Weekend Wrap Up: Elysium Stays Down to Earth

Despite an intriguing premise, a strong leading man and good trailers, Elysium became yet another in the list of original sci-fi disappointments this year, joining the likes of Oblivion and Pacific Rim. That said, because of the depth this weekend, it was still very big for August, thanks in large part to the three other openers, only one of which looks like it will truly be a success.


I was hoping that Elysium would at least match the $37 million debut of District 9 from four years ago, but instead it debuted to $30.4 million. There’s no way to paint that as anything less than disappointing. With this opening and what seems to be a tepid response from audiences, Elysium won’t even get close to $100 million. It could still be bailed out by overseas grosses. Its $115 million budget isn’t astronomical by any means, but the Matt Damon film will have to work to turn a profit.

In second, We’re the Millers opened to a strong $26.6 million. Given that that was only $4 million behind Elysium, I have to wonder if We’re the Millers could’ve won the weekend if it had just opened on Friday instead of the baffling decision to debut on Wednesday. At any rate, the Jason Sudeikis comedy has pulled in $38 million since Wednesday, and has already matched its budget. Despite its bad reviews (41% at Rotten Tomatoes), it seems like audiences are responding much better. We’re the Millers stands a much better chance at surpassing $100 million than Elysium does.

Serving no other purpose than to steal money from parents, Planes followed in third with a $22.5 million debut. For a movie that was supposed to go straight to video, that isn’t too bad, especially also considering that it has a putrid 24% at Rotten Tomatoes. Fourth place went to the place opener of the weekend, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which disappointed with a weak $14.6 million; it’s pulled in $23.5 million since Wednesday. This will more than likely be the last entry in this franchise.

Last weekend’s champ, 2 Guns, got pushed all the way down to fifth courtesy of the four new openers. Denzel and Wahlberg were down 59% to $11.2 million. That’s a big drop, but the film has grossed $48.5 million against a $61 million budget, so it’ll end up being fine. The Smurfs 2 dropped 46% to $9.5 million, lifting its total to $46.6 million. It warms my heart to see this film has failed. The Wolverine continued its freefall, plummeting another 63% to an even $8 million. Just $112 million so far for Logan.

Down 49%, The Conjuring grossed $6.7 million to lift its total to $120.8 million. Now one of the highest grossing horror movies ever, it wouldn’t surprise me if we ended up seeing a sequel to this one. Despicable Me 2 followed in ninth, dropping 43%. Gru raked in $5.7 million this weekend, and the second highest grossing film of the year now stands at $338.3 million.

And, finally, this will be the last weekend I’ll have to discuss Grown Ups 2. It was down 53% to $3.7 million for a total of $123.8 million. Well, this was a packed weekend with new openers, and next weekend is more of the same with four debuts again. Among the openers next weekend, by far the most interesting to me is Kick-Ass 2, but I get the feeling KA2 won’t end up being that good. That wraps up this week. Until we meet again.

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