At The Movies: The Weekend Gets Owned By Aliens Thanks To ‘District 9’

2009-08-17 - At the moviesThis weekend’s box office was taken over by aliens as the new sci-fi thriller “District 9” topped all movies with a decent debut.

The new Sony release took in a reported $37 million. The debut feature from commercial and music-video director Neill Blomkamp is tale about extraterrestrials forced by humans to live in squalor in a ghetto in South Africa.

It drew in moviegoers with its unique marketing plan, playing up the theme of prejudice against aliens, which included posters instructing citizens to report non-humans and 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,” Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony, told the Associated Press. “It did really pique their interest and drove them to the Internet and elsewhere to discover what’s going on.”

“District 9” beat out last week’s #1, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” which slipped to second place this weekend with $22.5 million, raising its 10-day total to $98.8 million.

There was another sci-fi flick that took the #3 spot … that was the Warner Bros. romance “The Time Traveler’s Wife” starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. It took in $19.2 million.

The weekend’s overall numbers were $142 million, according to reports. It’s up 14 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when “Tropic Thunder” debuted at #1 with $25.8 million.

Later down the rankings, at #6 is the Jeremy Piven comedy “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard”, taking in $5.3 million in its opening weekend; while the limited Disney animated film “Ponyo” managed to nab the #9 spot with $3.5 million.

Then outside the top 10 was the new release “Bandslam”, starrig Lisa Kudrow and David Bowie, landed at #13 with $2.25 million to start.

Next weekend will see the release of a few new wide releases such as the Quentin Tarantino war film “Inglourious Basterds,” the comedy “Post Grad,” the family adventure “Shorts,” and the 3D documentary “X-Games: The Movies.”

This weekend’s top 10 is as follows:

1 – “District 9,” $37 million.
2 – “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” $22.5 million.
3 – “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” $19.2 million.
4 – “Julie & Julia,” $12.4 million.
5 – “G-Force,” $6.9 million.
6 – “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard,” $5.4 million.
7 – “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” $5.2 million.
8 – “The Ugly Truth,” $4.5 million.
9 – “Ponyo,” $3.5 million.
10 – “500 Days of Summer,” $3 million.

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