Sci-fi thriller District 9 pummeled G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra at the box office this weekend, earning $37 million according to studio estimates, as reported by The Associated Press. Directed by first-time director Neill Blomkamp and produced by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame, District 9’s subversive story about aliens forced to live in a ghetto in South Africa has been receiving a lot of positive buzz despite its cast of unknown actors and an offbeat marketing effort that played up the prejudicial themes of the film, complete with anti-alien bus advertisements.
“Everybody was like, ‘What is this?’ There was a big question mark in people's minds,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. “It did really pique their interest and drove them to the Internet and elsewhere to discover what's going on.”
G.I. Joe fell to second place in its second week of release, earning $22.5 million, bringing its 10-day total to $98.8 million.
I haven’t had the chance to see District 9 just yet, but from what I hear, this is the type of non-franchise event film that we’ve been missing this summer amidst the retreads, reboots, and revivals. I can’t wait to check this one out, along with the critically acclaimed (500) Days of Summer, which is being hailed as the modern-day Annie Hall.