‘Meatballs’ Rain on Willis’ Parade with 24.6M Wknd

Three new releases disappoint — “Surrogates” $15 m, “Fame” $10m, “Pandorum” $4.4 m

Last Updated: September 27, 2009 @ 1:57 PM

Sunday box-office update:

Sony’s "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" reigned supreme for the second straight weekend, cooking up an estimated $24.6 million in ticket sales at the domestic box office for the three-day period, according to individuals at the studio.

The 3D animated feature dropped by only 19 percent from its $30.1 million premiere a week prior and has now grossed $60 million in North America.

Finishing a disappointing second, Disney’s futuristic action film "Surrogates" starring Bruce Willis opened to $15 million for the weekend, about $10 million short of the most optimistic pre-release expectations for a movie that costs about $80 million to make.

Third place belonged to MGM’s remake of the 1980 musical "Fame," which also fell low of predictions with $10 million. But that movie came in with a much lower production price tag of $18 million. Marketing costs were about the same, individuals at the studio said.

Meanwhile, the weekend’s other major release, Overture’s R-rated horror film set in space, "Pandorum," starring Dennis Quaid, took in only $4.4 million. The movie cost producer Constantin Films $40 million to produce, but Overture licensed North American distribution rights for $10 million.

More to come…

Saturday update:

It was a rough Friday at the box office — unless you’re the studio behind "Cloudy wth a Chance of Meatballs."

Three new major releases — Disney’s Bruce Willis sci-fi action movie "Surrogates," MGM remake "Fame" and Overture sci-fi horror film "Pandorum" — all failed to meet their pre-release estimates. But the second week of Sony’s 3D animated "Cloudy and a Chance of Meatballs" was perhaps even more auspicious than the first.

The $100 million budget movie, which opened last weekend at $30.1 million, finished first Friday, taking in another $5.6 million domestically at 3,119 venues. It’s projected that the children’s book adaptation will finish the three-day weekend period with $23.9 million for a cumulative total of nearly $60 million. Foreign sales haven’t even begun to be tablulated.

Finishing second Friday, Disney’s male-skewing "Surrogates" took in $5 million, on track to earn $14.3 million this weekend, well below estimates that were as high as $25 million for the film coming into the weekend. The PG-13-rated film, which comes from the conglomerates adult-targeted Touchstone label, has a production price tag of around $80 million.

Also experiencing a tough opening, but likely to lose far less money, MGM’s "Fame," with $3.5 million on Friday, is on pace for a $9.1 million weekend. However, the studio says the movie was shot for only $18 million and financed by foreign pre-sales.

Meanwhile, Overture’s R-rated horror-movie-in-space "Pandorum" starring Dennis Quaid is starting out even below modest expectations, opening at $1.6 million on track for a $4.1 million weekend. Constantin Films paid a reported $40 million to shoot the film, but Overture shelled out only $10 million to distribute it in North America.

On Wednesday, Overture also opened Michael Moore’s latest film, "Capitalism: A Love Story," in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The movie will finish the weekend with more than $270,000 from those limited engagements and is set for wide release next weekend.

Here’s a look at the top 10 box office ticket sales for Friday:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ($5.6 mil.)

Surrogates ($5.0 mil.)

Fame ($3.5 mil.)

The Informant! ($2.0 mil.)

Pandorum ($1.6 mil.)

Love Happens ($1.4 mil.)

Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad… ($1.4 mil.)

Jennifer’s Body ($1.1 mil.)

9 ($0.8 mil.)

Inglourious Basterds ($0.8 mil.)

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