Even though the movie was “for humans only,” District 9 had no problem dominating the box office on Friday, according to early estimates. Capitalizing on its Comic Con buzz and an ingenious viral marketing strategy, the sci-fi thriller grossed $14.2 million on its first day. Not bad for a film that reportedly cost only $30 million and was directed by an unknown 29-year-old named Neill Blomkamp. The romantic drama The Time Traveler’s Wife, with seemingly no aliens or apartheid metaphors, proved to be solid counter-programming by taking second place with $7.7 million. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra dropped a hefty 68 percent in its second week for a Friday tally of $7.2 million, indicating that only a third of the 13-year-old boys who saw the movie last weekend returned yesterday. Fourth and fifth place went to Julie & Julia and G-Force, which cooked up $3.6 million and $2.1 million, respectively.
Also opening was the Jeremy Piven comedy The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, which clearly didn’t sell hard enough, registering a mere $2 million from 1,838 theaters. Disney’s attempt to make Hayao Miyazaki’s latest animated wonder, Ponyo, into an American hit appears to have floundered, as the movie grossed $1.2 million from 927 screens. And Summit Entertainment’s ploy of debuting the trailer for The Twilight Saga: New Moon in front of Bandslam didn’t catapult the Vanessa Hudgens pic into the green — it made $890,000. Friday’s figures are below. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.
1. District 9 — $14.2 mil
2. The Time Traveler’s Wife — $7.7 mil
3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra — $7.2 mil
4. Julie & Julia — $3.6 mil
5. G-Force — $2.1 mil
More box office news from EW: