Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 independently financed sci-fi action film launched at number one in North America thanks to an estimated $30.4m opening weekend through TriStar that consigned a trio of studio openers to lower top five finishes.

In a solid session, box office for the top 12 gained 16.5% on last weekend and approximately 7% compared to the same session in 2012.

Matt Damon stars in Elysium alongside Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley. MRC financed the project, which grossed $4.9m from 328 IMAX screens and set anIMAX August record $6.1m global result.

Warner Bros’ Jennifer Aniston comedy We’re The Millers had to settle for second place on $26.6m over three days rising to $38m since Wednesday’s release.

Disney animation Planes entered at number three on $22.5m while Fox launched its Percy Jackson sequel in fourth place on $14.6m, which climbed to $23.5m since Wednesday opening day.

This was a disappointing launch, given that the original, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, arrived on $31.2m back in February 2012.

Sony’s The Smurfs 2 slumped to number six after a three-place fall on $9.5m for a lowly $46.6m in the second weekend. Fox’s The Wolverine at number seven stands at $111.9m after three.

SPC’s Blue Jasmine climbed three places to number 11 on $2.5m from 116 after expanding into an additional 66 theatres and the drama has amassed $6.2m after three weekends.

Chennai Express opened at number 13 on $2.2m from 196 venues through UTV.

Fox Searchlight’s The Way Way Back at number 17 added $1.5m from 780 for $16.3m after six weekends. One place below, TWC’s Sundance pick-up Fruitvale Station added $1.4m from 828 for $13.5m after five. The Spectacular Now added 266,000 through A24 from 19 for $534,000 after two weekends.

RADiUS-TWC launched Lovelace day-and-date theatrically and on demand after getting clearance last week from a New York federal judge following a failed eleventh hour bid by producers Arrow Productions to block the release due to alleged copyright issues. The theatrical debut produced $184,000 from 118 sites.

Roadside Attractions opened its Sundance acquisition In A World from and starring Lake Bell on $71,000 from three for an excellent $23,667 average.

And finally, Paramount announced on Sunday [11] that World War Z has become the biggest North American hit of Brad Pitt’s career on $197.4m after overtaking Mr & Mrs Smith’s $186.3m. It also ranks as Pitt’s biggest global relese on an even $500m after overhauling Troy’s $497.3m.

Next weekend’s wide releases are Universal’s Kick-Ass 2, Relativity’s thriller Paranoia, TWC’s The Butler and Open Road Films’ Jobs.

Estimated Top 10 North America Aug 9-11 2013
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) Elysium (Sony TriStar-MRC) SPRI $30.4m –
2 (-) We’re The Millers (Warner Bros) WBPI $26.6m $38m
3 (-) Planes (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $22.5m –
4 (-) Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters (Fox) Fox Int’l $14.6m $23.5m
5 (1) 2 Guns (Universal) Foresight Unlimited $11.1m $48.5m
6 (3) The Smurfs 2 (Sony) SPRI $9.5m $46.6m
7 (2) The Wolverine (Fox) Fox Int’l $8m $111.9m
8 (4) The Conjuring (Warner Bros) WBPI $6.7m $120.7m
9 (5) Despicable Me 2 (Universal) UPI $5.7m $338.3m
10 (6) Grown Ups 2 (Sony) SPRI $3.7m $123.8m