LOS ANGELES -- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 slurped up the box office.
The animated Sony sequel featuring the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Faris opened in first place and earned US$35 million in its debut weekend, studio estimates stated.
The original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was showered with $30.3 million during its opening weekend in 2009.
"It's remarkable that it did as well as and surpassed the first film," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony Pictures. "The filmmakers really ratcheted it up in terms of palette and tone. It's one of those films that just draws you in. The story is fun, and there's something for the whole family."
Last week's top film, Prisoners, slid to second place. The Warner Bros. kidnapping thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal nabbed $11.3 million in its second weekend, bringing its total domestic haul to $38.9 million.
Universal's Formula One tale Rush, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, drove into third position with $10.3 million in its second outing after expanding to 2,297 theatres in wide release.
-- The Associated Press