by Matt Marshall
This final weekend in September is too coincidental to the same exact frame last year. Once again, Sony Animation reigns over the weekend box office as their family food sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ate up the competition with a $35 million debut. Last year this time, Hotel Transylvania broke the September record with a $42 million opening.
Hugh Jackman’s kidnapping thriller, Prisoners, dropped to second place, adding another $11 million to its total. Ron Howard’s Rush expanded this weekend from five theaters to claim third place with $10 million. Both Prisoners and Rush have been praised by critics and audiences looking for the first Oscar contenders in this final leg of 2013.
Rounding out the Top 5, newcomers Baggage Claim and Don Jon took the final two spots. That leaves only Prisoners as the sole holdover from last weekend to remain on the charts for two consecutive weeks.
Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.
#1 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (NR)
$35.0 million / $35.0 million total
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 couldn’t muster up enough dough to take the September record away from last year’s Hotel Transylvania. However, this Sony sequel opened $5 million higher than its 2009 predecessor. Meatballs 2 is the first family film in nearly eight weeks and has free reign over the family market until Free Birds on November 1. Even with less favorable reviews than the first film, expect Cloudy 2 to take advantage of a leggy run.
#2 – Prisoners (1)
$11.3 million / $39.0 million total
Last week’s Oscar hopeful, Prisoners dropped to second place grossing an additional $11 million in its sophomore frame. Down 46% from last weekend, the Hugh Jackman drama faced direct competition from Rush and other potential contenders, Gravity and Captain Phillips in the coming weeks. Unless Prisoners reignites its buzz in early 2014, a finish around $70 million seems certain at this point.
#3 – Rush (38)
$10.3 million / $10.6 million total
Expanding nearly 2300 theaters from its limited release, Rush added another $10 million to its $300,000 run. Rush is based on the 1970s Formula One rivalry between Brit James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Like 2011’s MMA film Warrior, Rush goes beyond the sport of F1 racing, focusing more on the epic rivalry. Director Ron Howard offers up a hard sell, but like last week’s Prisoners, Rush will cater to the early awards crowd.
#4 – Baggage Claim (NR)
$9.3 million / $9.3 million total
Opening in just over 2000 theaters, Baggage Claim secured a fourth place spot this weekend. While a $9.3 million debut isn’t exactly extraordinary, it falls in line with recent urban comedies, Just Wright and Our Family Wedding. For Paula Patton, this is her lowest wide release opening since 2009’s Precious.
#5 – Don Jon (NR)
$9.0 million / $9.0 million total
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has had his fair share of successes when he’s not the headlining attraction. Lead roles in 50/50, Looper and (500) Days of Summer attract critical praise, but not the big numbers. Don Jon falls in the latter. Don Jon is Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut and considering the limited marketing and demographics, a $9 million opening was on par with predictions.
Opening Next Week: Gravity, Runner Runner, Metallica Through the Never (expanding), Pulling Strings (limited)
Source: Box Office Mojo
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.