Entertainment Editor
08.17.09 8 Comments

District 9, which cost $30 million to make, earned the top spot at the box office last weekend with $37 million.  Here’s the story behind this surprise hit and most-tweeted topic on Friday (la dee da) via Nikke Finke:

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp was supposed to be Peter Jackson’s helmer on Halo, which went down in flames. But Peter and his partner Fran Walsh kept Neill in New Zealand to develop his short film, Alive In Joburg. Jackson then turned it into a hard-cover faux graphic novel. That book went to Peter’s longtime manager Ken Kamins to arrange financing and set it up as a film. Ken made the decision to go indie, […].  The result is not just another Amy Pascal pic starring Adam or Will but, according to the 88% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, an imaginative, creative, cutting-edge pic made outside the studio system.

That’s right.  Another graphic-novel-turned-movie.  Oh well, at least it wasn’t a gum wrapper or a board game.

G.I. Joe, predictably dropped about 60% in its second week to take the #2 spot with $22.5 million.  The Time Traveler’s Wife took third place with a disappointing $19.2 million weekend (the studio expected at least $25 million).

Among the other films opening last weekend, The Goods opened at #6 with $5.35 million.  Bandslam took 13th place with $2.25 million, earning only $1,061 per screen (ha ha).   Ponyo opened at #9 with $3.5 million.  It Might Get Loud made $14,429 per screen in limited release.  (full top 10 below)

  Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 District 9 $37,000,000 $12,135 $37,000,000
2 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra $22,500,000 (-58.9%) $5,615 $98,753,000
3 The Time Traveler’s Wife $19,205,000 $6,427 $19,205,000
4 Julia & Julia $12,400,000 (-38.1%) $5,286 $43,684,000
5 G-Force $6,908,000 (-30.0%) $2,254 $99,049,000
6 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard $5,350,000 $2,911 $5,350,000
7 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $5,155,000 (-42.3%) $1,860 $283,893,000
8 The Ugly Truth $4,500,000 (-33.3%) $1,647 $77,502,000
9 Ponyo $3,506,000 $3,782 $3,506,000
10 (500) Days of Summer $3,025,000 (-19.1%) $2,886 $17,955,000

[numbers via BoxOfficeMojo]

~ robopanda

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