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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

North American box office: ‘District 9’ hovers at the top of the weekend

The film earned back its budget — and then some — in three days:

1. District 9: $37.4 million (NEW)
2. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: $22.3 million (2nd week; drops 59%)
3. The Time Traveler’s Wife: $18.6 million (NEW)
4. Julie & Julia: $12 million (2nd week; drops 40%)
5. G-Force: $6.9 million (4th week; drops 30%)

actual numbers, not estimates
Ah, I got my wish of last week: G.I. Joe took a huge drop this weekend. I’m hoping that some of the folks who might have checked out Joe this weekend were diverted by District 9, and saw instead what a real science fiction action movie looks like. I’m so glad to see D9 do this well: it makes me a little hopeful that smart blockbuster movies are not dead. (The Time Traveler’s Wife opened respectably well, too: hoorah!)

Also gladmaking: the abysmally bad The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard debuted down at No. 6, earning only $5.6 million. That still means that millions of people had their eyeballs seared by this one, but it could have been worse. It could have been tens of millions.

Overall business was up 14 percent over the same weekend last year. It’s nice to have an August that’s not a total dumping ground, and that’s what happens when we get good movies: people shell out to see ’em.

Milestones: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian passed $175 million sometime midweek just prior to this past weekend; and Terminator Salvation passed $125 million. G.I. Joe and G-Force edged right up to $100 million (both likely crossed that line today, Monday).

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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