class this weekend was Battle of the Year, which fell from fifth to twelfth with just $2.02 million. With a running tally of $7.49 million after ten days of release, this film is a bomb. And with a per theater average of just $1,008 during its second weekend of release, it will likely evaporate next weekend.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Theater Averages, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Battle of the Year, Rush, Prisoners, Baggage Claim, Don Jon