On a very busy weekend for new releases, Elysium took first place with $29.8 million. The real winner, though, was road trip comedy We’re the Millers, which did surprisingly strong business. Meanwhile, Planes got off to a fine start, while Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters opened way below its predecessor.
Overall, the Top 12 earned $142.3 million, which is up seven percent from last year. The four new nationwide releases alone combined for $92.9 million, which is a very high figure for the month of August.
We’re the Millers opened to $26.4 million, which was good for second place this weekend. That’s actually a higher opening weekend than Tropic Thunder or Pineapple Express, both of which debuted on a Wednesday in August. Including Wednesday and Thursday, Millers has already earned $37.9 million.
A lot of different areas came together nicely to contribute to this movie’s success. First, it had a clearly-articulated, interesting premise that was rife with potential laughs. It also had an appealing cast—yes , Jennifer Aniston has a few misses, but overall her box office track record is strong—and a great release date (the last major comedy, The Heat, opened seven weeks ago).
The movie’s audience was 51 percent male and 61 percent over the age of 25. It received a good “A-” CinemaScore, and its good hold throughout the five-day start suggests that word-of-mouth is strong. If it plays out like Tropic Thunder—which is possible, but not probable—it will ultimately earn well over $100 million.