Sunday, August 11, 2013

Elysium Tops Crowded Box Office

Diego Luna, Matt Damon and Wagner Moura (r) in Elysium

Summer 2013 has been far from kind for Sony Pictures (After Earth, White House Down) but hopes were high for Elysium, Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to 2009's surprise hit District 9. How big a hit? Sony forked over $115 million to secure the worldwide rites to Blomkamp's next project. Elysium debuted #1 this weekend, but its $30.4 million take was below expectations ($35-40M) adding fuel to fire for dissatisfied stockholders (that means you Daniel Loeb.)

Elysium (our pick for best picture of the year, so far) did well with males (61% of its audience) and earned an A- CinemaScore with moviegoers 18-24) but a B overall: What movie were they watching? Keep in mind, White House Down scored an A- (even Grown Ups 2 earned a B!) I keep saying this, but CinemaScore may be the single most useless statistic in the movie business. Yet here I am, informing you: Go figure.

Four new films surpassed last week's #1 2 Guns ($11.1M) which slid all the way down to fifth place overall (dropping 58.9% in its second weekend.) Warner Bros. Pictures' We're the Millers continued to do well, placing second overall ($26.6M) for Friday-Sunday, and an even better $38 mil since Wednesday's opening. Disney's Planes ($22.5M) did OK, but cost only $50 million to produce. Meanwhile, Fox 2000's Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters opened poorly ($14.6M, $23.5M since Wednesday) and proved to be the bad idea I thought it was from the word GO. The first Percy Jackson (which was awful) fared much better, earning $31.2 million over Friday-Sunday, President's Day weekend 2010. Sea of Monsters cost over $90 million: Good luck getting that back.

The top 10 films for this weekend...

1. Elysium $30.4M

2. We're the Millers $26.6M

3. Planes $22.5M

4. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $14.6M

5. 2 Guns $11.1M

6. The Smurfs 2 $9.5M

7. The Wolverine $8M

8. The Conjuring $6.7M

9. Despicable Me 2 $5.7M

10. Grown Ups 2 $3.7M