Audiences had a taste for meatballs this weekend.
Sony’s animated kid flick “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” led the box office grossing $35 million in a crowded box office filled with debuts for almost all cinematic tastes. It had been nearly four years since the original “Cloudy” opened and went on to rake in over $245 million worldwide. The 3D animated blockbuster performed slightly below expectations, but was a good shot in the arm for a summer flop heavy Sony.
The race for second was won by “Prisoners” with $11.3 million. The thriller starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Viola Davis had plenty of life in it’s second week. Ron Howard hasn’t done an indie since 1977’s Grand Theft Auto, but you wouldn’t know it by his showing at the box office finish line. The Formula 1 drama “Rush” not only got raves by critics, but finished a tight third for the week grossing $10.3 million despite being in 1000 less theaters.
Rush expanded in theaters following a limited showing in a few theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The story of the rivalry between Formula 1 racers Niki Lauda and James Hunt was projected to struggle in the U.S but is already providing box office gold overseas having grosed $14 million across the pond.
Fox’s Paula Patton vehicle “Baggage Claim” pulled in a decent $9.3 million in its debut to nab the fourth spot. Written and directed by David E. Talbert, the rom-com features Patton as a woman who is determined to get married in thirty days by revisiting her exes. The film also stars Taye Diggs, Derek Luke, and Boris Kodjoe.
Rounding out the top five was Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “Don Jon.” The raunchy comedy and Sundance favorite only cost under $6 mil to produce, but debuted to $9 million for Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut.
Hugh Jackman proved once again that he can slice his way to box office gold with or without claws.
The “Wolverine” star took the thriller “Prisoners” to the number one spot this weekend with a gross of $21.4 million, according to THR.com. Jackman portrays a Pennyslvania father looking for his kidnapped daughter. Co-star Jake Gyllenhaal is the leader of the police investigation. When Jackman gets frustrated with the investigation, he takes the law into his own claws…uh hands. The Warner Bros. film only cost $30 million to produce, so the film is already being hailed as an early fall hit.
Last week’s top movie ‘Insidious: Chapter 2″ dipped to second place, pulling in $14.5 million in it’s second week. The horror film debuted to over $41 million, surprising critics who panned the sequel. So far, “Insidious 2” has grossed $60.9 million Fans are delighted to know that “Insidious 3” is already on the drawing board.
“The Family” directed by Luc Besson, continues to make a made man out of direcotr Luc Besson. The mob laugher starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro as a mob family in witness protection brought in $7 million in it’s second week, which was good enough for the third spot. The Spanish language “Instructions Not Included” was muy bueno at the box office earning $5.7 million to come in at No. 4. Rounding out the top 5 was the disappointing “Battle of the Year.” Neither 3D nor Chris Brown could save the dance flick from bombing with only $5 million in it’s debut. Directed by Benson Lee, the film cost $20 million to make.
As far as the box office, “The Butler” proved that the only direction it knew…was up.
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” held off one of the hottest boy bands in music by grossing an estimated $20 million to stay atop the box office for it’s third consecutive week. It narrowly beat out the concert film “One Direction: This is Us,” which made a strong bid for the Labor Day crown, which pulled in $18 million over the holiday weekend.
Critics destroyed the Ford Shelby driven vehicle “The Getaway,” starring Ethan Hawke and another teen idol, Selena Gomez. The action film about a former racer who steals a car in order to save his wife only had enough gas to open at tenth for the week grossing $5.5 million.
The comedy “We’re the Millers” continued it’s family lovefest with $15.9 million to come in third place. The animated “Cars” spinoff “Planes” held on to fourth place with $10.7 million.
The biggest winner of the week may have been “Instructions Not Included,” which can boast the largest opening for a Spanish language film in North America. The film starring Eugenio Derbez grossed $10 million for the weekend despite being on a mere 347 theaters, in contrast to “The Butler” and “We’re the Millers” which are on 3,300 and 3,445 films respectively.
Even the end of the world couldn’t stop “The Butler” at the box office.
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” ruled the box office for a second consecutive week, despite a few well-publicized films targeting teens and tweens making their debut. The Forest Whitaker starrer took the box office crown with $17 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.
Surprisingly, the civil rights film which also stars Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, and Cuba Gooding, Jr skewed to a different audience thanks to positive word-of-mouth. According to the Hollywood Reporter, white moviegoers made up 55 percent of the film’s audience, a 7% increase from it’s opening week.
“We’re the Millers” showed it’s dysfunctional family has box office staying power. In it’s third week, the Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston vehicle grossed $13.5 million to come in second for the week. Hoping to become the next “Twilight” franchise, “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” pulled in a disappointing $9.3 million for the weekend and $14 million for the week (it opened on Wednesday) to come in third. The film is based on a popular series of young adult novels. That popularity didn’t seem to make it to the big screen.
The low budget action comedy about a possible end of the world “The World’s End” surprising grabbed fourth place with $8.9 million. Starring Simon Pegg, the film outperformed much of it’s competition despite being on only 1,549 theaters. By comparison, Mortal Instruments were on 3,118 theaters.
The other big opening was the horror film “Youre Next’ which finished just outside the top 5 grossing $7.1 million to grab sixth place. Disney’s animated feature “Planes” rounded out the top 5 with $8.6 million.
Suffice it to say, ‘The Butler’ kicked ass.
Thanks to a media blitz by the queen of all media, Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” took in an estimated $25 million to open in the top spot at the box office, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The civil rights film starred Winfrey and Forest Whitaker as they easily dominated this week’s new releases.
The long-awaited superhero sequel “Kick-Ass 2” was projected to take the top spot, but instead mustered a disappointing $13.6 million which was good enough for a hold on third place. Critics skewered the story about would-be superheroes starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Another star-studded film came up short as “Paranoia” opened to a pathetic $3.5 million, which couldn’t even get it into the top ten. The thriller starring Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford came in at thirteenth place.
Having the star of a hit show and rumors of a new idevice couldn’t create enough buzz to get crowds to see “Jobs.” The Ashton Kutcher attempt based on Steve Jobs came in 7th with $6.7 million. The only saving graces for these underperforming films is that both “Kick-Ass 2”, “Jobs”, and “Paranoia” cost so little that there’s still chance they’ll turn a profit due to foreign markets.
Besides “The Butler,” the only ones cheering at the box office were holdovers such as last week’s number one, Elysium which brought in $13.6 million and “We’re the Millers” starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston which grossed $17.8 million to hold on to second place for the week.