Far and away the week's widest new release, the Sony Animation sequel Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is expected to take #1 spot at the box office in the U.S. this weekend by a wide margin.
The film is on pace to make around $35 million--that's more than the next three titles combined. Rush and Prisoners--both in their second weeks--are expected to come in at #2 and #3 with between $10 and $12 million each while both Don Jon and Baggage Claim should rake in around $9.5 million.
How Cloudy 2 will perform going forward may decide whether the movie gets a sequel; a strong opening (better, in fact, than the first movie) helps, but the film cost nearly $80 million to make.
"We're going to have to see what it does [this weekend]," Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 co-director Cody Cameron told ComicBook.com in a recent interview. "I definitely think we've set up enough character, basically enough stuff in the second film that we can branch off and do multiple stories for a third film - but you know it's kind of hard to think about that right now."
Don Jon, of course, is the romantic black comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson; JGL wrote and directed the film, a first for the actor. It also stars Julianne Moore and Tony Danza. The film cost around $3 million to make, and in recent interviews, Gordon-Levitt has said that he would be satisfied with the film's theatrical run if it made $10 million back.
The comedy, about a sex addict who enters into a dysfunctional relationship, has been getting rave reviews and was featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, but opening this weekend put it against the expansion of Rush to a much larger number of theaters and that film--directed by Splash and Apollo 13's Ron Howard--is one of the most acclaimed movies of the year and appeals to much the same audience as Don Jon. There had been some concern as to whether that might affect Don Jon's opening weekend but that seems to have been largely misplaced.