Elysium Poster
“Elysium,” starring Matt Damon, was released Friday. Columbia/Media Rights Capital

“District 9” director Neill Blomkamp’s latest film “Elysium” won over its competition at the box office this weekend, but it’s still far from a blockbuster. Meanwhile, Disney’s animated “Planes” underperformed and lost to Warner Bros.’ R-rated comedy “We’re the Millers.”

“Elysium” may have won the box-office battle this weekend, but it appears unlikely to win the war for profitability. It is Blomkamp’s first movie since his hit 2009 debut “District 9.” Shot on a tight $30 million budget, “District 9” wowed audiences and critics alike with its smart, science-fiction take on apartheid. “District 9” opened with $37 million and went on to rake in more $115 million, nearly four times its budget.

By contrast, “Elysium” apparently hoped to draw in more fans by combining “District 9’s” sci-fi aesthetic with an A-list cast and big-budget special effects, but, despite winning the box office this weekend, it couldn’t beat “District 9.” The $100 million “Elysium” opened with just $30.4 million, well behind “District 9.” By that metric, it seems unlikely that “Elysium” will ever go on to exceed its predecessor -- or even turn a decent profit.

Surprisingly, “We’re the Millers” outdistanced “Planes” for second place over the weekend. Analysts expected the “Cars” spin-off to earn more than $25 million, but the children’s film managed to pull in only $22 million. In comparison, each of Pixar’s two “Cars” movies opened in excess of $60 million. “Planes” still managed to break a box-office record for an animated film released in August, but that’s not saying much, considering the previous record holder was 2006’s “Barnyard: The Original Party Animals.”

Meanwhile “We’re the Millers” fared poorly with critics, but it’s on its way to becoming a solid hit. Produced for just $37 million, “We’re the Millers” has already earned $38 million in its first five days at the box office. It’s likely to earn a solid profit over the next few weeks, while possibly establishing “Saturday Night Live” alum Jason Sudeikis as a comedic leading man.

Check out the top 10 movies of the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo:

1) “Elysium” -- $30.4 million
2) “We’re the Millers” -- $26.6 million
3) “Planes” -- $22.5 million
4) “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” -- $14.6 million
5) “2 Guns” -- $11.1 million
6) “The Smurfs 2” -- $9.5 million
7) “The Wolverine” -- $8.0 million
8) “The Conjuring” -- $6.7 million
9) “Despicable Me 2” -- $5.7 million
10) “Grown Ups 2” -- $3.7 million