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'Cloudy 2' Clear Winner Over Spotty Weekend, 'Instructions Not Included' Highest Spanish Grosser Ever

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood September 29, 2013 at 1:55PM

Four new wide releases split up the grosses, with a decent performing (though not spectacular) "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" (Sony) leading the way, grossing more than the other three new films combined--Universal's expansion of "Rush," Fox comedy "Baggage Claim" and Relativity's "Don Jon." With the second weekend of "Prisoners" (Warner Bros.) down just under 50%, the combined under-performance across the board took its toll.
'Don Jon'
'Don Jon'

A clear success compared to cost ($4 million acquisition for Relativity of a reported $6 million budgeted production), Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut built on Sundance and Toronto festival attention and decent reviews to score a modest showing in an unusually wide initial release for a Park City-acquired film (less successful "Jobs" was the only other one this year).

Gordon-Levitt stars with Scarlet Johansson in this romantic comedy. It comes a year after his top-billed role in "Looper" scored a $20 million debut last year, but this film opened better than either "Premium Rush" or "50/50." He clearly has gained from supporting roles in Christopher Nolan's smashes "Inception" and "The Dark Knight Rises" as well as his earlier lead in "(500) Days of Summer." Johannson meantime has similarly been rotating between blockbuster supporting and solid more general releases ("We Bought a Zoo," "He's Just Not That Into You"). So the casting looked prime to connect with a wider audience, and provided ample reason for skipping a more limited release.

What comes next: The C+ Cinemascore - likely taken at theaters that might not have loved "(500) Days" either-- suggests that a broader audience might not be as enthusiastic about the film as its earlier response. Thus this might not sustain a long run. But the gross so far should put this on the road to profit for all involved.

6. Insidious Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) Week 3 - Last weekend #2

$6,747,000 (-51%) in 3,120 theaters (-35); PSA: $2,163; Cumulative: $69,544,000

Though the big money was in the first weekend (over half of its take so far), Jason Blum's latest low-budget horror film is still a solid grosser even with another big drop.

What comes next: Like most of Blum's productions, this will about double its opening.

7. The Family (Relativity) Week 3 - Last weekend #3

$3,674,000  (-47%) in 2,894 theaters (-197); PSA: $1,270; Cumulative: $31,696,000

Another substantial drop for Luc Besson's comedy, which looks like it will need foreign (Russia is the major territory to open so far, doing solid) to bolster its overall success.

What comes next: Relativity should see around a $30 million domestic gross.

8. Instructions Not Included (Lionsgate) Week 5 - Last weekend #4

$3,380,000 (-%) in 948 theaters (-30); PSA: $3,565; Cumulative: $38,567,000

Now claiming the title of biggest-grossing Spanish language film in the U.S. with unadjusted figures ("Pan's Labyrinth" remains the true #1 still, with an inflation-adjusted figure of over $44 million), this sleeper comedy hit remains one of the most important developments of the year. To put things in perspective, playing two fewer weeks, this has grossed $7 million more than "Blue Jasmine" (also a significant success), even though the latter also at its widest played at a similar number of theaters.

What comes next: $45 million remains a real possibility still as this film just won't let up.

9. We're the Millers (Warner Bros.) Week 8 - Last weekend #6

$2,865,000 (-37%) in 2,405 theaters (-598); PSA: $1,191; Cumulative: $142,418,000

The top word of mouth film around continues its long top 10 run, now more than five times its opening weekend gross (far above average).

What comes next: This will fall just short of "The Heat," also with a female lead, for the title of biggest grossing live-action comedy of 2013.

10. Lee Daniels' The Butler (Weinstein) Week 7 - Last weekend #7

$2,417,000 (-42%) in 2,062 theaters (-869); PSA: $1,172; Cumulative: $110,281,000

Losing steam at last, although the drop in gross is still only a bit more than the drop in theaters, showing once again the strong legs this film continues to have,

What comes next: This remains with "Blue Jasmine" the most likely Oscar contender film released pre-"Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave," with its popular performance being its strongest argument.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Don Jon, Prisoners, Rush

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.