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Alien thriller 'District 9' lands atop box office

By AFP

Creepy aliens landed on top of the North American box office over the weekend, with "District 9" opening with 37.4 million dollars in sales, final figures showed Monday.

Set in an apartheid society divided between humans and space creatures, the thriller's extraterrestrial refugees are granted asylum in South Africa but have to fight off attempts by a nefarious corporation to harness their powerful alien technology.

In second place was action flick "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," which fell from the top spot to pull in 22.3 million dollars, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Another new science-fiction release, "The Time Traveler's Wife," also made a good showing, with 18.6 million dollars in box office sales. Rachel McAdams stars as the wife of a man with a genetic anomaly that causes him to move back and forth through time involuntarily.

Falling two places to number four was Sony's "Julie & Julia," a dramatic comedy that sees Meryl Streep slip on the apron of famed cook Julia Child while Julie Powell (Amy Adams) tries to cook a recipe a day from Child's most famous cookbook for one year, for 12.1 million dollars in receipts.

Action comedy "G-Force," featuring a crack squad of guinea pig spies, also fell two spots to number five, earning 6.9 million dollars.

At number six was "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," a comedy starring Jeremy Piven and Ed Helms as employees of a struggling car dealership, which pulled in 5.6 million dollars in its opening weekend in theaters.

In its fifth week of release, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth installment of the franchise, dropped three places to number seven, reeling in 5.1 million dollars.

The feature, which sets the stage for the final confrontation between the boy wizard and his arch-nemesis Lord Voldemort, has taken in 283.9 million dollars since its release.

"The Ugly Truth," starring Katherine Heigl as a romantically-challenged producer looking for love, came in eighth with 4.4 million dollars.

At number nine was "Ponyo," a Japanese animated feature about a goldfish who befriends a boy. The new release took 3.6 million dollars in box office receipts.

Down one spot from last week was "(500) Days of Summer," a whimsical romantic movie that earned three million dollars.

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