Elysium Takes Friday’s Top Box Office Spot

Posted by at 6:27 pm on August 10, 2013

Elysium_5Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium may not match the debut of his sleeper hit District 9, but it’s still winning the uber-crowded North American box office race. The dystopian epic, headlining Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, topped the Friday chart with $11.2 million for projected weekend earnings in the $29 million to $30 million range, slightly less than hoped for. The film received a B CinemaScore. Elysium is one of four new films vying for attention at the box office this weekend.

Coming in No. 2 on Friday was New Line’s R-rated comedy We’re the Millers, which grossed $8.5 million to narrowly beat Disney’s animated pic Planes. We’re the Millers, opening midweek, has grossed a pleasing $20 million in its first three days and is projecting five-day debut of $37 million. For the weekend itself, it should earn $25 million.

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, We’re the Millers stars Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts and Will Poulter as a fake family who smuggle marijuana out of Mexico. Ed Helms also stars in the film, which is benefiting from an A- CinemaScore.

Disney’s Planes, a Cars spin-off originally intended for a direct-to-DVD release, took in $8.1 million on Friday for a projected weekend gross of $23 million. Based on the strength of matinee business, box office observers originally believed the film would even hit $30 million, but have since scaled back their estimates. Either way, Planes is a likely win, since it cost a modest $50 million to produce. It also will beat the three-day numbers for The Smurfs 2 and Turbo.

Pixar did not produce Planes; rather, it was the brainchild of DisneyToon Studios, Disney’s direct-to-DVD unit. Dane Cook leads the voice cast of Planes, playing the role of Dusty Crophopper, who dreams of being able to fly at high speeds.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, from 20th Century Fox and likewise opening midweek, placed No. 4 Friday with $4.9 million. Based on the bestselling YA series by Rick Riordan, the sequel is now expected to post a five-day debut in the $24 million range — well behind the $38.7 earned by the first Percy Jackson over President’s Day weekend in 2010.

Sea of Monsters, earning a B+ CinemaScore, was directed by Thor Freudenthal and cost $90 million to produce. Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson and Alexandra Daddario return in the top roles.

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