'Elysium' flies over 'Planes,' others at box office

Aug. 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM ET

The Matt Damon sci-fi thriller "Elysium," the story of an elite space outpost locked in battle with poor invaders from Earth, won a tight box-office race among four new films at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

Stephanie Blomkamp / TriStar via AP
Matt Damon, left, and Sharlto Copley in a scene from "Elysium."

"Elysium" grabbed $30.5 million in domestic ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, edging Jennifer Aniston comedy "We're the Millers," which took in $26.6 million.

Walt Disney Co animated movie "Planes" took the No. 3 slot with $22.5 million, according to studio estimates. Fantasy movie "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" landed fourth with $14.6 million.

"Elysium" portrays two worlds in the year 2154 — a diseased and overpopulated Earth, and Elysium, a space station where the elite live far from the seething masses.

Damon stars as Max, a blue-collar worker with a criminal past who needs medicine from Elysium to survive. Jodie Foster plays the Elysium defense secretary bent on keeping Max and all other illegal immigrants out.

"Planes," a spin-off of Walt Disney Co's Pixar franchise "Cars," features the voice of Dane Cook as a crop duster with a fear of heights. The movie was produced by the DisneyToons studio and originally planned as a direct-to-DVD release.

In "We're the Millers," Aniston plays a stripper enlisted by a small-time pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) to pose as his wife when he puts together a phony family to help him smuggle marijuana into the United States.

"Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," a sequel to a 2010 release, is based on a series of books about a boy with special powers. In the new film, the boy, played by Logan Lerman, joins his friends on a quest for a golden fleece that will save their home.

Sony Corp's movie studio distributed "Elysium." Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc, released "We're the Millers." "Percy Jackson" was distributed by 20th Century Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters.