Weekend Watch: Elysium Enters Theaters After $1.6 Million Opening Night


Will Matt Damon save the world—or at least his new $115 million film from a bleak turn at the box office?

Elysium enters wide release today following a $1.6 million open Thursday night. The dystopian thriller is projected to attract enough cinephiles to end the weekend at number one with $30—$35 million. Although this sum means the Sony picture is off to the right start (especially compared to other disappointing summer blockbusters), it will be closely followed by We're The Millers, the Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis comedy that cost only $37 million to make.

Judging from critical reviews of the flick, though, Damon and Jodie Foster's latest may be worthy of a matinee moment. “[Director NeillBlomkamp is still clearly on his own mission: to bring new intelligence and even principles to bear on a genre too often dominated by banal cyborgs and recycled plots,” writes Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday. “The future he imagines may be grim, but the one he represents is full of promise.”

USA Today's Claudia Puig shares those sentiments, crediting Damon for carrying the District 9 follow-up and making up for parts of the film that may be underwhelming. “Damon is perfectly cast as Max. Ever likable, he's terrific as a reluctant hero driven by despair and inherent goodness,” she writes. “Many of the people he lives among are Spanish speakers, and Damon is convincingly bilingual. In contrast, those living on Elysium speak French. Such subtleties are wonderfully intelligent touches.”

Check out the trailer below and let us know if your weekend watch involves a trip to Elysium's distant future.