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Weekend Box Office: Cloudy 2 Devours the Competition

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By Chris Kavan - 09/29/13 at 09:47 PM CT

Although the last weekend of September was a bit down compared to last year, overall the month will go down as better than 2012. While there were a lot of new films to choose from, it was the family crowd who decided the winner while drama and romance only had mild success by comparison. October is likewise going to open with some heavy dramatic hitters, so the adult-oriented films better take advantage while they can.

1) CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2

The animated sequel provided some much-needed family fare at the box office, and it turns out the pent-up demand was high. With $35 million (opening in a September-record 4,002 theaters) the film bested the opening of the original film's $33.5 million though it fell well short of prior September animated film Hotel Transylvania ($42 million). Still, considering that many sequels fail to live up to their predecessors (Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2) it has to be seen as an encouraging sign. Audiences liked it as well, giving it an A- Cinemascore and, with no other family films on the near horizon, Cloudy 2 should enjoy a robust run at the box office and should easily top $100 million. Remember, never underestimate family - especially when there hasn't been anything to woo them in quite awhile.

2) PRISONERS

The well-recieved thriller took a slightly steeper-than-average 46% drop in its second weekend, taking in $11.27 million to raise its total box office take to $38.9 million. In comparison past fall dramas Contagion and The Town only fell by 35% in their respective second weekends. Although it faces increasing competition in the adult audience in coming weeks, it should still be able to charge passed the $50 million mark before it exits theaters. On a modest $46 million budget, that has to be seen as a win.

3) RUSH

Ron Howard's F1 biography/drama film took in $10.3 million over the weekend and, after a limited release opening last week, now stands at $10.5 million. The audience tipped more male (52%) and older (54% over 40) and they gave it an A- Cinemascore. The reviews were also solid, but Americans just don't have that big of interest in Formula One (compared to say baseball - as Moneyball opened to $20 million) despite the excellent cast and story. I, for one, think this is one of the better offerings of the year and even if you prefer NASCAR - this is an all-around great film. I would think international numbers will boost the film - which will be lucky to hit its $38 million budget in domestic numbers.

4) BAGGAGE CLAIM

Targeting a specific audience (urban, black), Baggage Claim opened to $9.3 million in fourth place. While it wasn't quite as high as Paula Patton's earlier Jumping the Broom ($12.5 million) it was higher than similar-themed films Just Wright ($8.2 million) and Our Family Wedding ($7.6 million). While it didn't bring in Tyler Perry numbers, considering specific targeted audience, it still has to be seen a decent opening, especially for this time of year.

5) DON JON

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut brought in $9 million over the weekend. Compared to past debuts, that is better than Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone ($5.5 million) and Drew Barrymore's Whip It ($4.6 million). That total is also in line with Levitt's 50/50 ($8.6 million) a film that went on to gross $35 million. If there is one thing that point to a murky future, it is the C- Cinemascore, meaning that audiences didn't find it as interesting as the critics. Still, it should wind up with around $30 million by the end of its run.

Outside the top five: Enough Said, one of the last films featuring James Gandolfini, expanded to 233 theaters (up from just six) and jumped a nice 808.5% - and going from 33rd all the way up to 11th place in the process. The comedy added $2.11 million to its total and now stands at $2.48 million. At this pace it will eclipse Nicole Holofcener's last film Please Give ($4.03 million).

Instructions Not Included flew by Pan's Labyrinth to become the highest-grossing Spanish language film of all time. With a $3.38 million 8th place finish (down 37.4%,) it has taken in $38.5 million - and now ranks fourth all time for any foreign film.

In limited IMAX release, Metallica Through the Never brought in $1.67 million in 305 theaters. It will expand to over 600 next week, though Gravity is going to take away much of its IMAX screens and it will be interesting to see how the pounding score by the heavy metal masters will do with a more general audience.

Next week we do have Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón's drama with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock (that has been getting all kinds of good buzz) plus the crime/drama Runner, Runner (with Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Gemma Arterton) and the aformentioned Metallica Through the Never.

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