Elysium is set to hit the big screen as one of the most thoughtful (in that it has thoughts) films of the summer season. But where District 9 was a little picture that could, here director Neill Blomkamp is working with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, and there seems to be less a groundswell of interest. Still, mech suits.

Reviews have been decidedly mixed on the picture. The metaphor, and the allegorical content of Elysium is under more scrutiny than that of District 9, which wasn’t exactly subtle either. The question is if that will keep anyone away. What the film may suffer more from is summer fatigue, where there have been so many event films that getting out to see this one (especially after a number of disappointments) may be a lower priority. If word was super positive, maybe this could have had a $40 Million weekend, but that just doesn’t seem possible now.

But on the exact opposite spectrum is Planes, which may do similar numbers, even though it’s being thrashed by critics, and is seen as a cash-in, near direct to video title that was given a big screen release out of greed. But it’s a kids movie, and it looks like a Pixar film (it’s actually Disney), so it should do well for what it is.

There’s also We’re the Millers and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. I feel like with the former if Warner Brothers thought they had another Hangover, we’d have heard more about it beforehand, but both should perform respectably, if unremarkably.

So let’s do this:

  1. Elysium - $28.5 Million
  2. Planes - $22.5 Million
  3. We’re the Millers - $19.7 Million
  4. Percy Jackson 2 – $18 Million
  5. 2 Guns - $14 Million

Kids movies prove unpredictable so either Percy or Planes could surge. Currently it feels like Elysium is being underrated, I think Matt Damon and sci-fi should get it near or over $30 Million, but I’m being a little cautious.

What are you going to watch this weekend?