Sony’s 3D family film Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs eclipsed the competition in a weekend that also saw Inglourious Basterds become Quentin Tarantino’s biggest domestic hit.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs grossed $30.1m according to estimates as Real-D announced that roughly $16m of that came from cinemas equipped with its 3D system.

In a further illustration of the growing allure of alternative theatrical experiences, 127 IMAX venues accounted for approximately $2.5m of the total. Anna Faris, Bill Hader and James Caan are among the voice stars.

  • Warner Bros’ whistleblower caper The Informant!starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh opened a distant second on $10.5m.

  • Universal’s romance Love Happens with Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart debuted in fourth on $8.5m, while Fox’s high school comedy-horror Jennifer’s Body from screenwriter Diablo Cody and starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried launched in fifth on $6.8m.

  • In the second weekend, Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself from Lionsgate fell 57.1% and two places to third on $10.1m for $37.9m and Focus Features’ animated adventure 9 tumbled 49.2% and four places to sixth on $5.5m for $22.8m.

  • Inglourious Basterds grossed a further $3.6m in its fifth weekend through The Weinstein Company, which brought the running total to $109.9m and overtook Pulp Fiction’s $107.9m final tally to become Tarantino’s biggest domestic hit.

The Weinstein Company release combines with the $115.7m overseas tally through Universal/UPI for a $225.6m global tally that will rise considerably as the film prepares to launch in a further 22 territories. The film also became tarantino’s biggest overseas hit this weekend.

  • Bill Pohlad and Bob Berney’s Apparition celebrated a solid start to their launch slate as Jane Campion’s romance Bright Star took $190,000 from 19 theatres for a $10,000 average.

“The reviews and the numbers have been great and we’re so proud and happy to have Jane Campion’s film as our first release,” Berney, who attended the Los Angeles and New York debuts last week following the North American premiere in Toronto, said.

Overall box office finished on approximately $100m and compared favourably to $88m for the same weekend last year.

  • Next weekend’s wide releases are: MGM’s Fame remake; Overture’s horror Pandorum with Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid; and Disney’s sci-fi thriller Surrogates with Bruce Willis.

  • Miramax’s drama The Boys Are Back starring Clive Owen gets a limited release. In a busy weekend for Overture the distributor also launches Michael Moore’s latest documentary Capitalism: A Love Story in a handful of theatres.

Estimated Top 10 North America September 18-20, 2009
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (Sony) SPRI $30.1m –

2 (-) The Informant! (Warner Bros) WBPI $10.5m –

3 (1) Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself (Lionsgate) $10.1m $37.9m

4 (-) Love Happens (Universal) UPI $8.5m –

5 (-) Jennifer’s Body (Fox) Fox Int’l $6.8m –

6 (2) 9 (Focus Features) FFI/UPI $5.5m $22.8m

7 (3) Inglourious Basterds (TWC) UPI $3.6m $109.9m

8 (4) All About Steve (Fox) Fox Int’l $3.4m $26.7m

9 (6) Sorority Row (Summit) Summit Int’l $2.5m $8.9m

10 (5) The Final Destination (Warner Bros) WBPI/NLI $2.4m $62.4m