Elysium, the Columbia Pictures science-fiction film featuring Matt Damon, fell short of a weekend forecast in theaters, tallying sales that may heighten scrutiny of the company’s entertainment unit.
Elysium collected $29.8 million to lead sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters, researcher Hollywood.com said. Boxoffice.com, another researcher, had projected $34.5 million. We’re the Millers, a comedy from Warner Bros., was second with $26.4 million.
Elysium had sales of $10.9 million in 17 overseas markets, with it scheduled to open in 18 more this weekend, including Australia, Germany and France.
The film was made for about $115 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.
Columbia shares fell almost 10 percent over three days through Aug. 8 in Tokyo after directors turned down a proposal by Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC hedge fund to sell as much as 20 percent of the company’s movie and music assets in an initial public offering. Full ownership of the movie, TV production and music units is integral to Columbia’s strategy for revival, the board said in a letter to the billionaire.
Loeb, whose New Yorkbased Third Point has built a 6.9 percent stake in Columbia, is still pressing the company to set targets for improving the entertainment business.
Shares of Columbia slipped 0.6 percent, to 1,932 yen, at the close of business in Tokyo on Tuesday. The stock has more than doubled this year.
This year’s film slate from Hollywood has seen some science-fiction movies click with fans. Star Trek Into Darkness, from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, garnered $70.2 million in its opening weekend in May, and World War Z, the Paramount picture featuring Brad Pitt, topped forecasts with $66.4 million in June.
Second place’s We’re the Millers stars Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston. The movie, about a small-time “pot” dealer who becomes a big-time drug smuggler after being mugged and left in debt to his supplier, was forecast to take in $21.5 million.
Planes, an animated feature from Walt Disney Co., opened with $22.2 million to place third.
A “low-cost” feature, Planes began life as a direct-to-DVD project. Inspired by the Pixar hit franchise Cars, the movie, made for about $50 million, was forecast to collect $21 million.
Planes is about a cropdusting aircraft named Dusty with a fear of heights and dreams of racing. It has a similar look and feel as the two Cars movies, from Disney’s Pixar, which have collected a combined $1 billion worldwide in ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
Comedian Dane Cook supplies the voice for Dusty.
Also opening in wide release was Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, from 20th Century Fox. The second film based on a series of young adult novels took in $14.4 million in fourth place, against a projection by Boxoffice.com of $19.5 million.
Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 7 percent, to $142.3 million, from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said. Attendance year to date is down 2.9 percent, while revenue is up less than 1 percent.
MovieStyle, Pages 34 on 08/16/2013
Print Headline: Elysium beats Millers, Planes