'Meatballs' sequel swallows up U.S., Canadian box office

Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:26pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The sequel to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" devoured the weekend box office competition.

The animated 3D "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2," which tells the story of monster-sized fruits, vegetables and cheeseburgers that come to life as "foodimals," earned $35 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday, easily beating all competitors.

"Cloudy 2" outpaced car racing drama "Rush," which pulled in $10.3 million from Friday through Sunday to finish third, behind last week's winner, drama "Prisoners" starring Hugh Jackman, which made $11.3 million.

The "Cloudy" sequel features the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Faris and is a follow-up to a 2009 hit that saw the fictional island of Swallow Falls attacked by giant food that plunges from the sky. In the new installment, the food comes to life and evolves into "foodimals" that include a hippopotamus, eggplanatee and cheespider, a cheeseburger with sesame-seed eyes and french-fry legs.

Some forecasters projected "Cloudy 2" would gross up to $45 million, though Sony said it expected a lower debut of between $30 million and $35 million. The movie cost $78 million to produce.

"This is just a fantastic start," said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures' worldwide president of distribution.

"We knew that people really loved the film from our early screenings, and it's one of those times that the sequel is better than the first one," he said.

Bruer also predicted that the film would resonate with audiences overseas, saying: "I'm certain it's going to do even better internationally."   Continued...

(L-R) Andy Samberg, Anna Faris, Bill Hader and Terry Crews, voice talents from the new Sony Pictures Animation film "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2", pose during a photo call in Beverly Hills, California September 15, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser