After a year filled to the brim with animated movies, it would be easy to expect demand for another one on the horizon to be soft. Thankfully for Sony, that definitely isn't the case for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
The sequel has consistently performed well in our online tracking metrics over the last few months, and closer analysis reveals the strong potential for a run similar to last year's Hotel Transylvania. That flick--also a Sony release--controlled the family market for five weekends last fall. Signs pointed to its success in advance, and now, they're pointing even more convincingly toward a big audience for Cloudy 2.
On Twitter, the film is currently outpacing Hotel Transylvania's activity by 238 percent at the same point in the pre-release cycle. Cloudy 2's nature as a sequel is responsible for much of that advantage, however, there's no ignoring the otherwise strong presence of the film (including an effective trailer campaign thus far).
The sequel's Facebook buzz is similarly healthy with more than 914,000 fans through Wednesday, September 4--178 percent more than Transylvania. To be fair, that total could be stronger given that animated sequels such as Ice Age: Continental Drift, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Cars 2 each carried more than 3 million fans at the same point. It's something of an apples-and-oranges comparison, though, since Cloudy 2 isn't a summer tentpole and won't be facing the same levels of competition.
Over 28,500 Flixster users have given the sequel a 97 percent anticipation level through September 4. That's a 5 percent advantage over Transylvania on the day before its release--with less than half the number of voters to boot. It also bests the day-before-opening vote count of Ice Age: Continental Drift by 36 percent, and trails Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted's final tally by just 10 percent.
Opening September 27, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 comes four years after the breakout run of the original. It debuted to $30.3 million before legging out to $125 million domestically. The animated hit also posted $118 million overseas at the time, a figure that should be within easy reach in today's global market. Thanks to the first pic's enthusiastic reception from kids and families, its sequel is well-positioned to rule the fall season as the only animated release between August 9's Planes and November 1's Free Birds.
BoxOffice is currently forecasting a $40 million opening frame and a $148 million domestic run for Cloudy 2. Watch for these figures to be updated in the days and weeks ahead.
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The Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 trailer: