Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 paid for half of its modest $30 million production budget on its opening Friday with a cool $14.2 million.
The strong opening, which includes Thursday midnight screenings, gives District 9 the second-highest R-rated Friday opening in August behind Universal’s American Pie at $16.5 million. For distributor Sony, it was their highest R-rated August bow.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Time Traveler’s Wife with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams was considered to be District 9’s prime competition targeting the opposite sex. It brought in $7.7 million on Friday, good enough for a second place finish behind Paramount’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’s $7 million.
Looking ahead, District 9 should match or eclipse its $30 million budget by the time the final weekend box office results are released. Rise of Cobra, meanwhile, has a legitimate chance at crossing the $100 million mark by Monday morning but still has a long ways to go before turning a profit.