Box Office: Alien Nation Part Deux Takes #1

If Bill Gates and company over at Microsoft are smart, they’ll look at what Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp managed with the $30 million dollar “District 9″ and immediately greenlight a “Halo” movie, complete with north of $100 million dollar budget. The Jackson-produced and Blomkamp-directed “District 9″, the duo’s collaboration after the “Halo” movie fell through, touched down at first place over the box office weekend, taking in an impressive $37 million, according to studio estimates. Not bad for a movie with no stars, though the fact that the film sold Jackson’s name like he was the director probably helped. The film, made for a reported $30 million, chronicles the existence of aliens who are kept apart from humans, feared, and exploited after arriving in South Africa. Sound familiar?

The week’s other big opening film, the time traveling romance “The Time Traveler’s Wife” opened at third place with a solid $19 million. Last weekend’s #1, “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” fell to second place with $22.5 million, down 59% from its first-week debut. The cartoony action film has made $98.7 million in two weeks of release. It still has a ways to go to make back its reported $175 million dollar budget.

Also opening this week, the latest animated film from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, “Ponyo” landed in 927 theaters and good enough for $3.5 million, while the Jeremy Piven comedy “The Goods” just barely landedl out of the Top 5 with $5.3 million, despite opening in twice as many theaters as “Ponyo”. But at least both films did better than the teen-friendly “Bandslam”, starring the oft-nude Vanessa Hudgens. The teen musical comedy landed completely out of the Top 10 at #13 with a meager $2.2 million from 2,121 screens. By comparison, “Ponyo” trippled “Bandslam’s” per-screen average.

The Box Office Top 10 (via):

1 —–District 9 —–$37,000,000 —– $37,000,000
2 —–G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra —–$22,500,000 —–$98,753,000
3 —–The Time Traveler’s Wife —–$19,205,000 —–$19,205,000
4 —–Julie & Julia —–$12,400,000 —– $43,684,000
5 —–G-Force —–$6,908,000 —–$99,049,000
6 —–The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard —–$5,350,000 —–$5,350,000
7 —–Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince —–$5,155,000 —– $283,893,000
8 —–The Ugly Truth —–$4,500,000—– $77,502,000
9 —–Ponyo —–$3,506,000 —–$3,506,000
10 —–(500) Days of Summer —–$3,025,000 —–$17,955,000

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