The results are in, and in a seriously loaded weekend with four new movies getting significant releases, all four of them managed to rate spots in the top ten. Pretty impressive, given that Ponyo (ninth place, $3.5 million) got rolled out in less than 1000 theaters. Claiming the top spot, unsurprisingly, was District 9. The $30 million dollar mockumentary-style sci-fi thriller from first time feature director Neill Blomkamp brought in $37 million this weekend, easily besting second place G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra‘s $22.5 million.
Nearly nipping the Joes is the romance The Time Traveler’s Wife. The film brought in a very impressive $19.2 million, which is a very impressive debut for a romance that isn’t a romantic comedy. The Ugly Truth (eighth place, $4.5 million) got much worse reviews but still managed to debut with $27 million a month ago. Romantic dramas are generally a really hard film to sell. Of course, being based on a best-selling book will definitely help bring in fans, as Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (seventh place, $5.155 million) will attest to.
Julie & Julia‘s strong performance for a second weekend in a row is less surprising. The movie, being a more traditional-style comedy aimed at women, held onto a good chunk of its audience and turned a profit pretty early. The Julia Child semi-biography brought in $12.4 million this weekend, good for fourth at the box office.
Disney’s G-Force continues to be a box office force, landing in fifth place this weekend. The animated comedy brought in another $6.9 million this weekend, and has pushed close to $100 million. By this time tomorrow, the movie will have crossed into six figures territory. Underwhelming by Disney standards, but that’s not surprising given just how many good animated films have been released this year, and how mediocre this one looked to be.
Audiences weren’t thrilled with The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard either. I actually kind of liked it (as you can see by my review), but I’m in that wheelhouse. I’m kind of a fan of adult comedies that don’t resort to gross humor and instead resort to politically incorrect jokes. The film is looking to be a serious dud, bringing in only $5.35 million, but there is hope the sixth-place film this weekend might rise next weekend based on word of mouth. While not great, the movie fared much better than Bandslam, which didn’t even crack the top 10.
Bringing up tenth spot is (500) Days Of Summer, which has continued to stick around for quite some time thanks to a very careful launch and expansion by Fox Searchlight. Whereas Fox Atomic has folded, Searchlight continues to really know what they’re doing when it relates to controlled releases like this one. The film took in another $3.025 million this weekend, and has grossed a very quiet $18 million or so, always on the fringes of the top 10
Next weekend is another big weekend. It seems like studios are kind of trying to force everything out in a hurry to capitalize on the waning summer, doesn’t it? Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds is leading a weak-looking charge, followed by fellow Grindhouse director Robert Rodriguez’s family comedy Shorts. Also out is Post Grad, another girl power comedy featuring Alexis Bledel and the unexpected release of an X Games documentary X Games 3D The Movie. It’s not odd that the movie is released; it’s odd they didn’t release it concurrently with the X Games.
Of the movies coming out, I’d say that Inglorious Basterds has the best shot at landing in the top spot, but none of them really gives off a blockbuster vibe.