Pacing to slightly top the debut gross of its predecessor, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2″ is dominating the weekend box office.
“Meatballs” earned a solid $9.3 million Friday, which positions it significantly above its nearest competitors–and fellow newcomers–”Rush,” “Don Jon” and “Baggage Claim.”
The $9.3 million Friday gross tops the $8.1 million opening day tally for the first film and suggests a weekend bow in the $30-35 million range.
That will more than double the projected total for “Rush,” which despite its critical acclaim and high-profile campaign, only earned $3.7 million Friday for an expected weekend bow in the $10-12 million range.
Holdover “Prisoners” narrowly defeated newcomer “Don Jon” Friday; it earned $3.4 million, compared to the $3.3 for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut. Fellow new entry “Baggage Claim” landed fifth with $3.3 million in its own receipts.
“Metallica Through the Never,” which opened on a limited basis, earned $783,000 from 308 screens. While not a monster total by any means, that actually represents the highest per-theater average of any film in the Friday top ten.