‘Super 8' Opens to Solid $38M at the Weekend Box Office

'Super 8' Opens to Solid $38M at the Weekend Box Office

Big names behind the camera power family-targeted sci-fi thriller to over-performance

Eight was enough to fill Paramount's balance sheets this weekend and make a hit out of the  mystery sci-fi movie.

"Super 8," produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by J.J. Abrams, grossed $38 million at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates, putting the $50 million sci-fi thriller about $10 million above pre-release forecasts.

"Super 8" also opened in a limited number of international territories, grossing an estimated $6.7 million at 652 foreign runs.

Also read: 'Super 8': Meet the Young Stars of J.J. Abrams' Retro Movie

The film generated $4.4 million playing on 239 IMAX screens for an $18,410-per-location average. IMAX runs accounted for 12 percent of "Super 8's" opening revenue.

The movie with the no-name cast and a 12-year-old-kids-save-the-day story arc was reminiscent to many of Spielberg efforts including “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial.” It easily beat out No. 2 film “X-Men: First Class,” which dropped about 53 percent from its premiere week and finished with $25 million.

Paramount general manager of distribution Don Harris acknowledged that the studio was nervous in the run-up to "Super 8's" release: Tracking was soft and the Paramount marketing department was somewhat contrained, given that the filmmakers didn't want to reveal key elements about the movie's plot.

Paramount, however, found an elixer in a social media promotion that drove moviegoers to paid Thursday screenings. These screenings — which netted about $1 million in box-office revenue — generated good word-of-mouth for the movie's official Friday launch.

"We concluded that the best tool we had was probably the movie itself," Harris noted.

Here's how the top 10 finished. Report continues below chart:

Only one other movie opened wide this weekend, with Relativity’s youth-targeted “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer” – distributed under service deal – hitting pre-release forecasts with an estimated $6.3 million for the weekend.

The PG-rated movie, which stars Heather Graham, was produced by Smokewood Entertainment at a cost of around $20 million. Relativity officials say the opening was in line with expectations and put the youth-novel adaptation on track for “modest profitability” across pay TV, Netflix and other post-theatrical channels.

One major expansion occurred this weekend, with Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris” ramping up to 944 locations and grossing a solid $5.7 million in the process.

Meanwhile, two films hit the magic $200 million mark in North America.

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” grossed $10.8 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to $208.8 million. The film has genterated a whopping $886.8 million worldwide and seems to be on pace to hit the $1 billion mark.

And the Legendary Pictures-co-produced “Hangover Part II” grossed an estimated $17.9 million in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total to $215.9 million.

Fox's "X-Men: First Class" just missed the century mark, finishing its second weekend with $98.9 million.

Universal’s “Bridesmaids,” meanwhile, continued to enjoy its status as an audience-driven hit, declining only 16 percent in its fifth weekend and upping its domestic total to $123.9 million.

But the big story at the box office this weekend was “Super 8.”

Opening up in 3,379 locations — some of which ran preview screenings on Thursday, which totaled about $1 million of the film’s revenue — “Super 8” garnered a B-plus grade from moviegoer survey firm Cinemascore.

Not surprisingly, considering the retro theme of the film — it’s set in the early ‘80s and has a distinct feel of Spielberg movies of that era — “Super 8” garnered an audience that was 71 percent over the age of 25.

Fifty-six percent of the film’s audience was male.

Overall, the domestic box office was down about 7 percent from the same weekend last year.

  • frelling_cute

    Great movie. I hope people give it a chance.

  • Shaun O'Rourke

    I loved it! I hope Hollywood starts to wake up that we need more original films. Slow down the sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, or whatever they are calling it these days.

  • Colcam

    Note how old the audience is– the people the market planning guys say won't show up.  Apparently they did show up this time.

  • jillkennedy

    Here is the best review I have read of Super 8.  It's by a Finnish film reviewer attempting to write in English.  His English is horrible but he makes some good points.

    http://mankabros.com/blogs/btp/2011/06/09/super-8-review/

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  • Kk3

    On 5/19,  thewrap wrote an article about how bad pirates was and how it only brought in a mere 90 mil opening weekend……and now Super 8 brought in much less and it's awesome?Goes to show you how the media slants everything to their point of view!

    • Yojimbo68

      You're so right! Personally, I think between IMAX and regular showings, 38 million is a pretty low number. They are claiming that the film only cost 50 million but they have spent a boat load on advertising. And X-Men made close to 60 million last week and that's considered a disapointment. I might see Super 8 somewhere down the road but I'm kinda sick of the whole “magic of JJ Abrams”. The way they made him seem like the second coming on the STAR TREK DVD/BLU-RAY made me nauseous.

    • http://www.thewrap.com TheWrap

      Kk3:

      Let me remove the white sheet here. We never said the “Pirates” opening was “bad,” just that it didn't hit its studio's target. The apple is further differentiated from the Orange, because “Pirates” cost more than four times as much as “Super 8” to make. That said, we've been pretty bullish since “Pirates'” opening. The film has made a ton of money.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CJOBGLAPJICNFG3K2RJ4C7V6NU JD

    Go JJ! Great movie, and I hope it has some staying power. So many movies are opening to great numbers then plummeting fast. Maybe I'll have to go see Super 8 again…