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'Meatballs' holds box office for second week

  • Story Highlights
  • 'Meatballs' bested three new wide releases, raising its total gross to $60 million
  • "Surrogates," starring Bruce Willis in a futuristic world, opened to $15 million
  • With no recognizable names, "Fame" failed to launch, opening in third place
  • The weekend's other new release, "Pandorum," took in just $4.4 million
By Adam Markovitz
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Entertainment Weekly

(Entertainment Weekly) -- Seconds, anyone? Eating up $24.6 million worth of tickets, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" defied box office gravity by falling a minuscule 19 percent to win the top spot yet again.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" fell a miniscule 19 percent, holding the top spot for a second week.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" fell a miniscule 19 percent, holding the top spot for a second week.

The CG family film capitalized on good buzz and a lack of kid-friendly fare in theaters to best three new wide releases, raising its total gross to $60 million.

In a distant second place, "Surrogates," starring Bruce Willis as an FBI agent in a futuristic world, opened to $15 million. That's a middling bow for a headliner like Willis, but the 'Die Hard' star can hardly be blamed: His image was totally absent from much of the movie's marketing, including an odd poster campaign that featured human-robot hybrids in seductive poses.

At number three with $10 million, the much-hyped "Fame" remake failed to light up the sky like a flame, as it were. With no recognizable names among its youthful stars (the supporting cast features vets like Megan Mullally and Kelsey Grammer), the musical relied almost entirely on nostalgia for the 1980 original to fill seats.

The weekend's other new release, the outer space thriller "Pandorum," failed to launch, earning just $4.4 million from 2,506 theaters for a decidedly earthbound per-screen average of $1,758.

But there was plenty of good news among holdovers this week on top of Meatballs' repeat victory. Raking in $6.9 million, Matt Damon's off-kilter comedy "The Informant!" fell just 34 percent in its second weekend, a sure sign of good word of mouth for the Steven Soderbergh-directed pic.

Meanwhile, Tyler Perry's "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" stayed put for a third weekend in the top five with $4.8 million.

Further down the chart, a pack of limited-release pics tested the waters with mixed results. There were a few clear winners: Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" generated a whopping $240,000 from just four theaters for $60,000 per-screen average?the year's best so far.

The Audrey Tautou period biopic "Coco Before Chanel" grossed $177,000 at 5 locations for a $35,400 average, and "The Office" star John Krasinski pulled in $20,600 at a single screen with his directorial debut, "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men."

Meanwhile, slower starts were had by the Clive Owen drama "The Boys Are Back" ($51,000 from six screens) and "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell," featuring macho blogger and best-selling author Tucker Max, which earned a so-so $369,000 from 120 theaters.

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