×

‘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.

Popular on Variety

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

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.

More Film

  • Andy SambergVariety Sundance Studio presented by

    Andy Samberg Calls Hosting the Oscars a 'Bad Gig' -- That He'd Still Consider

    Andy Samberg has been a reliable favorite hosting awards ceremonies, in recent years emceeing the Independent Spirit Awards, the Emmys and the 2019 Golden Globes with Sandra Oh. So it’s only natural to wonder if Samberg would consider taking the reins on the Oscars, which will return again this year without a host. “They have [...]

  • Shirley

    'Shirley': Film Review

    Shirley Jackson was a real person, a writer best known for her twisted short story “The Lottery,” although the version presented in Josephine Decker’s “Shirley” feels more like a character from one of her own novels. Featuring “The Handsmaid’s Tale” actor Elisabeth Moss in the title role, this queer, hard-to-quantify psychological study isn’t a biopic [...]

  • Us Kids

    'Us Kids': Film Review

    The nonstop drama of the Trump White House has succeeded, among other things, in largely pushing gun control from the forefront of the news cycle — no doubt to the relief of the NRA and its allies, despite the continued frequency of U.S. mass shootings. As a result, and perhaps unfairly, Kim A. Snyder’s “Us [...]

  • Logan Paul Ninja Spree

    How Logan Paul and Ninja Helped 'Spree' Cast Capture Influencer Culture Gone Wild

    When it came to depicting the gonzo nature of influencer culture, “Spree” stars Joe Keery and Sasheer Zamata and director Eugene Kotlyarenko did a deep dive into the haves and have-nots of the internet. “Spree,” which premiered Friday at Sundance Film Festival, follows a rideshare driver named Kurt Kunkle (Keery) who will stop at nothing [...]

  • The Go Go's at Chicagofest in

    'The Go-Go's': Film Review

    In the terrific documentary “The Go-Go’s,” there’s a tasty clip of the band playing an early club gig in 1979, when they were part of the L.A. punk scene. They wear bushy black hair and pale white makeup (with rouge!), as if they were trying to be mannequin versions of Darby Crash, and they have [...]

  • A PERFECTLY NORMAL FAMILY

    Watch the Exclusive Trailer of Rotterdam/Goteborg Entry ‘A Perfectly Normal Family’

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the international trailer of the Danish film “A Perfectly Normal Family,” due to compete both at Rotterdam’s Big Screen Competition, and at Göteborg’s Nordic Film Competition. Malou Reyman’s debut feature has been a hot property for sales agent New Europe Film Sales, ever since it was sneak peeked [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content