There's nothing like a family-friendly animated movie to help shake off the September doldrums and 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' performed as expected. Although Sony's big release effortlessly took the number one spot, this weekend had a few other bright spots, namely a handful of independent films doing quite well in more limited release.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2$35,000,000$8,748$35,000,000
2Prisoners$11,270,000 (-45.9)$3,426$38,954,000
3Rush$10,314,000 (+5407.0)$4,490$10,574,000
4Baggage Clam$9,300,000$4,588$9,300,000
5Don Jon$9,000,000
6Insidious Chapter 2$6,747,000 (-51.1)$2,163$69,544,000
7The Family$3,700,000 (-47.1)$1,279$31,696,000
8Instructions Not Included$3,380,000 (-37.4)$3,565$38,567,000
9We're the Millers$2,865,000 (-37.1)$1,172$142,418,000
10The Butler$2,417,000 (+42.4)$1,172$110,281,000

With its $35 million opening, 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' opened higher than the first film, which bowed to $30 million back in 2009. That film went on to gross $124 million following word of mouth, so the jury is still out on whether or not the sequel will fully replicate that success in the end. Considering the massive success of other animated sequels this year ('Despicable Me 2' and 'Monsters University'), we think the odds are probably in its favor. After all, we're currently in a dry patch when it comes to family entertainment.

The real surprises this week come from across the top 10. The massively undersold 'Baggage Claim' managed to open in fourth place with $9 million, rubbing elbows with a few major studio productions. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'Don Jon' opened to $9 million, a solid number considering its budget and subject matter. With $38 million in the bank, 'Instructions Not Included' became the highest grossing Spanish-language movie in domestic box office history, beating out 'Pan's Labyrinth.' Just outside of the top 10, 'Enough Said' expanded well, grossing just over $2 million.

However, not every film was that inspiring. Although 'Prisoners' held on reasonably well with $11 million (for a $38 million total), Ron Howard's 'Rush' didn't ride the expansion into wide release as well as it could have, grossing only $10 million. For a film that accessible and expensive, that's a problem.

Elsewhere on the top 10, 'Insidious Chapter 2' continued to slow down, but with nearly $70 million grossed, no one is complaining. 'The Family' managed to break $30 million, so while it's not a hit, it's certainly not a massive disaster. At the very bottom of the list, 'We're the Millers' and 'The Butler' continued to hang on, proving themselves to be two of the most resilient films left over from the summer.

Next week sees the release of 'Gravity,' the ambitious (and excellent) new film from Alfonso Cuaron. But will it be a hit? We shall see.

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