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Box Office: Sony’s ‘Cloudy’ Sequel Takes a Bigger Bite Stateside With $35 Million

Trio of addtional wide releases each score more modest openings

While Sony’s live-action line-up struggled this summer, the studio’s animated films — including hybrid movie “The Smurfs 2” — have fared better, with “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” being the latest example, grossing a solid $35 million domestically.

Sony launched the toon overseas in only three smaller day-and-date markets (the studio didn’t even report grosses for those territories). Sony expands the film internationally over the coming weeks.

Elsewhere internationally, Fox bowed its Ben Affleck-Justin Timberlake action pic “Runner Runner” at 38 markets, totaling an estimated $11.2 million. The film ranked first in Russia, with nearly $3 million this weekend. Pic bows Stateside on Friday.

Thanks to a trough of family product lately, “Cloudy 2” outdid its predecessor’s $30.3 million domestic launch in 2009. The sequel’s overperformance is a significant achievement also given that it earned just 28% from 3D, while the original had a whopping 60% with Imax 3D.

“We really have a film beloved by families,” said Sony worldwide distribution prexy Rory Bruer. “The film has so many things going for it, and worldwide this will be a big hit for us.”

“Cloudy 2,” which saw 71% of its opening come from kids under 10, is positioned well to play through to November, when the next family-friendly releases, “Ender’s Game” and “Free Birds,” bow.

SEE ALSO: Film Review: ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2′

The other wide releases this weekend saw much more modest openings comparatively: Universal’s “Rush” expanded wide in its second frame, grossing an estimated $10.3 million, a just-OK expansion for the $38 million-budgeted film. Strong exit ratings, including an ‘A-‘ CinemaScore, bode well for the film.

“For us this is a very special film, which is so well reviewed,” said Universal domestic distribution exec Nikki Rocco. “Audiences love this film based on our exit polls, and we hope that it finds its footing in the coming weeks.”

Also, Fox Searchlight’s urban-targeted “Baggage Claim,” starring Paula Patton, Derek Luke and Taye Diggs, scored a conservative $9.3 million from 2,027 locations, averaging $4,588 per screen. The film actually had the weekend’s second-highest per-screen average for a wide release, behind “Cloudy 2” (with $8,748 from 4,001 locations).

SEE ALSO: Bill Hader Dreams Up Guaca-mole for ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2′ Premiere

Meanwhile, Relativity Media’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt double-hander “Don Jon” bowed wide with $9 million. That’s a decent start for the Sundance pick-up, with Relativity acquired for $4 million (not including a standard P&A commitment).

Landing in second place, with a drop of only 46%, Warner Bros.’ and Alcon Entertainment’s “Prisoners” estimated $11.3 million through Sunday. The Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal drama has cumed a solid nearly $39 million domestically in two weeks.

In its fifth frame, the Spanish-language hit “Instructions Not Included” — which successfully targeted a broad swath of Hispanic families — reached $38.6 million, making it the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in the U.S., eclipsing “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which made $37.6 million in 2006.

The film’s Stateside benchmark is especially notable considering its entire cume comes from U.S. theaters; the film hasn’t yet been released in Canada.

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Cloudy With … Meatballs 2 (1): $35.0; 4,001; $8,748; $35.0; —
  2. Prisoners (2): $11.3; 3,290; $3,426; $39.0; -46%
  3. Rush (2): $10.3; 2,297; $4,490; $10.6; +999%
  4. Baggage Claim (1): $9.3; 2,027; $4,588; $9.3; —
  5. Don Jon (1): $9.0; 2,422; $3,716; $9.0; —
  6. Insidious Chapter 2 (3): $6.7; 3,120; $2,163; $69.5; -51%
  7. The Family (2): $3.7; 2,894; $1,270; $31.7; -48%
  8. Instructions Not Included (5): $3.4; 948; $3,565; $38.6; -37%
  9. We’re the Millers (8): $2.9; 2,405; $1,191; $142.4; -37%
  10. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (7): $2.4; 2,062; $$1,172; $110.3; -42%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. Runner Runner (1): $11.2; 38; 4,007; $11.2; $11.2; —
  2. The Smurfs 2 (9): $8.8; 67; 8,665; $251.1; $320.7; -38%
  3. Elysium (7): $8.0; 56; 6,265; $171.7; $263.5; -22%
  4. Planes (8): $7.9; 46; n/a; $81.4; $169.1; +10%
  5. We’re the Millers (7): $7.1; 56; 3,520; $95.4; $237.8; -30%

*in millions of $

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