Box Office: 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' soars; 'Jennifer's Body' sinks

This weekend’s box office results proved once again the simple economic principle of supply and demand. Animated pic Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs topped the movie charts with a strong $30 million debut, quenching the drought of kids fare in the marketplace. In contrast, not even the purported female dream team of Megan Fox and writer Diablo Cody could save Jennifer’s Body from a glut of horror movies in theaters, grossing only $6.8 million, a tad better then last weekend’s disappointing $5 million opener of Sorority Row. The performances of the other two new wide releases The Informant! and Love Happens supported the current hypothesis floating around Hollywood, that movie stars no longer matter. Not Matt Damon nor Jennifer Aniston could do much to propel their movies into box office hits. The Informant! from director Steven Soderbergh grossed an estimated $10.5 million for a second place opening while Love Happens, co-starring Aaron Eckhart, bowed in fourth place with $8.4 million. Rounding out the top five was Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself. In its second weekend of release, the film starring Taraji P. Henson dropped an estimated 57% to gross another $10 million for a third place finish.

The bulk of Cloudy’s grosses came from its 3-D runs, boosting the film and the total box office up significantly from last year at this time. According to the studio, the film earned between $17.5-$18 million from the advanced technology while another $2.45 million was attributed to its 127 IMAX runs. The movie from first-time animation directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller marks Sony Pictures Animation’s highest opening gross for its animated films. Next up for the studio is Hotel Transylvania, centering on a young monster hunter who falls in love with Dracula’s daughter.

In other box office news, the limited release of  Jane Campion’s festival fave Bright Star scored decently on its 19 screens for a $190,000 opening. The film has grossed $207,000 since opening on Wednesday.

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  • Amanda

    The Informant did exactly the amount everyone thought it was going to do. It wasnt supposed to be a big box office winner. And in only 1800 theaters neither was Anistons movie. They both did what was expected.

    • m.

      i agree about “Informant!”. I would say that Aniston movie did little bit less than I expected (even considering it had less cinemas), but we will see what happens in next week. Some of these romantic comedies stick around a lot of time.
      According to imdb “Love Happens” budget was 18 million and “Informant!” budget was 21 million, both of these movies probably end up making profit.

      • mike

        Jennifer Anistons movie did better than the second place movie becuase it had way less theaters and the nttake to those theaters was way mpre than that of the seocnd place mvoei so it did rele well for a LIMITED release.

    • Jane

      Except for the Ocean movies and few other exceptions, Steven Soderbergh films tend to be critically appraised but don’t make a lot of money. This can’t be a surprise to the studios. Honestly, this is probably one of those projects the studio said yes to just to keep in good standing with the Soderbergh and Damon camps, hoping that they’ll say yes to another Ocean movie when the time comes.

      • jim mikel

        “yes to another OCEANS move?”
        Are you kidding. The first one was smug and barely watchable, while the last two were downright garbage.

      • Walden

        Well Jim, the Ocean movies were hits whether you liked them or not. For the record, I really enjoyed the first one, the second I could take or leave, and I haven’t seen the third one yet. But despite my indifference, it was a hit, the world is bigger than my opinion.

    • Sally in Chicago

      You have to look at the per screen amounts, not the total weekend receipts. Per screen tells you how many butts were in the seats.
      Love did $4455 and the Informant did about $4600. Not bad.

    • sindy

      I did not even know jenn anniston had a movie coming out,didnt get promoted much. megan fox is so overrated. pretty but trashy & when she opens her mouth she becomes just an average girl. nothing special & not classy.marilyn monroe she is not.

  • joe

    The fact that Jennifer’s Body got horrible reviews is the reason it bombed. Not because of any horror glut.
    EW’s beloved Diablo Cody is overrated. One good screenplay and out.

    • fancypants

      agree. i never understood the hype over juno. the screenplay was largely infantile/formulaic.

    • crispy

      So now that it’s official that Diablo Cody is an overrated hack, can EW cancel her awful column?

    • Jane

      Yeah, I didn’t like Juno either. As soon as it opened and Juno said, “Silencio old man!” to Dwight Schrute, I rolled my eyes and thought, “And the pretensions have started. This is gonna be a long two hours.”

    • t3hdow

      Since when did a sophomore slump become a measure of overrated talent, or worse, the one-hit wonder? Something’s telling me a lot of you were all too happy to wait for Diablo Cody’s follow up to fail, just to jump on her.
      At least wait a few more films before you jump the gun. Even the best artists have misfires.

      • crispy

        It’s not a sophomore slump if the freshman entry was crap too.

      • raingods

        With luck there won’t be a few more films. And I jumped on her poor writing from the start. Juno was a pretentious, cloying piece of crap that tried to be clever and only pointed out her failures even more.

    • Q

      The success of horror films has never been based on reviews. Friday the 13th was lambasted and opened huge. Drag me to Hell was adored and couldn’t find an audience.

    • Anitamargarita

      One good screenplay? Have any of you seen her TV show? It’s great, and the lead just won an Emmy for it. Soooooo, I don’t think she’s going anywhere.

    • Lou

      I don’t really hate Diablo Cody as much as everyone else….oh, ok, yeah, I dislike her as much as everyone else. I gotta agree…please EW, drop her cringe-worthy articles. They do nothing to elevate your magazine, they’re the very definition of amateur writing and desperate to be hip. I’m glad audiences saw through this charade and went to better movies like the Informant!

    • Chris

      Jennifer’s Body got mixed reviews, with even Roger Ebert praising the film.

  • fancypants

    i think Meryl Streep is the only movie star that can command an audience for opening weekend. People know they’re going to see a quality movie when they see a Streep film (i.e. Julie & Julia, Mamma Mia and The Devil Wears Prada. also Doubt to a lesser extent)

    • Jane

      You thought Mamma Mia was a quality movie? I loved the show on stage and thought everyone in the movie was uber-cheesy. But I’ll forgive Streep for that- if I were one of the greatest actors in the world and a producer told me, “You have to act slightly stupid to make the plot work, but hey, it’s a free couple of months in Santorini” then I would have taken the job. Pride vs Free stay in the Greek Isles? That’s an easy decision to make.

      • fancypants

        i’ve never seen mamma mia. but i said what i said based on how much people seem to love it (the movie has some die-hard fans) and how well it did at the box office.

      • maiv

        Yeah, Mamma Mia was uber cheese. But I guess that’s why people liked it?

    • Eric

      She is the only Movie Star that can open big on a weekend? Ever heard of Will Smith?

    • eclav

      Wrong about Streep’s movies always having good openings. She has had hits and flops like everyone else. As for “Doubt” it had a total domestic gross of about 33 mill. A little more than “‘Meatballs” did in one weekend.

  • Rob

    True that about Meryl Streep. She can always be counted on to open big in a summer movie.

  • kjb.in805

    Cody does not have just one screenplay to her credit, she also writes a column for EW that is very entertaining and her autobiography, Candy Girl, is well written and hysterical. If Jennifer’s Body is a misstep, we’re all allowed one every now and then. I say the jury is still out..

    • crispy

      Ahh, how exciting to see Diablo Cody’s mom posting a comment.

      • Fatima

        I don’t know if you think it’s possible, but some of us still like Diablo.

      • crispy

        Are those the same people who like Twilight? Because they should all be gassed.

      • t3hdow

        Crispy, now you’re just making bad assumptions, and it’s making you look ridiculous. If you don’t like Diablo Cody’s column, skip it. She only makes a single column a month.
        While I wish Cody aims her focus less on reality TV and 90210/Melrose Place, when she makes an interesting topic, she’s as sharp as Stephen King and Mark Harris.

      • crispy

        Oh, I do skip it. In fact, I canceled my subscription because of how awful EW has gotten over the last few years. Special guest columns are #2 on that list. Diablo Cody has never covered an interesting topic. And for the record, those Stephen King columns are terrible too. He has the music taste of an old stoner.

      • t3hdow

        I won’t argue EW’s quality has gone down recently, but there are enough good articles to keep reading. I’m curious as to why you visit ew.com when you loathe the mag, though (besides the free access).

        On Stephen King, however, are you seriously judging his column because of his taste in music? Music is such a widely subjective medium, you’d be hard pressed to agree with EVERYTHING anyone listens to, friends and critics alike. Besides, I realize that unlike the 60-something King, I’m a 22 year old black male, so it’d be ridiculous to expect his favorites to match mine.
        Besides, I’d rather hear his thoughts on TV, movies and books anyway, which are much more fun to read.

      • crispy

        Aren’t all his columns about music? :) Honestly, I stopped reading them when he wouldn’t stop writing about how much he loves Neil Young.

        As for the EW website, there’s some good stuff on here (on days when every post isn’t about Twilight). Doc Jensen’s Lost coverage cannot be missed.

  • mscisluv

    Jennifer’s Body wasn’t exactly a horror film; it leaned more to the dark comedy genre, which I think meant that the normal horror film group didn’t show up for it. Also, it has this whole pro-feminism bent to it, but most women hate Megan Fox (some out of jealousy, some because she’s obnoxious).

    • Jane

      I’m a woman and I’m not jealous of Megan Fox. I just don’t get why people love her. She’s just a pretty girl and an adequate actress. What’s with the hype?

      • Mark

        The hype is simple to explain — she looks like a porn star. This is why she finishes high on men’s lists of most attractive actresses and never shows up on women’s lists. It has nothing to do with jealousy (that’s what the idiots who stare at her pictures online all day doing stuff you don’t want to think about say to justify the fact they’re drooling over someone whose looks is tailor-made for Debbie Does Dallas 20.

    • Lorrie

      It’s a shame if people didn’t see Jennifer’s Body because they don’t like Megan Fox personally for some reason (I couldn’t care less about celebrity gossip). It was a funny movie, a horror-comedy. And Amanda Seyfried was the real star, anyway. She kicked ass.

  • Fatima

    The horror-comedy genre is one that never ever takes off. I can’t really think of one that was a hit. Even when they are pretty entertaining like Slither, they tend to bomb. I guess we’ll see with Zombieland soon.

    • ArchStanton

      Shaun of the Dead was a hit. Jennifer’s Body bombed because Michael Bay was right: Fox is little more than a surgery-enhanced piece of eye candy. Her obnoxious personality killed any chance of seeing even that. Perhaps EW will finally stop highlighting this vapid piece of trash. I’d predict her doing porno in a couple of years, but even that would require more acting talent and charisma than she has. Is it too much to hope this will be the last we hear of her?

      • Mariah

        Yes. She’s got a slew of movies coming in various stages of production.

  • jfms777

    Funny (and great) that Meryl has become the new Julia Roberts (with a ton more acting skill).

    • James S.

      You’re implying that Julia Roberts has any acting skill to speak of.

  • jrrrz

    Meryl Streep’s pinky finger has a lot more talent than Julia Roberts, and that means that the dirt under Meryl Streep’s pinky fingernail has more talent than Megan Fox will ever have.

  • Jane

    I’ll bet it sucks to have to write an article like this, knowing that you’re going to have to face Diablo in the halls at some point and try not to look sorry for her.

    • crispy

      Good grief. Diablo Cody writes a 500-word column like once a month, and in all likelihood she emails it to the managing editor. I doubt she’s ever stepped foot in the EW office.

  • Al Sharpe

    Meatballs was based on a popular kids book. Not to mention 3D is making a big splash this year. Wait until Cameron’s Avatar at Xmas.

    • noggster

      Isn’t James Cameron’s Avatar an adult movie? I mean the Avatar the Last Airbender is a kids’ show directed by Shamalan (or however you spell it). 2 different Avatar movies but not sure if Cameron’s is also a kids movie.

  • Sally in Chicago

    Love happens cost $18mil to make. It did $8Mil. It’s almost halfway there; and its per screen was $4500.
    Not bad.

  • kelsey

    “Movie stars no longer matter”? Wow. I wonder how long that’s gonna last …

  • BrianM

    I hope the “Jennifer’s Body” returns will put a stop to the “Megan Fox is the most bankable actress in Hollywood” stories. Or all the stories, period. Her acting and looks had nothing to do with the success of “Transformers.”

    • Jackie

      Hallelujah and Amen to that Brian! It bothers me so much when someone is elevated to so-called A List status because they happen to appear in a movie that makes a bazillion dollars. People went to see the transformers – not the humans. Anybody could have played those parts. Grrrrr. It bugs me.

  • Mandy

    That is an embarassingly bad performance for Jennifer’s Body. I agree with another poster: I hope this stops people from thinking that Megan Fox is the most money-making actress in Hollywood. Transformers would have done just as good without her.

    I like Megan and all – but yikes. This is really terrible.

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