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Kids Rock the Box With 'Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs 2'

Animated Voice Work Proves Lucrative for Actors

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 topped this weekend's box office.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 topped this weekend’s box office.

Bill Hader, Anna Faris and James Caan are among the stars supplying voices for this weekend’s top box office hit, kiddie flick, “Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs 2.” It topped three other new releases and last week’s No. 1 pic, “Prisoners,” with an estimated $35 million gross.

Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris and Benjamin Bratt also lend their voices for the feature, directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn.

Voicing animated films has become a lucrative sideline for many actors. It usually requires a few hours of work in the studio as opposed to weeks on set, often in a distant location, to make a film.

And, we’re not talking chump change.

Ben Stiller reportedly made $5 million for voicing the “Madagascar” film series, plus he got a share of the DVD proceeds. Tom Hanks reportedly made $15 million for his time spent voicing “Toy Story 3.”

Adam Sandler, another big voice actor, reportedly earned “$2 million for “8 Crazy Nights” and “Zookeeper,” according to Voice Actors in the News, which tracks the business. Estimates were by Vanity Fair.

“Cloudy 2″ opened in 4,000 theaters and topped the $30.3 million grossed by the first movie in Sept. 2009. In comparison, Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania” grossed $42.5 million for the same weekend last year. Cloudy is the fourth highest animated opening behind, “Insidious Chapter 2″ and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Prisoners,” which debuted last week in 3,290 earned $11 million over the weekend to hold onto second place in the rankings. “Rush,” Ron Howard’s Formula One racing movie opened wide this weekend n 2,300 theaters and earned $10.3 million.

Baggage Claim, starring Paula Patton opened in 2,027 theaters and pulled in a $9.2 million gross, while, “Don Jon,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s writing and directing debut, earned $8.8 million. All figures are from Deadline.

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