Box office report: 'Super 8' is No. 1 with $37 mil


Image Credit: Francois Duhamel

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 percent of Super 8‘s audience was at least 25 years old. IMAX theaters accounted for 12 percent 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 percent 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 percent for $25 million. While by no means a great hold, that does represent a smaller second-weekend decline than three of the last 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 percent, 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 percent 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 okay $84,600 at six locations. Check back next week as Green Lantern confronts his lifelong nemesis: Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

1. Super 8 — $37.0 mil
2. X-Men: First Class — $25.0 mil
3. The Hangover Part II — $18.5 mil
4. Kung Fu Panda 2 — $16.6 mil
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides — $10.8 mil

Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    America really loves great movies.

    • LOL

      America, the land of well-made movies.

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      • David

        though a very good film, it’s obvious that EW is biased towards Super 8 even if its opening numbers fell short of its own predictions of $41M!! Are you paid by Spielberg and Abrams EW? or is this one of your many biases like for beyonsh*t?!?! Boooo!!

      • Bebe

        Totally agree with you, David. Lisa Schwarzenbaum’s orgasmic review of the film was WAY over the top. Especially since it’s such a middling children’s flick and an obvious E.T. rip-off. Is ET on the Amblin/Speilberg payroll?

      • Bebe

        Sorry, I meant EW. Although EW is becoming more like Entertainment Tonight by the day.

    • LOL

      America knows what is a good movie.

      • Jank

        And Super 8 was a great movie, I think it will live on in the same vein as the 80s adolescent/coming of age movies. And I thought the ending was brilliant in its simplicity.

    • LOL

      America really does NOT love crap.

    • LOL

      America, choosing quality movies since 1929.

    • LOL

      America good job on choosing exceptional movies to lead the box-office.

    • Woot

      Are ya having fun?

    • LOL

      America loves crap.

    • SOL

      America loves to crap.

  • Michael Fassbender

    That is a great hold for X-Men First Class, showing that it has legs.
    People need to remember that this is a prequel, with GREAT actors who are not that A-List, and a director who is not well known.
    Think Batman Begins, and then think of The Dark Knight. The first part of a prequel never does spectacular, but when it proves that it is really good (and this X-Men is the best one) then people will want to see a sequel. I am confident we will get a sequel (the international box-office also helps).

    • Lpp

      That is not a great hold, but I hope international numbers prop it up because it is a pretty terrific movie. Batman Begins is a good indicator of the First Class quality level. The storyline is rich, the f/x are seamless, and most of the performances (especially Fassbender) are fantastic.

    • JPX

      I thought First Class was terrific! I hope they make a sequel.

    • kate

      I don’t think your comparison makes sense. Batman Begins came out before Dark Knight – so Dark Knight is a sequel to Batman Begins. X Men First Class is a prequel to movies that have already been out. Maybe the Star Wars Phantom Menace would have been a more apt comparison on your part.

      • I don’t know….

        I think Batman Begins is a prequel. It is set to show how Batman came to be and was released years after the other movies when Batman was older. I could be wrong (and I’m sure the people on this board will correct me), but his comparison is a good one.

      • @The Man

        Yes, but “Batman Begins” was in a similar situation of trying to reboot a dying superhero franchise.

      • Anya

        I’m not sure I would call Batman Begins a prequel because it wasn’t really connected to the previous films, it was more of a reboot. In a way X-men First Class is a reboot too, but it’s also a real prequel as it does reference the other movies.

      • Shaun

        Batman Begins is NOT a prequel! It was a total reboot from the goofy Tim Burton films, not to mention the even goofier Joel Schumacher travesties. I mean, use your brain here… In the 1989 Batman, the guy who becomes Joker is the killer of Bruce Wayne’s parents. In Batman Begins, it’s (as the comics generally tell the story) a thug named Joe Chill. In “Begins,” Chill is murdered before he can testify in open court against mob boss Carmine Falcone. Also, in the 1989 Batman, Joker dies at the end of the movie. In TDK, who’s the villain? OH… That’s right. JOKER. There’s also the matter of there being a completely different Harvey Dent, and plenty of other differences too.

      • Wolverine

        I know I was only in the movie for a little bit but I think it’s one helluva movie bub. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet or I have something to give you……SNIKT !!

      • kate

        Yes, Sean and Anya have it right. Batman Begins was a reboot….totally different from a prequel because it wasn’t locked into the anthology from the 80s/90s Batman. Same thing is happening with the upcoming Superman. X Men First Class is an actual prequel…and if there are more to come in that time period, I find it most similar to Star Wars.

    • PN

      I think a 55 percent drop from the first week is okay. At least people are seeing the movie and giving it strong box office numbers.

    • Boo Radley

      First class isn’t a prequel! They just made a new backstory up and slapped familiar character names on the story. I guess that’s what they call a reboot. Anyway, it mostly sucked. There hasnt been a truly decent telling of the X Men mythos in
      movie form yet IMO.

      • Michael

        You’re insane if you don’t think X2 is “truly decent”.

      • musica1

        I agree with Michael. X2 was a great X Men film.

  • Alex

    Super 8 did better than expected!

    • JJ Abrams

      Exactly! Yet this writer wants to bring it down. Don’t know why. Everyone expected mid to low $20 million.

  • Conaw

    Favorite film of the year so far!

  • Jon

    X-Men held on ok, still should be higher but overseas numbers are solid

  • Woot

    No mention of Bridesmaids and how it only dropped 16%? It’s in it’s 5th weekend and it’s still producing double digit weekend box office numbers, after only opening with 26 mill. I think that should have been included.

    • Chris

      It must be that time of the month. Take a Midol and chill out.

      • Woot

        GREAT JOKE CHRIS!!!!! SO FUNNY! I’m a guy however. Wasn’t really freaking out either…

    • Tommy Marx

      I have to agree with you. That’s pretty incredible for any movie, especially in the much-hyped summer season.

  • Mr Movie Man

    Still disliked it. Looking forward to the films that still can’t be found anywhere near me (Beginners, Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life)
    Can’t believe so many are whining about the Hangover sequel rehashing the same themes when all Super 8 did was create a mutt breed of Spielberg classics then add some Cloverfield and make it almost seem like a M Night Shaymalama Ding Dong movie. . .

    • JD

      Super 8 was actually good, while the Hangover 2 wasn’t. Super 8 purposefully created a nostalgic feeling, without actually copying the movies. Hangover 2 was the EXACT same movie as the first. They’re completely different situations. And there was nothing like M. Night in there at all…thank God. GREAT movie.

      • Mr Movie Man

        The rarely seen digitized creature was reminiscent of something he would do in Lady in the Water VS Signs, which speaking of, one can’t deny the plot point of the dead mother by accident that the town drunk was held accountable for. I could nit pick at least a dozen Shaymalan similarities, which really bothers me. And the hypocrisy between the judging of The Hangover 2 and Super 8’s rehashing of old themes is more relevant than you give credit to.

    • Jose

      How is Midnight in Paris not anywhere near you? It expanded nationwide this past weekend!

      • Mr Movie Man

        I got one theater about 20 miles out that has it along with Beginners, but that is it. God forbid the “summer blockbusters” not have multiple theaters PER film to accommodate the hoards of today’s generation of film viewers who would rather have their minds numbed than watch quality entertainment. Cannot wait for fall and the upcoming Oscar season again : (

  • idviceroy

    Since when are 25 year olds ‘older movie goers’? I’m 2 months shy of my 40th birthday, and this Spielbergesque picture is indicative of the films he made when I WAS A KID, when going to the movies was MAGICAL. So at 40, to those who consider 25 years olds as older movie goers, I’m either ancient or dead…..

    • TedStriker

      I think at the point of the article when he refers to the 25 and up crowd he is talking about the Judy Moody movie, not Super 8.

      I’m 38 and I thought Super 8 did a great job of recreating the “feel” of a good movie from that time period or shortly thereafter… such as Close Encounters, Poltergeist, Goonies, etc. I grew up loving movies of quality that revolved around the “adolescent buddies on an adventure” structure… like Goonies, Stand By Me, etc. Hollywood has drifted away from that format so this movie seemed both nostalgic and refreshing at the same time.

    • frank

      I agree, i just turned 42 and obviously anyone from our generation will really love this movie. I got choked up thinking back to those days, as this movie takes place in 1979. This was a really great movie, and one that i will be buying when it comes out on dvd. Of course, the kids of today will not appreciate this movie but i dont blame them. back in 1979, we did not worry about terrorists and the world ending, it was a simpler time and movies like Jaws and Close Encounters made the movies special. Oh, and it did not cost 7 bucks to see a movie, but this one was worth it. I only see movies in theaters rarely anymore, but this is one to go see.

    • kate

      They just use that to differentiate between children and adults when it comes to kid movies and the exit polls.

  • del taco

    37 million delorees. Not enough for sequel ” Super 9″. Too bad. Cinemascore gave “Super 8″ a B, but gave the kid’s zombie epic, “The Case” an A.

    • Chris

      Forget Super 9. I want a sequel to Cloverfield!

    • Boo Radley

      I think it exceeded expectations for an original story. So many movies this season are lifted from familiar source material. Anyway, I really loved Super 8.

  • Dominic

    I saw Super 8 last night and absolutely loved it. It’s probably my second favorite film of the year so far, behind Midnight in Paris. It’s great to see that Midnight in Paris is earning more money every week. I’m still waiting for The Tree of Life to come to my area! I’m happy that Bridesmaids is holding up so well, despite being out for a month. X-Men: First Class was pretty good too, and is definately one of the better prequels out there. It’s nice to see that people are going out to see movies that have quality, unlike The Hangover 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4. I feel bad for the people that spent money on those two, especially since The Hangover 2 is almost an exact copy of the original. I’m glad that I spent my money on better movies than that. I know movies are meant to be entertaining, but how could anyone be entertained by something that’s so stupid? Take this into consideration: I’m a 20-year-old male who decided to see Midnight in Paris rather than The Hangover 2. What does that tell you?

    • m1

      “What does that tell you?”

      It tells me that you’re a film snob who won’t shut the hell up.

      • JD

        Hahaha. But really, Hangover 2 was pretty bad…

      • Woot

        HA! But I also agree Hangover 2 was atrocious .

    • Laura

      Does Jackson die in super 8? I can remember if he does


    Hangover 2 and Pirates 4 = crap.

  • larry k

    Saw 2 great movies this weekend Super 8 and Midnight In Paris.Will see Tree Of Life when it opens wide.Loved X-Men too! Good year for movies!

  • sockigal

    I saw Super 8 with my husband, 10 yr old and 13 yr old children, and we all loved it! My kids especially enjoyed it! They have even been talking about it today and thinking about making their own movie. How fun is that? Abrams and Spielberg still inspiring a new generation of movie lovers. I enjoyed the slower pace, character development, cast, and the ode to movies of my childhood (Close Encounters, Goonies, Twister, Ect…). Nothing like sitting in a movie theater on a hot summer day with your family and watching great entertainment! The true test of this movies success will be it’s staying power. I believe, just like District 9, Super 8 will see box office sales continue into the future, and not experience a huge drop in sales, like most summer blockbusters.

    • Kevin

      I had the same experience. I went to see it with my wife and 15yr old daughter and we all loved it. It was great to see a summer movie that was not a sequel or based on a comic that the whole family could enjoy for a change. And afterwards because the weather was crappy in Ct. we went home and watched ET and The Goonies. Super 8 was a great film for all ages and so far is #1 on my list for this year.

    • crispy

      I have no idea why you included Twister in that list. Twister is a terrible movie and has nothing to do with the era of movies that Super 8 was honoring.

  • sockigal

    Oh, and I loved that I didn’t see the creature or too much about the story in the trailers. So happy they kept it a secret! It was nice to get a true suprise for once! Hate those previews where they give the whole story away. Why even see the movie if you have been told the whole story ahead of time! Always disappointed when the preview gives away all the good stuff!

  • Andrew

    The writer of this article is clearly not an “X-Men” fan. That drop is much better than the last two films: “Wolverine” (69%) and “Last Stand” (67%) If estimates hold it will be slightly higher than first “X-Men.” (57%)

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