Matt Damon's "Elysium" made a respectable $1.6 million on Thursday, according to studio estimates.
The science-fiction thriller began its screenings at 10 p.m. and is projected to make roughly $30 million this weekend.
The dystopian fable finds Damon trying to infiltrate a man-made space station, where the wealthier members of society live. It was directed by Neill Blomkamp of "District 9" fame.
“Elysium” cost $115 million to produce and will roll out in more than 2,700 theaters.
It faces fierce competition from the raunchy comedy "We're the Millers" and the family adventure "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” both of which got a head start on the competition by opening on Wednesday.
"We're the Millers" netted $4.7 million on Thursday and has made more than $11 million over its first two days of release. "Percy Jackson" grossed $3.4 million on Thursday and has made nearly $9 million. Both movies could earn between $25 million to $30 million over their first five days of release.
Disney's animated film "Planes" also debuts this weekend.