With Friday's discouraging results already putting the clamps on any hopes for new wide releases "Surrogates," "Fame" and the disaster that is "Pandorum," Hollywood was looking for some good news from the box office on Sunday and they got it.
Dropping only a stunning 18%, last weekend's champ "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs" remained in the top slot with $22 million. With $60 million in the bank already, the well-reviewed flick could end up with around $90-100 million when all is said and done. And as soon as it makes $86 million it will pass Sony Animation's "Open Season" as the divison's biggest moneymaker. That may not in the DreamWorks or Pixar stratosphere of success, they'll happily take it.
Second place went to "Surrogates" which once again proved how fleeting Bruce Willis' starpower is these days. He opened "Live Free and Die Hard" to a strong $33 million in 2007, but the Sci-Fi angle couldn't push "Surrogates" past his typical $12-15 million opening a range. The Jonathan Mostow thriller made less than industry tracking projected with only $16 million for the weekend. Disney had a slick, eye-catching outdoor campaign for the film with sexy robotic bodies, but they looked nothing like the bland TV spots that were simultaneously running at the same time. Sometimes, even superb marketing can't fool moviegoers on the quality of a flick.
In third place was MGM's only release of this year, "Fame." Featuring mostly unknowns (when your only recognizable names are Kelsey Grammer and Megan Mullally you may have a problem) the drama found only $10 million for the three-day frame. This has to be disheartening for the Lion as the company hasn't been working on much else. MGM's next release is the Joss Whedon produced "A Cabin in the Woods" which appears to have much better commercial prospects. It hits theaters on Feb. 5, 2010.
Fourth place went to Matt Damon's "The Informant!" with $6.9 million which dropped only 33% and has made $20 million so far. The Steven Soderbergh comedy is looking at topping out a little over $30 million which is significantly more than its $22 million budget.
Slowing down significantly in fifth place is Tyler Perry's "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" with an estimated $4.7 million for the weekend. Perry's latest melodrama has made $44 million so far and should finish close to $60 million when all is said and done.
One studio that is experiencing the best of times and the worst of times is Overture Films. Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" has gotten off to a strong start since launching in four venues on Wednesday grossing $306,000. Playing in just four venues, the documentary had the highest per screen average of the year for limited releases with a massive $60,000 per theater. It expands nationwide this Friday.
Unfortunately for Overture, their horror/Sci-Fi flick "Pandorum" pulled in only $4.4 million on 2,500 screens. With a reported budget of $40 million that cannot be good.
Also disappointing was Miramax's limited release debut of Clive Owen's "The Boys Are Back." The Scott Hicks directed drama only made $51,000 from six theaters for a $8,500 average. That won't generate a lot of heat as the movie expands to new markets over the next few weeks.
In other limited release news, however, Sony Pictures Classic's winning streak continues as "Coco Before Chanel" had an impressive opening with $177,000 on only 5 screens. The French language biopic's $35,00 per screen average would be a huge story if not for "Captialism's" eye-popping average overshadowing it.
Next weekend the box office will become even more competitive as the "Toy Story"/Toy Story 2" 3D double feature, "Whip It," "Zombieland" and "The Invention of Lying" hit theaters.
Her are the top ten releases this weekend according to Box Office Mojo. Final results are announced on Monday.
1. "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs," $24.6 million.
2. "Surrogates," $15 million.
3. "Fame," $10 million.
4. "The Informant," $6.9 million, $ 20.9 million to date.
5. "I Can Do Bad All By Myself," $4.7 million, $44.5 million to date.
6. "Pandorum," $4.4 million.
7. "Love Happens," $4.3 million, $14.7 million to date.
8. "Jennifer's Body," $3.5 million, $12.3 million to date.
9. "9," $2.8 million, $27.1 million to date.
10 "Inglourious Basterds," $2.7 million , $114 million to date.
Box Office: Moviegoers not stuffed on 'Meatballs' yet, Moore's 'Capitalism' sets records
'Surrogates' and 'Fame' quickly forgotten with only $15 and $8 million respectively
Follow HitFix: Follow @hitfix