Earl (Terry Crews), Flint (Bill Hader) and Sam (Anna Faris) in Sony Pictures Animation's CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2.

With Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 set to gross over $40 Million this weekend, you wouldn’t know we’re in September. But the calendar year is no longer segregated into summer/winter, everything else. We’re now seeing that the right film released in January or September can clean up. That is, if there’s no competition.

Kids like going to the movie theater, and though it seems they have more freedom to during the summer and winter holidays, we’ve been seeing kids films that are well marketed rack up impressive numbers all over the calendar year. And though Cloudy 2 won’t challenge the numbers of big summer winners like Monsters University or Despicable Me 2, because there’s nothing else out there it should clear $100 Million and there’s no real competition until the beginning of November. That means it’s got an awful long time (in the box office world) to play. Last year there was a glut of early fall animated titles, with Hotel Transylvania the clear winner, but this year there’s only one. Which means that Cloudy 2 could clear $200 Million if it does open over $40 Million.

This week Rush expands. It doesn’t seem to have much heat. And we could see Don Jon do surprisingly well, but it likely cost less than its ad buy. The same could be said of Baggage Claim, but that’s a little hard to pin down. It could do well if its target demo wants to see it, but Paula Patton is an odd movie star at this point, in that it’s hard to say she has a base of fans. There’s a lot of attractive men in the film, which could help it do well, though, but it feels like a film without a strong push. But I am also not the target demo on that one.

So, let’s predict:

  1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $45 Million
  2. Prisoners – $13 Million
  3. Don Jon – $12.5 Million
  4. Rush - $11 Million
  5. Baggage Claim – $8.3 Million

Rush could be a bit bigger, Don Jon could be a bit smaller, and Baggage Claim could go up or down very easily if tracking didn’t catch one to who really wants to see the film. But Cloudy is a winner, because people love that first film.

What are you going to watch this weekend?