By Sunday evening, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 will have provided further evidence that moviegoers are eager for new and original stories, after having been overflooded with sequels, prequels, reboots, and spin-offs. Sure. A Sony Pictures release, the $78 million-budgeted 3D sequel to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is expected to collect -- via Deadline.com -- somewhere around $10 million from 4,001 locations this Friday, September 27, 2013, easily topping the North American box office chart. (Image: Kristen Schaal's Barb, Will Forte's Chest V, and Bill Hader's Flint in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.)
For comparison's sake, the original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, also in 3D, took in $8.13 million at 3,119 sites in September 2009 (approximately $9 million today), going on to gross $124.87 million in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to $118.13 million internationally according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. Here's another comparison: in September 2012, Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania, featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez, debuted with $10.97 million at 3,277 venues. Hotel Transylvania ultimately cumed at $148.31 million in North America and $198.59 million internationally. (Note: international totals are frequently incomplete.)
Also worth mentioning, with $42.52 million, Hotel Transylvania holds the opening weekend record for September -- if you pretend inflation doesn't exist. Adjusted for inflation, Hotel Transylvania is no. 3, behind the 1998 Chris Tucker / Jackie Chan comedy Rush Hour's approx. $57 million, and the 2002 Reese Witherspoon / Josh Lucas comedy Sweet Home Alabama's approx. $50 million.
'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2' cast
Directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 features the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Kristen Schaal, Terry Crews, and veteran James Caan (Lady in a Cage, The Godfather). As found on the IMDb, the screenplay is credited to John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, and Erica Rivinoja, from a story by Rivinoja, and by the two original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Friday box office: Ron Howard's 'Rush' in second place
According to Deadline.com, Friday's no. 2 movie at the domestic box office should be Ron Howard's car-racing drama Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth of Thor, The Avengers, and Snow White and the Huntsman fame, and European Film Award winner Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!), a lesser name in the United States, where most moviegoers lack the capacity to read subtitles. Rush is expected to collect around $3.8 million.
Not far behind, three movies vie for the third spot on the domestic box office chart: Last weekend's holdover Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Viola Davis, with $3.3 million; the Paula Patton / Adam Brody comedy Baggage Claim, with $3.2 million; and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed-and-written romance-and-pornography comedy Don Jon, starring none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt himself and Scarlett Johansson, with $3.1 million.
Expect some switching around in the 3-5 box office slots once official Friday estimates are announced on Saturday morning.
Chest V (Will Forte), Flint (Bill Hader) and Barb (Kristen Schaal) in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 image: Sony Pictures.