LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The family cartoon "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" led the North American box office for a second weekend on Sunday while another slew of newcomers bombed amid crippling reviews and moviegoer apathy.
"Cloudy," a 3D animated feature based on a popular children's book, earned $24.6 million during the three days beginning Friday. The 10-day haul for the Columbia Pictures release stands at $60 million.
The Bruce Willis robot thriller "Surrogates" opened at No. 2 with $15 million. The film's Touchstone Pictures distributor had hoped it would open at No. 1 but "Cloudy" enjoyed a bigger-than-expected hold. The cartoon lost just 19 percent of its audience, compared to a standard drop of about 50 percent.
"Fame," a family-friendly remake of the 1980 musical, opened at No. 3 with $10 million. The low-budget film was released by cash-strapped studio MGM, which had hoped for an opening in the $15 million range.
The Dennis Quaid sci-fi film "Pandorum" did even worse, opening at No. 6 with $4.8 million. Industry observers had expected an opening in the high-single-digits for the Overture Films release.
The sub-par performances come a week after another bunch of newcomers -- "The Informant!," "Love Happens" and "Jennifer's Body" -- all suffered disappointing openings. Early fall is traditionally a quiet time at the box office as the studios quietly clear out their weaklings while laying the groundwork for their awards-season hopefuls.
Columbia Pictures is a unit of Sony Corp. Touchstone Pictures is a unit of Walt Disney Co. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc, which is closely held. Overture is a unit of Liberty Media Corp.