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DISTRICT 9 Hovers to Top

Sony's Alien invasion takes down the Joes.

By Jarrod Sarafin     August 16, 2009


Sony's District 9 debuts into 1st place at the box office
© Bob Trate

 

High tech soldiers just can’t keep a stranded alien down in South Africa (or at the box office). This weekend’s mission for Paramount’s Joes--with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra entering its second weekend of release--was to keep the box office race close against Sony’s debuting District 9, which has attracted decent word-of-mouth across the online community. So, could the Joes do that? Could those world-saving soldiers make this weekend’s report interesting?
No.  
Sony’s District 9 pulled a bit too far ahead on Friday ($14.2 mil) in its theatrical invasion and found itself landing in the 1st place spot by grabbing an estimated $37.0 million across the nation. With the film entering 3,049 theaters over the weekend this comes up to a respectable average of $12,135 per showing for audiences. The studio also released the film into nine foreign markets this weekend and added another $7 million to over its overall gross, which currently stands at $44.0 million worldwide.
That’s an impressive debut number when considering that director Neill Blomkamp and producer Peter Jackson kept the price tag for this alien vs. human scenario down to only $30 million. Three days into their release and they have nowhere to look but up when it comes to profits.  
After a week at the box office Paramount Pictures and their Hasbro adaptation of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra slid down to 2nd place by taking in another $22.5 million over the weekend. This represents a 58% drop from its debut weekend and has the film’s domestic gross at $98.7 million after ten days of release.
The Joes did win the international box office race by taking in another $26.2 million overall from 7,039 screens in 49 territories. The latest foreign numbers has the film’s oversea cume sitting at $91.5 million and when combined with the current domestic gross, Paramount has a worldwide tally of $190.3 million.
We can all see that a 58% drop doesn’t do the studio any favors here but with Paramount already announcing plans for a G.I. Joe 2, they know something we don’t. Like the profits expected from Joe merchandise, DVDs and tie-ins.
Following in 3rd place is Warner Bros. and New Line’s romantic adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife. The film launched into 2,988 theaters and hauled in $19.2 million in its first three days of release. That has the film with the second best average for this report with $6,427 per showing for audiences. Overall, it’s a decent debut for the studio as they kept their budget down to only $39 million.
Beyond winning this report with District 9, Sony should also be pleased with Julie & Julia taking the 4th place spot for another $12.4 million in receipts. The film’s second weekend tally has it crossing the budget barrier ($40 mil) for a domestic cume of $43.6 million.
And landing in 5th place is Disney’s CG adventure, G-Force. The Jerry Bruckheimer production added another $6.9 million this weekend on 3,065 theaters across the nation. With the film’s fourth weekend now in the bag, it now has a domestic gross of $99.0 million. Basically, it’s another $100 mil grosser that Bruckheimer can notch on his diamond-encrusted resume belt.
The only other two new releases this weekend were Paramount’s The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard and Walt Disney’s Ponyo.
“Goods” took the 6th spot by debuting with $5.3 million on 1,838 theaters while Disney launched their latest film into only 927 theaters for a 9th place gross of $3.5 million.
 

Rank
Movie
Weekend
Theaters
Average
Total
Budget
1
District 9
$37.0 mil
3,049
$12,135
$37.0 mil
$30
2
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
$22.5 mil
4,007
$5,615
$98.7 mil
$175
3
The Time Traveler’s Wife
$19.2 mil
2,988
$6,427
$19.2 mil
$39
4
Julie & Julia
$12.4 mil
2,354
$5,268
$43.6 mil
$40
5
G-Force
$6.9 mil
3,065
$2,254
$99.0 mil
----
6
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
$5.3 mil
1,838
$2,911
$5.3 mil
----
7
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
$5.1 mil
2,771
$1,860
$283.8 mil
$250
8
The Ugly Truth
$4.5 mil
2,733
$1,647
$77.5 mil
$38
9
Ponyo
$3.5 mil
927
$3,782
$3.5 mil
----
10
500 Days of Summer
$3.0 mil
1,048
$2,886
$17.9 mil
----

 
 
We’re approaching the end of the summer season and here are the winners (and the losers) from best worldwide performance to worst. As you can see, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince jumped quite ahead of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in the worldwide box office race for 2009.
Still, with the second Transformers nearing the $400 million domestic mark, Bay’s film has the ultimate bragging rights here in the states. Nobody is even close to nearing that mark for the year.
Next week, I’ll shorten this list to the top 10.
 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Numbers:
Budget: $250 mil
Opening: $77.8 mil

Domestic: $283.8 mil
Foreign: $577.7 mil
Worldwide: $861.5 mil 
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $108.9 mil

Domestic: $396.7 mil
Foreign: $427.3 mil
Worldwide: $824.0 mil
 
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Numbers:
Budget: $90 mil
Opening: $41.6 mil

Domestic: $190.8 mil
Foreign: $600.7 mil
Worldwide: $791.5 mil
 
Angels & Demons Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $46.2 mil

Domestic: $133.3 mil
Foreign: $345.6 mil
Worldwide: $479.0 mil
 
Up Numbers:
Budget: $175 mil
Opening: $68.1 mil

Domestic: $287.8 mil
Foreign: $128.0 mil
Worldwide: $415.8 mil
 
The Hangover Numbers:
Budget: $35 mil
Opening: $44.9 mil

Domestic: $265.8 mil
Foreign: $136.6 mil
Worldwide: $402.4 mil
 
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Numbers
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $54.1 mil

Domestic: $175.5 mil
Foreign: $222.4 mil
Worldwide: $397.9 mil
 
Star Trek Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $75.2 mil

Domestic: $255.9 mil
Foreign: $126.3 mil
Worldwide: $382.3 mil
 
Terminator Salvation Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $42.5 mil

Domestic: $124.9 mil
Foreign: $244.2 mil
Worldwide: $369.1 mil    
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $85.0 mil

Domestic: $179.7 mil
Foreign: $185.0 mil
Worldwide: $364.6 mil
 
The Proposal Numbers:
Budget: $40 mil
Opening: $33.6 mil

Domestic: $157.6 mil
Foreign: $103.6 mil
Worldwide: $261.2 mil
 
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Numbers:
Budget: $175 mil
Opening: $56.2 mil

Domestic: $98.7 mil
Foreign: $91.5
Worldwide: $190.3 mil
Public Enemies Numbers:
Budget: $100 mil
Opening: $25.2 mil

Domestic: $96.3 mil
Foreign: $75.5 mil
Worldwide: $171.8 mil
 
G-Force Numbers:
Budget: N/A
Opening: $31.7 mil

Domestic: $99.0 mil
Foreign: $40.9 mil
Worldwide: $139.9 mil
 
Bruno Numbers:
Budget: N/A
Opening: $30.6 mil

Domestic: $59.9 mil
Foreign: $63.7 mil
Worldwide: $123.5 mil
 
The Taking of Pelham 123 Numbers:
Budget: $100 mil
Opening: $23.3 mil

Domestic: $64.9 mil
Foreign: $32.9 mil
Worldwide: $97.8 mil
  
Land of the Lost Numbers:
Budget: $100 mil
Opening: $18.8 mil

Domestic: $49.4 mil
Foreign: $12.7 mil
Worldwide: $62.1 mil
 
 
Friday August 21, 2009 Releases:
Wide
Inglourious Basterds (3,000+)
Shorts (3,000+)
Post Grad (1,900)
X Games 3D The Movie (1,200)
Limited
The Marc Pease Experience
My One and Only
World’s Greatest Dad
Five Minutes of Heaven

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 32
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xenomorph 8/16/2009 2:52:47 PM

I saw District 9 on friday, and the movie is excellent! This is defenitly one of the best films of the year. I just hope that Neil Blomkamp is brought back to direct the HALO movie(Hint,hint,Mr.Spielberg,hint,hint.)

Chopsaki 8/16/2009 3:08:32 PM

30mil budget for District 9, this movie should make some bank. Looks interesting will have to check it out.

AMiSHPiRATE 8/16/2009 3:22:57 PM

District 9 was awesome, but it suffered the same problem Star Trek had (too much action, too fun, wasn't as classically scifi as I'd hoped).  At a $30 million negative cost and with all the action & CGI that movie had, it makes me wonder just how cheap hollywood films should be to produce if you cut out the $20 million paychecks for Julia Roberts and Eddy Murphy.

Duggernaut 8/16/2009 3:24:17 PM

I heard district 9 is good from a freind and online reviews  seem to overwhelmingly postive. I saw gi joe on opening day and it sucked beyond any expectations. I expected to make big money as i predicted it would be in the top five of the summer but its based on nostalgia and curiousity. Im a huge gijoe fan but I wouldnt see it again or want to see a part two. Its the secons worst movie ive scene this summer.

westend 8/16/2009 3:34:37 PM

 Time Traveler's Wife was a pretty good adaption of a very good book. Of course things wre cut out, but they hit the important stuff, and I"m glad it did well.  The movie is a bit of a chick flick but the book is actually not.

Flint521466 8/16/2009 4:02:38 PM

Caught "D9" yesterday. GREAT MOVIE!!!!  I really liked the documentary style it was shot in.  F/X were excellent.  I'm surprised it only made  $37 mil.  The theatre I saw it in was packed.  Lookin' forward to "D10"

StarlightGuard 8/16/2009 4:04:16 PM

they know something we don't....says Jarrod

well let's be honest -- do hollywood execs actually know anything useful? I'd trade what the average studio knows for what the average Maniac knows.....even hanso!

on that note, I say we place Hanso in charge of Warner Bros....let him lord his Batlove all over us....and get to play on the set as well

yeah, the studios know this -- take previously existing material, do it again, repeat...

evilbeagle 8/16/2009 4:19:42 PM

Saw Time Traveller and District 9.  Time Traveller was a good movie, although the book is excellent.  District 9 was a great movie--very original, and the SFX were damn well done for a 30 mil movie!  The last 30 minutes of the movie were just kick ass.  It was an odd movie to watch until you sunk into the format.  This movie is the way that World War Z should be done--no question!

Wiseguy 8/16/2009 4:28:45 PM

Loved D-9, not head over heels like most but I'd say the best sci/fi film of the summer, though I haven't seen MOON, which according to a friend is actually better.

The film did great for Sony who I read paid 25mil to distribute in most of the bigger markets. I'd think now that they've seen the money they'll roll out a heavy advertisement campaign and hope word of mouth spreads like wildfire.

Now let's hope the inevitable sequel doesn't fall off and try to do too much like best prior example "Pitch Black". I liked Chronicles but it was somewhat of a letdown after the first

Do we get another "life on earth as an alien", an alien invasion/war movie or an alien rescue mission. Either way I'm there

Flint521466 8/16/2009 4:33:45 PM

I think we get a combo of the alien invasion-war/rescue movie.   Christopher will keep his word to Wikus(spelling?). 

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