"Pacific Rim" exceeded expectations for its Thursday night late night showings, racking up $3.6 million, based on studio tracking.
That is in line with the $3.6 million "World War Z" generated in its late night showings last month. The Brad Pitt zombie disaster film earned $66.4 million in its opening weekend. It also means that "Pacific Rim," like "World War Z," may have overcome pessimistic buzz to emerge as a solid performer.
The Guillermo del Toro directed monsters versus robots film has been plagued by soft tracking and incessant nattering within the industry that it was likely to bomb. Based on its strong early showings, it now seems likely to open to $50 million.
The film, which stars Charlie Day, Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, faces stiff competition domestically. It will square off against Adam Sandler's "Grown Ups 2" and the second week of "Despicable Me 2" at the box office.
"Grown Ups 2" also got off to a strong start at the box office, earning $2.3 million in late night showings.
With a production cost of more than $180 million and no A-list stars, Legendary Pictures "Pacific Rim" represents a huge gamble.
Foreign audiences could help the film recoup its massive budget. Warner Bros., which is distributing the film, is pleased with the film's overseas numbers. The picture debuted in seven Asian markets like Korea and Thailand on Thursday, where is grossed $3.8 million from 2,157 screens, and led the box office.
"Pacific Rim" will roll out in 38 territories this weekend, including such major markets as Italy, Russia, Mexico and Australia.