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“District 9,” “Wife” Top Box Office; “Goods,” “Bandslam” Struggle

After an impressive $14.2 million opening take Friday, acclaimed sci-fi thriller “District 9” parlayed its momentum into a big weekend box office victory.

Estimates say that the film grossed $37 million this weekend, giving it a sizable advantage over all other competition.

Week two of “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” which some analysts believed stood a shot at retaining the box office crown when making forming their projections this week, took a big tumble. The film dropped 59% for a second place finish with $22.5 million. Its cumulative total now stands just shy of $100 million.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” debuted to $19 million, grossing a figure essentially in line with that of last week’s female-skewing “Julie & Julia” (which pulled $12.4 million in week two). The second consecutive successful “chick flick” debut reveals the fiscal opportunity in counter-programming the male-centric marquee releases this month.

There were, however, failures for films that tried to reach both male and female audiences. Male-geared comedy “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” posted a dismal $5.3 million, landing at the bottom end of projections, which had already been quite pessimistic given high-profile star Jeremy Piven’s presence, the casting of numerous recognizable faces from other hit comedies and the extremely aggressive promotional campaign that included, among voluminous Internet and television campaigns, Piven and co-star Ken Jeong appearing on WWE RAW.

“Bandslam,” meanwhile, posted a meager $2.3 million in its first outing, actually falling behind the $3.5 million premiere gross of “Ponyo,” which had half the theatre count. The film had been strongly reviewed, but its promotional campaign blurred the message, portraying the film as too cliched and “High School Musical” for teens and young adults yet too offbeat for the tween Disney/Nickelodeon audience. Effort to promote the film based on its inclusion of a trailer for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” failed.

Weekend Top Ten:
1) District 9 – $37 million
2) GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra – $22.5 million
3) The Time Traveler’s Wife – $19 million
4) Julie & Julia – $12.4 million
5) G-Force – $6.9 million
6) The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard – $5.3 million
7) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $5.2 million
8) The Ugly Truth – $4.5 million
9) Ponyo – $3.5 million
10) Funny People – $3 million

Time Travelers Wife world premiere

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]headlineplanet.com.

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