Weekend Box Office: Parents take break from fretting about Breaking Bad to shovel Meatballs into kids’ maws 

Weekend Box Office: Parents take break from fretting about Breaking Bad to shovel Meatballs into kids’ maws 

Perhaps in exchange for going to their rooms and sitting quietly for a very important 75 minutes last night, the nation’s parents brought their kids in droves to see Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 this weekend. Opening to a healthy $35 million, which is slightly more than its predecessor made out the gate four years ago, the animated sequel provided eye candy for cartoon-loving children—and a brief distraction for the accompanying grownups, who did their best to enjoy all the food puns and stop dwelling, if only for a couple hours (or seconds), on how Breaking Bad might end later in the weekend. Cloudy 2 didn’t quite match the $42.5 million Hotel Transylvania made on the same weekend a year ago, possibly because some parents didn’t leave the house from this past Wednesday until Sunday night, busy as they were watching AMC’s comprehensive Breaking Bad marathon. The good news for the movie is that it’s the only major family flick opening between now and the beginning of November. That gives Cloudy-avoiding adults a whole month to make it up to the offspring they ignored and neglected during Breaking Bad finale week.

With America’s drama quotient filled by the acts of thinking, talking, dreaming, crying, worrying, formulating theories, writing essays, and resisting the urge to punish the for-some-damn-reason-uninitiated with spoilers about Breaking Bad, viewers treated the rest of the weekend’s new movies as mostly expendable. Two romantic comedies, the Paula Patton vehicle Baggage Claim ($9.3 million) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon ($9 million), clocked in at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Both were beat by holdovers from the previous week: Trailing far behind Cloudy 2 with $11.2 million, child-kidnapping thriller Prisoners lost close to half its audience in its second week—probably because it wasn’t the last episode of a wildly successful TV drama series—while the Formula 1 biopic Rush pulled only $10.3 million despite expanding to close to 3,000 theaters. Perhaps if Bryan Cranston had played one of the other drivers…

The Mexican comedy Instructions Not Included continues to defy critics—the A.V. Club’s included—who ignored its roll-out at the end of August. The film has now made $38.5 million in the States, surpassing the previous Spanish-language record-holder, Pans Labyrinth (and climbing to No. 4 on the list of foreign-language imports in America). Meanwhile, no one seems to know whether to label Metallica: Through The Never a success or a failure, probably because there aren’t a lot of precedents for this kind of 3-D IMAX concert event. Then again, given the roughly $18 million the producers spent building the world’s biggest indoor stage and shooting Dane DeHaan battling horse-riding anarchists, it’s hard to spin $1.6 million as something worth celebrating. Also, Gravity opens next week, so James Hetfield and company might have just a little trouble holding onto those IMAX screens. To finish beating this running joke into the ground, they could do as poorly as whatever MTV was airing during the Breaking Bad finale. (Teen Mom reruns, it turns out.)

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo