Director Neill Blomkamp's latest sci-fi flick Elysium is off and running at the box office.
The movie that has ruffled more than a few conservative feathers generated a healthy $1.6 million during late Thursday and midnight showings. The suits at Sony Pictures are banking on the flick bringing home around $35 million over the weekend.
The flick casts Matt Damon has a working-class guy who squares off against the rich folks who live in a floating city known as Elysium. In order to gain access to this exclusive space station, our hero has an exoskeleton surgically grafted onto his body. It's around this time that the fun really begins.
Although Blomkamp's latest flick is expected to do strong business over the next three days, it faces some stiff competition in the forms of We're the Millers and the teen-friendly sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
Elysium may have snagged $1.6 million at the box office on Thursday, but the Jennifer Aniston comedy managed to hang on to the top spot. Rawson Marshall Thurber's We're the Millers snagged an estimated $4.7 million on Thursday, bumping its domestic total to $11.5 million.
Sea of Monsters, meanwhile, opened to $5.4 million on Wednesday. The film continued to do strong business on Thursday, generating an additional $3.4 million from curious moviegoers. This helped the flick hang on the second place position at the box office.
The controversy surrounding Elysium and its so-called "liberal propaganda" may help drive ticket sales this weekend. Many conservatives have taken issue with the flick despite Blomkamp's insistence that there's absolutely no hidden messages in his movie.
Media Research Center's Dan Gainor, however, seems to think otherwise. He recently discussed his displeasure with the sci-fi flick during a chat with Fox News.
"It's not just hypocritical to say this movie isn't political, it's hilarious. This is just the latest of several Hollywood movies this year to try and co-opt Occupy Wall Street plotlines into their films," he explained.
Are you planning to catch Elysium in theaters this weekend? Which of the new releases do you think will top the box office?
[Image via TriStar / Sony Pictures]