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Box office: A reign of 'Meatballs' heading into the weekend

Box office: A reign of 'Meatballs' heading into the weekend
A scene from "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," which is expected to top the box office this weekend. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation)

It looks to be clear sailing toward the top of the box-office chart for "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," which opened with an estimated $9.3 million on 4,001 screens on Friday.

The 3-D animated sequel to the 2009 film, which debuted with just over $30 million in its opening weekend, looks on track to meet expectations heading into the weekend. Pre-release audience surveys indicated the possibility of $45 million in ticket sales, but the film's distributor, Sony Pictures, predicted a more conservative opening weekend total of $33 million.

Less successful in its debut was Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "Don Jon," which took in an estimated $3.2 million on Friday. The first film written and directed by star Gordon-Levitt, "Don Jon" also features Scarlett Johansson in a New Jersey-shaded take on a modern romantic comedy.

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Thus far "Don Jon" is trailing the Hugh Jackman-led crime drama "Prisoners" and Ron Howard's auto racing film "Rush," which went into wide release this weekend. "Rush" earned an estimated $3.7 million on Friday -- a distant second behind "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" -- and "Prisoners" took in an estimated $3.3 million for a total of more than $31 million in its second weekend.

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"Baggage Claim," a romantic comedy written and directed by David Talbert, opened just behind "Don Jon" on Friday with an estimated $3.2 million.

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Twitter: @chrisbarton

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