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

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.

PHOTOS: Billion-dollar movie club

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.

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

ALSO:

Review: 'Baggage Claim' is best left at the lost and found

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I cut some graphic porn from 'Don Jon'

Auto-racing film 'Rush' takes another route with Niki Lauda's help

Twitter: @chrisbarton

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