Having a first time feature director and cast of unknowns apparently doesn't stop the sci-fi thriller to dethrone 'G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra' and land atop the box office chart.
"District 9" made a triumphant invasion of the North American theaters. Displaying an impressive run at North American box office since its opening day on Friday, August 14, the Peter Jackson-produced sci-fi thriller took over the chart's crown from last week champ, "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra".
Debuted to a $14.2 million worth of ticket sales on Friday, this Sony Pictures' alien-centric movie continued to garner $12.6 million on Saturday, August 15, and went on to collect $37.4 million in total by the end of Sunday, August 16. With the exceeding expectation's bow, the low-budgeted indie has already surpassed its budget costs by $7 million.
The success of "District 9" was mostly helped by its clever marketing campaign which played the theme of prejudice against alien from posters instructing citizens to report non-humans to ads on bus benches stating that the seats are for humans only. "Everybody was like, 'What is this?' There was a big question mark in people's minds," Sony's head of distribution Rory Bruer shared. "It did really pique their interest and drove them to the Internet and elsewhere to discover what's going on."
Falling to #2 was "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra". The live action adaptation faced a 59.2% decrease in sales and thus pulled in only $22.3 million over its second three days weekend. Despite losing its first position on the domestic market, this Stephen Sommers' movie remained in first place for the second consecutive weekend overseas. It registered $26.2 million from 7,039 screens in 49 territories and brought its worldwide tally to stand at $190.3 million.
The third place went to another newcomer, "The Time Traveler's Wife". The romantic drama starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams opened to $18.6 million worth of ticket sales. Following close behind "Traveler's Wife" was culinary dramedy "Julie & Julia" with $12.1 million.
The once box office champ "G-Force" dropped two slots to round up the top five. The Walt Disney Pictures' live action and computer-generated animation family feature pulled in $6.9 million on its fourth week. Two other new debuts making the top ten were "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard" and "Ponyo".
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for August 14 - 16:
- "District 9" - $37.4 million
- "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra" - $22.3 million
- "The Time Traveler's Wife" - $18.6 million
- "Julie & Julia" - $12.1 million
- "G-Force" - $6.9 million
- "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard" - $5.6 million
- "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" - $5.1 million
- "The Ugly Truth" - $4.4 million
- "Ponyo" - $3.6 million
- "Funny People" - $3 million