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Elysium tops US box office with $30.5 million


Story by Jack Foley

NEILL Blomkamp’s Elysium has topped the US box office with $30.5 million in what proved a crowded and competitive weekend.

The sci-fi actioner stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster and was Blomkamp’s first film since 2009’s District 9. But despite boastig a bigger budget and A-list stars, Elysium struggled to match the $37.4 million of that film and was also below the $35 million target set by Sony.

Nevertheless, Sony are pleased with the No.1, especially given the competitive nature of the weekend, which saw a host of other new releases vying for success.

Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, commented: “To hit the $30 million mark is very good considering the competitive landscape and all these new movies coming in. We love being in the Neill Blomkamp business. He’s a great storyteller, and this film will be a big success for the studio.”

Elsewhere in the weekend, comedy We’re The Millers came in second with a three day take of $26.6 million, which stretched to $38 million when allowing for its Wednesday to Sunday opening stretch.

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the film stars Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts and Will Poulter as a fake family who smuggle marijuana out of Mexico.

In third place, meanwhile, was Disney’s Cars spin-off Planes, which opened to $22.5 million.

The film had been looking to break the $30 million barrier but is the latest original animation to struggle given the glut of such movies this summer. Still, having cost $50 million to make, and originally intended for a direct-to-DVD release, the film has done well and has even spawned a sequel.

And Disney executive president of distribution Dave Hollis was optimistic of a good run, pointing out that it’s now seven weeks before the next family film enters the marketplace, in the form of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.

“We have an all-audience picture that will be the primary option for families until then,” he said.

In fourth spot, meanwhile, was Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which took $14.6 million (well below the $38.7 million set by the original), while last week’s No.1, 2 Guns slipped to fifth with $11.1 million for a US total of $48.5 million. The action film opens in UK cinemas next weekend.

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