Weekend Box Office: Are there $40 million worth of “Meatballs” fans out there?

ImageThe answer to that has to be “probably.” “Wizard of Oz” took in decent money, owing to the lack of kid-film competition. And since the last theatrical cartoon was the limper-than-limp “Planes,” there is pent up demand. Lots of it.

But could the mediocre sequel “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” manage a $40 million+ weekend? Variety figures it could happen. Remember, the dreadful “Hotel Transylvania” pulled in that much opening at the end of September.

Box Office Mojo says “YES.”

$40 is kind of a benchmark for kids’ cartoons. The biggest ones open at $60-80, in the summer or over the holidays. But a sequel of this magnitude could do that, even in September.

Box Office Guru is even more generous, thinking that $44 million is closer to the mark. Sounds about right to me. I wasn’t crazy about the movie, (most reviews were tepid) but it’ll do some business, even if the trailers suck. Which they have.

The Guru and Mr. Mojo are in agreement on “Rush,” that great reviews and hype and the Ron Howard movie starring Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will only add up to $12 (Mojo) to $14 (Guru) at the box office. We’re Americans. We pay little attention to soccer or Formula 1,  much less to ancient F-1 history. I think this could do better. $15-20.

“Don Jon” may be good, but is too naughty to manage much more than $10 (Mojo says that, Guru goes for $12).

And “Baggage Claim” will be lucky to clear $7. It’s being advertised to death, and its target audience (Tyler Perry’s crowd) is not known for following the suggestions of critics. Who have, to a one, trashed it.

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