By John Young
Updated March 12, 2011 at 08:04 PM EST
Credit: Richard Cartwright

It was a good and bad day for Hollywood aliens. On the one hand, the alien-invasion action film Battle: Los Angeles debuted at the top of Friday’s box office with a more-than-expected $13.5 million, according to early estimates. That puts Sony’s PG-13 flick, which cost a reported $70 million to produce and received mostly negative reviews, on track for a $37 million weekend. At the other end of the galaxy, though, was Disney’s Mars Needs Moms. The $150 million 3-D animated film, about a young boy whose mother gets kidnapped by Martians, barely levitated with $1.7 million on Friday. Even with its 3-D surcharges and premium pricing at 211 IMAX theaters, the PG-rated movie is headed for a weekend debut of only $7 million.

As evidenced by Rango, the Nevada desert may be more alluring than Mars. Paramount’s $135 million animated Western, starring the chameleonic thespian Johnny Depp as a thespian chameleon, dropped a modest 43 percent for $5.5 million. The PG movie should finish the weekend in second place with about $23 million. In third was the new Twilight-wannabe thriller Red Riding Hood, which performed slightly below industry expectations. The PG-13 film, a revisionist take on the classic fairy tale, swallowed $5 million on Friday and should emerge from the weekend with $14 million. Fourth place went to the sci-fi thriller holdover The Adjustment Bureau, which fell 49 percent for $3.4 million. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Battle: Los Angeles — $13.5 mil

2. Rango — $5.5 mil

3. Red Riding Hood — $5.0 mil

4. The Adjustment Bureau — $3.4 mil

5. Mars Needs Moms — $1.7 mil