Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

'Prisoners,' 'Rush,' 'Baggage Claim,' 'Don Jon' all close to $10 million

It’s about time Sony got a good forecast, with “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2″ expected to earn about $35 million this weekend.

Poised to outdo its 2009 predecessor’s bow by $5 million, the toon is falling squarely in the center of pre-weekend predictions that had the sequel earning $40 million or more, which looks highly unlikely now.

Still, the first “Cloudy” went on to earn $124.9 million, so Sony likely has a good multiple to look forward to, especially given positive reception (74% on Rotten Tomatoes among top critics) and a high likelihood of good word of mouth (A- CinemaScore).

“Cloudy” earned $9.3 million Friday followed by a horse race of films vying for silver including holdover “Prisoners” along with “Rush,” “Baggage Claim” and “Don Jon.” All four are starting the weekend with close to $3 million.

Warner Bros.’ “Prisoners” is expected to break through the pack for second with just north of $10 million. It and perhaps Universal’s “Rush” are likely the only two among them that will break $10 million.

“Rush,” which debuted in limited release last frame and expanded to 2,297 engagements Friday, is now expected to make a soft $10 million. And only just shy of that are Fox Searchlight’s “Baggage Claim” and Relativity’s “Don Jon.”

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