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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Takes the Cake

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | September 20, 2009 |

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | September 20, 2009 |

Whoa. Someone adapted a 32-page children’s book about food falling from the sky and turned it into something both hilariously irreverent and visually engaging (and not called Where the Wild Things Are), and then PEOPLE TURNED OUT FOR IT. Look, when your number ones of late consist of a fourth Final Destination and the umpteenth Tyler Perry sass-fest*, to see people go see a pleasant surprise is a pleasant surprise in and of itself, and in the hands of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the minds behind new old-favorite “Clone High”), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs took in a lot of dough — $30 million, to be exact. Even without IMAX and regular 3-D upcharges factored in, that’s some serious numbers for the oft-overlooked Sony Pictures Animation to boast, and I suspect that many of the childless masses gave that 86 percent Tomatometer the benefit of the doubt, to boot.

Coming in at second place with a third of that opening weekend was The Informant!, taking a not-too-shabby $10.5 million for a whistle-blowing comedy marketed as a much broader farce than it actually is. It’s Matt Damon’s weakest opening since The Good Shepherd in 2006, but something tells me that him and movie-making machine Steven Soderbergh have no shortage of Ocean’s Benjamins with which to dry their tears.

In third was Tyler Perry’s I Can Take Up the Marquee All By Myself with $10.1 million, in fourth was the slow-clap-tastic Love Happens with $8.5 million (Jennifer Aniston’s worst wide release since 2005’s ), and in fifth was the un-scary, un-funny Jennifer’s Body, whose $6.8 million may or may not indicate that A) Diablo Cody has blown all her Oscar cred and B) Megan Fox can’t open a movie unless there are oversized alien robots by her side (or maybe Shia’s been the secret ingredient all along…).

(Oh, we’ll have reviews of that and Cloudy up tomorrow.)

9 came in sixth with $5.5 million, Inglourious Basterds became Tarantino’s highest domestic grosser to date in seventh ($3.6m), All About Steve took in $3.4 million at eighth place and looks to be Sandra Bullock’s lowest grosser since 2002’s Murder by Numbers. Rounding out the top ten were Sorority Row ($2.5 million) and The Final Destination ($2.4 million); the latter lost its 3-D screens to Cloudy and had pretty much run its course anyway, no?

(*No, I haven’t seen it yet. This does not automatically make me a racist, Guess Who!.)

Emmy Awards Open Thread | 2009 Emmy Award Winners List