2. “The Time Traveler’s Wife” ($7.5 million)
3. “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” ($7.2 million)
4. “Julie & Julia” ($3.6 million)
5. “G-Force” ($2.3 million)
There’s nothing alien about the moviegoing crowd’s relationship with “District 9,” the Peter Jackson-produced, Neill Blomkamp-directed science fiction epic that opened in the top box office slot on Friday evening. The film — which is what an adaptation of the “Halo” video game could have looked like had studios trusted Jackson and Blomkamp’s vision — opened to at least $13 million, with that number set to go higher after west coast numbers are accounted for.
“District 9″ is not only getting rave reviews, it’s also set to do some significant box office damage for a film of its size. The production only cost around $30 million in the first place, and with an opening take of $13 million potentially extending to studio estimates of $34 million by weekend’s end, “District 9″ could well surpass its budget in three short days — and that’s not even accounting for the money the film will make overseas.
Friday’s second place finisher was a movie geared towards a different, considerably less testosterone-driven audience; “The Time Traveler’s Wife” opened to $7.5 million for a likely $22 million weekend take. Rival studios expected the film to rake in $25 million in its first weekend, so the film could underperform by a slim margin. Still, this science fiction movie is undoubtedly falling short to the heavy firepower of “District 9.”
Speaking of heavy fire power, it appears that “G.I. Joe” is low on ammo. The big budget action film only made $7.2 million on Friday, looking towards a $22.5 million weekend total and a cumulative $99 million since last weekend’s opening. Combined with its performance in foreign territories, Paramount still expects to hit its projected $300 million mark eventually — but it’s an uphill struggle, particularly with “District 9″ as an option and next week’s “Inglourious Basterds” coming to the battlefield.
“Julie & Julia” continues to do fair business, amassing $3.6 million on Friday with a projected weekend take of $12 million; after two weekends, the Julia Child biopic will have recouped its entire budget.
The fifth place finisher is “G-Force” with $2.3 million for a projected $7.7 million weekend; but that shouldn’t discount the Jeremy Piven-starring “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard,” which opened at $2 million for a projected weekend total of $5.5 million. Should the film pick up some speed, it could sneak into the fifth place spot.
Have you gotten out for “District 9″ yet, and what did you think? How about any other movies — what did you see last night, what are you seeing tonight, what about tomorrow? As always, we want to hear from you in the comments section and on Twitter!