Box office: ‘Super 8’ shoots to No. 1 with $37 million
It might be a stretch to call its opening “super,” but the sci-fi flick “Super 8” enjoyed a solid start with $37 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.
The $50 million movie, which was directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, fell just a bit short of other recent original sci-fi flicks such as “District 9” ($37.4 million) and the Abrams-produced “Cloverfield” ($40.1 million), but performed better than this year’s “Battle: Los Angeles” ($35.6 million).
With a story that’s set in 1979 and a tone that emulates Spielberg’s own pictures during that era, the well-reviewed film particularly appealed to older moviegoers.
According to Paramount, a whopping 71% of “Super 8’s” audience was at least 25. IMAX theaters accounted for 12% of the PG-13 film’s gross, and CinemaScore moviegoers gave it an overall “B+” rating, which could bode well for its staying power. By comparison, “Cloverfield” received a “C” grade from CinemaScore audiences, and then plummeted 68 percent in its second weekend.
The children’s film “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer” debuted in seventh place to earnings of $6.3 million.
The PG movie, based on Megan McDonald’s popular book series, received discouraging reviews but a favorable “B+” from CinemaScore audiences. Then again, 60% of CinemaScore’s graders were under 18 and handed the picture an “A-” rating, while those 25 and up (read: parents) opted for a “C+” mark. The $20 million comedy skewed female, with women of all ages composing 78 percent of the audience.
In second place, “X-Men: First Class” dropped 55% for $25 million. While by no means a great hold, that does represent a smaller second-weekend decline than three of the past four “X-Men” movies — only “X2: X-Men United” held up better. On the other hand, every other “X-Men” film had grossed more at this point than “First Class,” which has so far collected $98.9 million.
“The Hangover Part II” fell 41%, for a $18.5 million weekend. On Saturday, the R-rated comedy became the year’s highest grossing movie; it has now earned $216.6 million in three weeks.
“Kung Fu Panda 2” dipped only 30% for $16.6 million, while “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” sailed past the $200 million milestone with $10.8 million.
Also, Woody Allen’s nostalgic comedy “Midnight in Paris” expanded to 944 theaters and took in $6.1 million.
In limited release, the critically acclaimed British comedy “The Trip,” starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, opened to an OK $84,600 at six locations.
Check back next week as “Green Lantern” confronts his lifelong nemesis: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.”