It was well past time for a family film to hit the marketplace, with Disney's poorly received Planes holding on as long as it did simply because there was a complete dearth of family films in release. So unsurprisingly, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 topped rather easily with a strong $35 million debut, higher than the original's $30 million bow 4 years ago. It should also do well going forward, as it received an "A-" Cinemascore and benefits from another lack of upcoming kiddie flicks, until Free Birds comes out in November.
Another wide release this weekend was Ron Howard's Rush, which expanded to 2,300 screens and only earned about $10 million, which is pretty middling for the extremely well reviewed film, but I was expecting that, given the lack of interest in Formula One racing in the United States. It did get an "A-" from the audience though, and could possibly hold on strong, but it's facing big competition in the coming weeks from other films targeting adults, like next weekend's Gravity. Joseph Gordon Levitt's directorial effort Don Jon also opened wide to just $9 million and a terrible "C-" Cinemascore (despite good reviews), so that one's probably a non-starter, and the Paula Patton starring comedy Baggage Claim got $9.3 million and another A- rating, but given the low budgets of both these films, they won't be considered flops and may even be profitable after their respective theater runs.
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2- $35 million
- Prisoners- $11.3 million
- Rush- $10.3 million
- Baggage Claim- $9.3 million
- Don Jon- $9 million
In the holdovers, Prisoners held relatively well in second place, but like Rush, is facing massive competition next week and the weeks after that could limit its final take, and Instructions Not Included passed Pan's Labyrinth this weekend to become the highest grossing Spanish language film of all time in the U.S. Next up, it's Alfonso Cuaron's long awaited Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock (yay- I finally get to see it!) against the Ben Affleck-Justin Timberlake movie Runner Runner.