×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Elysium,’ ‘Planes’ Jockeying for No. 1 Position at the Box Office

Sony's big-budget Matt Damon pic off to a clunky start

UPDATE: Disney’s “Planes” is riding Matt Damon’s big-budget tail at the U.S. box office Friday afternoon. Analysts have both the 3D toon and Sony’s “Elysium” circling the $30 million mark for the weekend, according to early ticket sales.

Disney believes its “Cars” spinoff, made for only $50 million, will get an additional lift from Saturday matinees while Sony insiders suggest the R-rated Neill Blomkamp sci-fier, produced for $115 million, may see a boost in adult audiences late Friday. Either way, “it’s too tough to tell” as one insider says, who will land at No. 1 based on preliminary results.

In third place, Warner Bros.’ comedy “We’re the Millers” continues to place nicely since opening Wednesday. After earning $11.5 million in two days, the Jennifer Aniston-Jason Sudeikis comedy is now on track for a five-day opening in the $35 million range — that’s just a hair behind Anison and Sudeikis’ 2011 smash hit, “Horrible Bosses,” which opened to $28 million in three days before going on to earn $200 million worldwide.

Fox’s “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” this week’s other Wednesday opener, is projected to debut in the low-$20 millions.  The figures would represent a 30% drop-off from the original “Percy Jackson’s” debut in 2011 ($31 million in three days), marking what could very well be the last installment in Fox’s teen fantasy franchise.

**************************************

Though it’s hardly a smash hit, Sony’s second original sci-fi tentpole of the summer is at least faring better than the studio’s first go-round.

Elysium,” starring Matt Damon, earned a modest $1.6 million in Thursday night screenings, beginning at 10 p.m. That’s slightly above Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan’s big-budget “After Earth,” which, after opening to $1 million Thursday night, went on to crater domestically for Sony with a weak $27 million weekend.

But “Elysium” is notably trailing Neill Blomkamp’s last film, “District 9,” which, on a $30 million budget, performed much better ($37 million) with a no-name cast.

Disney’s “Planes” and Fox’s “Percy Jackson” sequel will target family audiences while early riser “We’re the Millers,” starring Jennifer Aniston, already opened strongly on Wednesday with $6.8 million.

As of Friday morning, “Elysium” remained the favorite to win the weekend.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Netflix Movie Scammer Admits to Defrauding Investors Out of $14 Million

    A California man has admitted to defrauding investment groups — nabbing $14 million — by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film for Netflix. On Oct. 18, Adam Joiner, 41, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court, according to federal authorities. [...]

  • Tio-Yim

    Morelia Film Festival Highlights Mexican Indigenous Women Filmmakers

    This year’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival (FICM), with support from a FilmWatch scholarship awarded by the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will host a Mexican Indigenous Filmmakers: Identity and New Narratives forum for women directors. Issues such as diversity, identity, gender equity, inclusion and broader topics such as the challenges of film [...]

  • lighthouse

    Festival Winners, Oscar Hopefuls Vie for BIFA International Award (EXCLUSIVE)

    The long list for the coveted best international picture prize at the British Independent Film Awards includes Cannes Palme d’Or and London Film Festival winners, as well as pictures from Pedro Almodovar, Robert Eggers and Noah Baumbach. Multiple titles that have been submitted to compete for the Oscar for best international feature film are also [...]

  • Parasite

    Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion. Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong [...]

  • Francis Ford CoppolaFrancis Ford Coppola Masterclass,

    Francis Ford Coppola's Slam on Marvel Films Fuels Debate Sparked by Martin Scorsese

    Disparaging remarks by Francis Ford Coppola have further inflamed the debate sparked by Martin Scorsese and his criticism of Marvel and other comic book films. At a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was being honored at the Lumiere festival, the “Godfather” director said he fully agreed with Scorsese’s assessment and went even further [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Elle

    China Box Office: Hollywood Sweeps Up With ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Gemini Man’

    The first Hollywood blockbusters to hit China after the country’s big National Day holiday have, as expected, swept away holdover patriotic titles that had previously ruled the box office. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” edged out another new release, “Gemini Man,” to lead the pack with a $22.5 million opening weekend. While Disney’s “Maleficent” arrived in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content