Sony reports that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ate up $9.3 million on Friday, putting it on pace for a $35.5 million debut weekend. That will be a higher debut than its predecessor's $30.3 million back in September 2009, however, the sequel looks to fall short of Sony's Hotel Transylvania which opened to a September record $42.5 million last year. With an "A-" CinemaScore and current 81 percent Flixster user rating, word of mouth from families appears healthy and should continue driving the film throughout October as the only animated release before November 1's Free Birds.
Ron Howard's Rush grabbed $3.7 million with its expansion into wide release yesterday. After a successful platform launch in five theaters last weekend, the well-reviewed Formula 1 racing pic is headed for an $11 million frame. In addition to strong critical response, the film's 94 percent Flixster score and "A-" CinemaScore are very encouraging for long-term prospects.
Last week's top flick, Prisoners, dropped 51.5 percent from its opening day to $3.38 million yesterday. The well-reviewed adult drama crossed the $30 million threshold with Friday's performance. By comparison, 2010's The Town eased just 40 percent from its opening-to-second Friday. Warner Bros.' Prisoners will haul close to $11.2 million for its sophomore frame.
Relativity Media estimates a $3.29 million opening day for writer/director/star Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon. That bests the $2.89 million first day tally of the Gordon-Levitt starrer 50/50 on the same weekend in 2011. Don Jon's subject matter appears to be dividing audiences with a "C-" CinemaScore, although, its Flixster rating is a decent 75 percent so far. The R-rated comedy is on pace for a $9.5 million debut weekend.
Meanwhile, Baggage Claim checked in with $3.28 million on Friday and is heading toward a $9.4 million weekend. Lacking much star power and facing a relatively crowded market of new releases put this one on the back-burner for moviegoers. The film's target audience responded with an "A-" CinemaScore, however, Flixster users are less enthusiastic with its 67 percent score.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris