Meatballs is 3rd-Best September Opening Ever

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs dominated the weekend box office with an estimated $30.1 million from 3,119 theaters, an average of $9,651 per theater. The opening marks the third-biggest debut ever for a film in September at the domestic box office, surpassing The Exorcism of Emily Rose ($30.05 million) and trailing Rush Hour ($33 million) and Sweet Home Alabama ($35.6 million). The film, an adaptation of the 1978 book by Judi and Ron Barrett, was released in conventional theaters in both 3D and 2D, as well as in IMAX 3D. Adapted and directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the animated family movie was voiced by Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, Bobb’E J. Thompson and Neil Patrick Harris. It was made for about $90 million.

Coming in a No. 2 was the Steven Soderbergh-directed comedy The Informant!, starring Matt Damon. The Warner Bros. release earned an estimated $10.5 million from 2,505 locations. Averaging $4,210 per site, the $20 million film was based on the book by Kurt Eichenwald about whistleblower Mark Whitacre.

The Lionsgate pic Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself dropped 57.1% its second weekend to third place with $10.1 million. The dramedy has made $37.9 million so far.

Universal Pictures’ new romantic drama Love Happens, starring Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston, debuted in fourth place with $8.5 million. The film, produced for about $18 million, averaged $4,455 in 1,898 theaters.

In fifth place, 20th Century Fox’s Jennifer Body didn’t get much interest from moviegoers, as the Megan Fox-starrer earned just $6.8 million from 2,702 theaters. The one thing the horror-comedy, written by Diablo Cody, has going for it is that it carried a budget of only $16 million.

Focus Features’ 9 dropped 49.2% its second weekend, adding $5.5 million for a total of $22.8 million, while Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds made $3.6 million in its fifth weekend for a total of $109.9 million. “Basterds” is now Tarantino’s highest-grossing North American release ever, surpassing the $107.97 million made by Pulp Fiction.

In limited release, new distributor Apparition’s Bright Star, written/directed by Jane Campion and starring Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish, collected $190,000 from just 19 theaters, a strong average of $10,000 per theater. The film opened on Wednesday and has made $207,000 total.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.

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