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Box Office Update 9/18-9/20: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Rains on the Competition

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs easily won the weekend with its near record September opening. It slipped past The Exorcism of Emily Rose and trails only Rush Hour and Sweet Home Alabama. I have not yet seen it, but have heard good things about it. I have also heard that if you want to see it in 3D, you may want to see it soon, as it is going to lose many screens to the 3D release of the two Toy Story films on October 2. Speaking of 3D, it is very likely that the 3D screens helped push it to the top. That is not to say it isn't good, but you cannot deny the help that steeper ticket prices provides.

Coming in a distant second place is The Informant!, the latest from Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon's first major release since The Bourne Ultimatum. The movie is quite good, has a half to two thirds of a good script, and a captivating lead performance by Damon. It is an interesting look at an actual event that many people may not be aware of. It is funny, confusing, and shows the convergence of corporate crime and mental illness. Definitely worth checking out, although I suspect it will not warrant much on the revisit front.

Tyler Perry's latest, Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself, slips to third place with a 58% dip from its debut week. I still have not seen any of his films, but they always do well and generally review decently. I just do not have much interest in them, so let's move along.

Fourth place is home to Love Happens, a new romantic comedy/drama hybrid that I suspected would do better than fourth place. Aaron Eckhart stars as a self-help author who has trouble taking his own advice, that is until he meets Jennifer Aniston, who has given up on dating. This is another one I have not seen. I have not decided if I will or not. On one hand, it does not look particularly original, but it does have Judy Greer and Dan Fogler in the supporting cast. Perhaps I will see it somewhere down the line.

Diablo Cody's Juno follow-up has arrived, and it is a distinctly different beast, but has a familiar flair, and that would be Cody's dialogue. Is it realistic? Not really, but it has a certain panache that works within the film's created reality. Karyn Kusama returns to the chair for the first time since Aeon Flux and I am happy to report that it is a much more successful experience. I thought the film would open stronger, but after seeing it, I suspect despite its quality it will have a limited range of appeal.

The bottom half of the top ten list does not offer up anything that is all that special, but it should be noted that Inglourious Basterds continues to do well. It has become Quentin Tarantino's biggest hit thus far in his career. It also continues to defy my expectations, not that it means much. As much as I liked the film, I thought for sure it would have a steep drop-off due to the lack of Pitt and abundance of subtitles. I am glad to have been wrong.

Next week will see new competition from the remake of Fame, the Bruce Willis science fiction/actioner Surrogates, and the science fiction/horror film Pandorum, which stars Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: Whiteout (11), Julie & Julia (12), District 9 (13), and Gamer (14).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $30,304,648 $30,304,648 1
2 N The Informant! $10,464,314 $10,464,314 1
3 1 Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself $9,877,436 $37,749,545 2
4 N Love Happens $8,057,010 $8,057,010 1
5 N Jennifer's Body $6,868,397 $6,868,397 1
6 2 9 $5,563,134 $22,918,077 2
7 3 Inglourous Basterds $3,818,142 $110,116,807 5
8 4 All About Steve $3,373,212 $26,651,633 3
9 6 Sorority Row $2,499,758 $8,880,742 2
10 5 The Final Destination $2,388,473 $62,405,206 4

Box Office Predictions Recap

Surprisingly, I got a bunch of the positions correct. These in-between weeks are notoriously difficult to predict. They are filled with titles that are not sure things. We are between blockbuster season and Oscar season has not yet arrived. I think I managed quite well with my only big misstep being Love Happens. I thought for sure it would be a bigger draw than it was.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $30,304,648 $26 million
4 2 Love Happens $8,057,010 $15 million

2

3 The Informant! $10,464,314 $13.5 million
3 4 Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself $9,877,436 $12 million
5 5 Jennifer's Body $6,868,397

$10 million

6 6 9 $5,563,134 $5.5 million
7 7 Inglourious Basterds $3,818,142 $3.5 million
8 8 All About Steve $3,373,212 $2.75 million
9 9 Sorority Row $2,499,758 $2.5 million
11 10 Whiteout $2,131,043 $2 million

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