Maybe it was the lack of animated competition, the niche subject matter of its closest rival, the fact that September is becoming an excellent time for comedies of its kind or a original film’s fan base to fall back on, or maybe it was all of the above, but somehow, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was always going to top the box office.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.

It was, in fact, the last option: all of the above. Disney’s Planes hit cinemas two months ago, Rush, while critically acclaimed, is probably more for film aficionados and racing enthusiasts, September – like Hotel Transylvania showed is – is a prime slot for animated comedies and there are already plenty of Cloudy fans out there.

But with $35m, the film managed to fall short of expectations. There’s a dichotomy of feelings surrounding its debut: on the one hand, success is basically guaranteed, fiscally speaking, but the average critical response and its inability to break Hotel Transylvania’s September record (highest grossing debut for any September) dampened the affair somewhat.

RushRush has been a hit with the critics.

Rush is director Ron Howard’s second sport based drama, but it was Cinderella Man, the story of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock, that took more at the box office. The fighting film grabbed $18.3m on its first weekend, while Rush only managed $10.3m when it hit more than just five theatres.

The top five, figures courtesy of Box Office Mojo:

1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – $35 million

2. Prisoners – $11.3 million

3. Rush – $10.3 million

4. Baggage Claim – $9.3 million

5. Don Jon – $9 million