Friday, September 18, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of boxoffice

Here's hoping the boxoffice is as good as the 86% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

The Los Angeles Times's business section emphasizes the clouds ...

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which opens tomorrow, is likely to sell close to $30 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, according to people who have seen pre-release audience polling. That's just a little better than the first movie from the studio's Sony Pictures Animation division, Open Season, that opened to a so-so $23.6 million in late September of 2006. Given three years of inflation and the fact that 55% of its theaters will play the movie in 3-D, which typically adds a $2 to $3 surcharge to ticket prices, that means Cloudy will be essentially keeping pace with Open Season.

Sony's second animated feature, 2007's Surf's Up, was a flop, grossing only $58.9 million domestically.

September is generally a slow month at the box office, particularly for family films, so an opening over $30 million would be something of an accomplishment for Sony. The studio's choice of a relatively weak date for a family movie, however, signifies its unwillingness to compete with higher-profile offerings like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Monsters vs. Aliens and Up.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, based on the popular children's book, cost a hefty $100 million to produce, so even a $30-million debut isn't too strong a start. The studio is surely hoping Cloudy will follow the path of Open Season, which ultimately grossed $85.1 million domestically.

At the same time, Times reviewer Glenn Whipp sees sunshine and food:

For the big musical montage number in the wildly enjoyable Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the filmmakers chose Lesley Gore's giddy "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows", but they could just as well have taken a page from Oliver! and gone with "Food, Glorious Food."

Transferring the popular children's book to the big screen, first-time writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller conjure up a veritable blizzard of ways of channeling chow, carrying it off with enough brio to send audiences into a food coma. Really, between the animated rainstorms of Flintstones-sized steaks and the creation of a translucent Jell-O palace, the movie's loopy use of food puts it in the hall of fame between Big Night and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ...

Variety's Peter Debruge is at odds with the Times's dour b.o. forecast:

Tut tut, it looks like a hit for Sony Pictures Animation. Eye-popping and mouth-watering in one, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs spins a 30-page children's book into a 90-minute all-you-can-laugh buffet, expanding the premise of a town where it rains ketchup and hot dogs to disaster-movie proportions. With drooling tongues in cheek, tyro helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ... bring a fresh, irreverent sensibility to bigscreen computer animation, using 3D projection to maximize their sky-is-falling scenario. This box office and concession-stand draw should make exhibitors very happy.


Anonymous said...

And this just in:

Dick Cook "stepping down" as chairman of Disney.

Anonymous said...

I hear it was more like he was fired.

Maybe it was the guinea pig spy movie that finally did it...or maybe Princess and the Frog isn't tracking well...or that stupid new Muppets movie being greenlit...hmmm....

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry, bad link. Here:

Anonymous said...

Well, darn it! HERE:

From Deadline

EXCLUSIVE! Dick Cook Fired From Disney; Hollywood Registering Shock At News; Cook "Never Saw It Coming"
By Nikki Finke | Category: Uncategorized | Friday September 18, 2009 @ 5:00pm
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Disney is adamantly telling people tonight that Dick Cook was not fired. But that's not what Cook himself is telling Hollywood. I'm told that he was called in to see Bob Iger and given the news that "it was over". "He got blindsided by Iger. He never saw it coming," one source who just now spoke to Cook tells me. However, several months ago, rumors were floating that Iger was going to fire Cook because of the motion picture division's recent record of failures (along with some big successes) at the box office. When I asked top execs about this, I was given firm denials. (Then rumors began that Oren Aviv would be axed. Again, denials.) Iger himself talked to analysts about the motion picture division problems.

There can be no doubt that Cook was one of the most popular executives ever to work in showbiz. Tonight, Hollywood can't believe this has happened, especially on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. "I'm shocked by Dick's ouster. I love him more than life," one Disney insider told me, adding, "I walked out of a meeting and heard this. And, 4 minutes later, you post it." It's reminding old Disney hands of the day when Michael Eisner blindsided Jeffrey Katzenberg by firing him. "If your mandate if is to up the Disney brand, then how do you fire somebody who has 38 years of institutional brand knowledge of Disney?"

Naturally, the guessing game of who would replace Cook began immediately. "I don't know who Iger thinks he can find who'll be able to come in there and already have relations with Spielberg, and Zemeckis, and Bruckheimer, and Lasseter, and Burton, like this guy had." And then there is the fact that so many divisions report to Cook that his replacement also must be an experienced administrator as well as have deep talent relations. And that ain't easy.

There's been a lot of talk that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spent a lot of time with Disney CEO Bob Iger during the dealmaking to buy the company, and Feige impressed the hell out of Iger. Of course, there's also the new DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider whose resume includes running Universal, after all, and who could further cement Steven Spielberg's control at his new moviemaking home. ("But she can't. She's a long-term partner with Steven and Reliance in DreamWorks. She not available," said a DreamWorks spokesperson.)

Anonymous said...

Is this post still about Cloudy?

I really hope that opens with 30-40 million. Chris & Phil are going to have a busy award season

Anonymous said...


7.7 million friday estimate for Cloudy, but it will be number 1.

but I guess thats good for September?

It should break 25 million, but I doubt 30 million is possible.

Anonymous said...

Saw it. Great movie! Congrats to Sony

Chip said...

Now looking like 30 million is the likely weekend total, according to Sony estimates.

Not bad. Getting quite good reviews, too. Congratulations to all the crew at Sony Animation, the movie looks really good! Going to see it later today...

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