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"Elysium" debuts as top grossing film in North America [China Economic Information Service (Xinhua)]

August 11, 2013

YellowBrix

"Elysium" debuts as top grossing film in North America

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The R-rated sci-fi actioners have once again become the darlings in North America box office this weekend, as Sony Pictures' "Elysium" opened as the most popular film leading other three new releases and a bunch of holdovers.

The futuristic dystopian thriller, starring Matt Damon and Judie Foster, is projected to roll up 30.5 million U.S. dollars in ticket sales from 3,284 theaters in the United States and Canada during Friday-Sunday timeframe, finishing as the top grosser.

A co-production by Media Rights Capital and TriStar Pictures, the film was written, co-produced and directed by "District 9" South African helmsman Neill Blomkamp. It earned a so-so "B" CinemaScore from first night filmgoers, and a 67 percent approval rating from reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Male made up 61 percent of first night audiences and those under 30 years old accounted for 52 percent.

Although Blomkamp and Demon have spoken again the notion that it had anything to do with politics, it nevertheless tackles social separation in a dystopian future.

The film has a 150-million-U.S. dollar budget, and distributor will have to look to foreign markets for better box office performance. Warner Bros.'screwball comedy "We Are the Millers, " starring Jennifer Aniston opposite SNL actor Jason Sudeikis, opened at No. 2 with a 26.5 million dollar weekend. The R-rated comedy, playing at 3,260 venues, is the first major film where Sudeikis played the title role. Fifty-one percent of the audiences was male and 61 percent over 25 years old.

The third wide release of the weekend, 3-D animated film " Planes," opened at No. 3 with an estimated 22.5 million dollar business.

Playing at 3,702 multiplexes, the film garnered an coveted "A-" CinemaScore from audiences. However, it only received a 24 percent approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend, as projected by studios, were "Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters" (debuting at 14.6 million dollars),"2 Guns" (11.1 million), "The Smurfs 2" (9.5 million), "The Wolverine" (8 million) , "The Conjuring" (6.7 million), "Despicable Me 2" (5.7 million), and "Grown Ups 2" (3.7 million).

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