Now with abundant Add On.
So last week a top-level Disney animator says to me in the doorway of his hat building office:
"Have you seen Cloudy with Meatballs yet? No? Well, I thought it was really good. I found it to be fresh and funny. I know the two directors didn't have much animation experience, but maybe that helped the picture. I thought they brought a new slant to what they did ..."
It's starting to look like a cloudy weekend for everything but "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."
"Surrogates" and "Fame" both had soft opening days, while Sony's animated film dropped only 31% from its debut Friday last week to $5.6 million. Animated family films tend to decline even less on a Saturday and Sunday, meaning "Cloudy," the third movie from Sony Pictures Animation, could fall between 20% and 25% for the weekend.
That's an extremely small second-weekend drop and would be a sign of excellent word of mouth.
"Cloudy" will almost certainly gross over $20 million for the weekend, giving it a lock on first place ...
Bad news for Bruce Willis's sci fi opus. Good news for animation.
Add On: Friday's results, per the Hollywood Reporter, are about as expected:
Disney will probably have to rein in its weekend expectations for Bruce Willis starrer "Surrogates," after the sci-fi thriller rung up an estimated $5 million in first-day grosses.
That was good only for second place in Friday's domestic ranking ... [I]t looks like last weekend's No. 1 pic -- Sony's 3D animated "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" -- is staging a run at repeat bragging rights, ringing up $5.6 million on Friday for $41 million in cumulative boxoffice over its first eight days in release.
As Sam Goldwyn said "When people don't want to come see your movie, you can't stop them ..."
So Meatballs is on a tear, and animation gets another booster shot.
Add On Too: And Cloudy walks off with top honors for a second weekend ... and Bruce should maybe think about prepping another Die Hard installment, because he's now entered the danger area of "aging action star."
Audiences took a look at the new movie offerings this weekend and decided to stick with what they knew. Two major new wide releases, "Surrogates" and "Fame," both posted weak openings and received poor reactions from those who did attend. Moviegoers gave the films an average grade of "C" and "B-," respectively, according to market research firm CinemaScore. Audiences are typically generous graders, so those are signs of poor word-of-mouth and, most likely, short box-office runs.
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," meanwhile, dropped an extremely modest 19%, indicating very strong word-of-mouth and continued hunger for a family film.
After its decent but not great $30.3-million launch last week, "Cloudy" enjoyed the third-lowest second-weekend drop of any film this year, after "Taken" and "Coraline." The studio-estimated $24.6 million in tickets it sold in the U.S. and Canada this weekend brought its total domestic gross after 10 days to $60 million. The $100-million production, the third from Sony Pictures Animation, is now on solid financial footing, aided by the $13.3 million it has earned so far from four foreign territories ...
The score card:
1. Meatballs (Sony) Week 2, Wkd $24.6M (-19%), [3,119] Cume $60M
2. Surrogates (Disney) NEW, Wkd $15M [2,951]
3. Fame (MGM) NEW, Wkd $10M [3,096]
4. The Informant (WB) Week 2, Wkd $6.9M (-34%) [2,505] Cume $20.9M
5. I Can Do Bad All By Myself (LG) Week 3, Wkd $4.7M [2,120] Cume $44.5M
6. Pandorum (Overture) NEW, Wkd $4.4M [2,506]
7. Love Happens (Universal) Week 2, Wkd $4.3M (-46%) [1,898] Cume $14.M
8. Jennifer's Body (Fox), Week 2, Wkd $3.5M (-49%) [2,738] Cume $12.3M
9. 9 (Focus), Week 3, Wkd $2.8M [2,025] Cume $27.1M
10. Inglourious Basterds (Wein/Uni) Week 6, Wkd $2.7M [1,960] Cume $114.4M
As you see, animation sits on top and bottom of the Big Ten