News

‘Meatballs’ sequel swallows up box office

‘Meatballs’ sequel swallows up box office

BOX OFFICE TOPS: (L-R) Andy Samberg, Anna Faris, Bill Hader and Terry Crews, voice talents from the new Sony Pictures Animation film "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2", pose during a photo call in Beverly Hills, California Sept. 15, 2013. Photo: Reuters

By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The sequel to “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” devoured the weekend box office competition.

The animated 3D “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” which tells the story of monster-sized fruits, vegetables and cheeseburgers that come to life as “foodimals,” earned $35 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday, easily beating all competitors.

“Cloudy 2″ outpaced car racing drama “Rush,” which pulled in $10.3 million from Friday through Sunday to finish third, behind last week’s winner, drama “Prisoners” starring Hugh Jackman, which made $11.3 million.

The “Cloudy” sequel features the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Faris and is a follow-up to a 2009 hit that saw the fictional island of Swallow Falls attacked by giant food that plunges from the sky. In the new installment, the food comes to life and evolves into “foodimals” that include a hippopotamus, eggplanatee and cheespider, a cheeseburger with sesame-seed eyes and french-fry legs.

Some forecasters projected “Cloudy 2″ would gross up to $45 million, though Sony said it expected a lower debut of between $30 million and $35 million. The movie cost $78 million to produce.

“This is just a fantastic start,” said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures’ worldwide president of distribution.

“We knew that people really loved the film from our early screenings, and it’s one of those times that the sequel is better than the first one,” he said.

Bruer also predicted that the film would resonate with audiences overseas, saying: “I’m certain it’s going to do even better internationally.”

“Rush,” from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, tells the story of the 1976 battle for the Formula One racing championship. Chris Hemsworth stars as Englishman James Hunt and Daniel Bruhl as his rival, Austrian Niki Lauda.

The movie expanded to nearly 2,300 theaters after a very limited debut a week ago. It was produced for $38 million by Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive Media and distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp.

Nikki Rocco, president for domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, said: “Although we started out on the low end of where we thought we would be, strong exit polls and good word-of-mouth will help it find its niche in the weeks to come.”

“Rush” won strong reviews from critics with an 88 percent positive rating from compendium website rottentomatoes, and an A-minus grade from CinemaScore, which polls moviegoers.

“Prisoners,” starring Jackman as a father on a desperate search for his missing daughter, brought its domestic sales total to $39 million after two weekends. The movie, which topped box office charts when it debuted a week ago, was released by Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc.

New romantic comedy “Baggage Claim,” distributed by Fox Searchlight, a unit of 21st Century Fox and starring Paula Patton as a woman on a 30-day quest to find a mate, finished in fourth place with $9.3 million.

Raunchy comedy “Don Jon” debuted in the weekend’s No. 5 spot with $9 million. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man whose pornography addiction interferes with his relationship with a young woman, played by Scarlett Johansson. Gordon-Levitt also wrote and directed the film, which Relativity Media acquired for $4 million.

Recent Headlines

in Music, Weird

Bret Michaels doesn’t need your bank account info

Fresh
bretmichaels

The Poison singer is warning fans about a bizarre new scam.

in Entertainment

‘Dukes of Hazard’ recording Christmas album

Fresh
dukes

Good ol' boys John Schneider and Tom Wopat have teamed up to record a new holiday album.

in Entertainment

Hilary Swank, Miranda Lambert to front ‘Dog-a-Thon’

Fresh
swank

LeAnn Rimes, Betty White, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Duhamel, and Kesha are among those set to appear on a "Dog-a-Thon."

in Music

Lady Gaga has everything – even a ‘batcave’

Fresh
ladygaga

The "Born This Way" hitmaker paid $23 million for a Mediterranean-style villa with an underground area similar to the "Batcave."

in Music

Clive Davis: Stop blaming Bobby Brown for Whitney’s death

Fresh
bobbybrown

Whitney Houston's longtime producer and mentor insists her ex-husband is not the one responsible for her death.

Weather

condition Condition: Heavy rain
Temperature: 50°
High: 52° - Low: 47°