Sony reports that Elysium drew $11.2 million on Friday (including Thursday's $1.6 million advance shows). BoxOffice projects a $30.5 million weekend based on that figure, a decent if underwhelming number given the higher opening of Neill Blomkamp's District 9 four years ago. The film's Flixster score has been steadily declining (down to 74 percent currently)--not far above the middling 66 percent score from critics. After a summer filled with sci-fi flicks, and on a weekend with four new openers offering something for everyone, Elysium is a victim of market circumstance.
On the other hand, We're the Millers is taking advantage of the lull between R-rated comedies. With June's The Heat being the last from that genre to make a strong impression, adult crowds sent Millers to a very healthy $8.5 million Friday following its $11.5 million two-day start. While Friday's figure is a bit below early reports yesterday, BoxOffice projects it is on track for a strong $25.5 million three-day weekend and $37 million overall five-day start. Despite a poor critical reception, audiences are taking to Millers judging by the film's continued strong activity on Twitter and Facebook, as well its 80 percent approval rating on Flixster.
Disney's Planes started off well on Friday with an estimated $8.1 million. At first glance, that pales in comparison to the usual numbers for Pixar (and even Disney) movies--then again, it's performing on par with recent kiddie flicks like Turbo and The Smurfs 2. That's a positive commentary for a film that nearly went direct-to-video and lacks any involvement from Pixar. Disney is certainly getting their money's worth out of the Cars franchise with this spin-off despite the film's putrid 23 percent score from Rotten Tomatoes critics. BoxOffice projects a $24 million opening weekend for Planes.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters posted a more modest $4.9 million on Friday. That puts the film on track for a $15.3 million weekend and $24.2 million five-day debut. The sequel is under-performing in contrast to its predecessor--a common tale this summer, most recently experienced by last week's The Smurfs 2. With two high profile R-rated flicks topping this market this weekend, Fox was banking on the young adult crowd driving the Percy sequel. The film has maintained a strong presence on Twitter on Facebook throughout the week, but while tweens have been coming out, the film hasn't been able to expand beyond that core audience.
2 Guns was off a sharp 65.8 percent from its opening day last week to $3.4 million on Friday. Competition from Elysium no doubt played a role in the drop-off (larger than most Denzel movies experience on their second Friday). With $40.8 million in the bank through 8 days of release, BoxOffice expects the film to recover somewhat on Saturday and Sunday for an $11 million sophomore frame.
Sony's The Smurfs 2 took a hit from Planes entering the marketplace. After grossing $3.13 million on Friday, BoxOffice projects a $10.7 million second weekend. Meanwhile, The Wolverine slid 62.6 percent from last Friday to $2.425 million yesterday. With $106.4 million in the bank after 15 days, the film is on a trajectory for an $8.3 million third weekend.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.