Box Office Guru Wrapup: Super 8 Captures #1 Spot

Go Super 8 OK.

Exceeding expectations, the new kid-driven monster movie Super 8 shot straight to number one at the North American box office while fellow newcomer Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer failed to make a dent with a weak debut in seventh place. Most holdovers fared well as the overall marketplace fell from last year's numbers, but only by a small margin.

Paramount scored a hit with its 1979-set sci-fi action-drama Super 8 which opened impressively with an estimated $37M this weekend from 3,379 theaters for a solid $10,950 average. The PG-13 film about a group of middle school kids trying to solve the mystery behind a train crash that unleashes a creature in their small town had no starpower and instead relied on the brand names of director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg who both worked overtime promoting the $50M production. The studio opened the film one day early in over 300 theaters on Thursday, including all 239 IMAX sites, and grossed an estimated $1M that day giving Super 8 a cume of $38M. IMAX accounted for 12% of the gross, or about $4.5M and a sparkling $19,000 average.

Reviews were mostly positive and the marketing campaign purposely held back much about the film so audiences would be intrigued and then experience all the excitement inside the theater. It was a risky move in today's world of information overload, but it paid off. Opening day audiences gave the creature feature a B+ grade which was good, but not exceptional. But Saturday sales rose 15% from $12.2M to $14M. Even for an original film with no real built-in audience, it indicates a promising road ahead.

Super 8 played much older than most other films in the marketplace. The audience was 71% over 25 and 56% male which was similar to the crowd for the well-reviewed summer action entry Thor which played 72% over 25. The Abrams film did better with cross-gender appeal as Thor was 63% male. Older moviegoers do not rush out on the first weekend as much as younger ones do and with an original non-franchise film like Super 8, there could be substantial sales still to come.


The opening of Super 8 was very close to the $37.4M debut of another recent one-word-one-number summer monster movie - 2009's District 9. Though it was rated R, took place in another country, and was centered on adult characters, the Sony film won praise from critics with an original story about regular people coping with odd beasts in their town. That film fell 51% in the second weekend before ending its run with a terrific $115.6M - a little more than three times its opening.

Overseas, Super 8 had a limited bow in just nine markets with Australia being the only major one. The estimate was $6.7M and next weekend will see the first major overseas showing with numerous marketing opening including Russia and Korea.


Dropping from number one in its second weekend was the super hero reboot X-Men: First Class which fell by an understandable 55% to an estimated $25M giving Fox $98.9M in ten days. The PG-13 origin flick earned good reviews and positive buzz which helped it hold up relatively well for this type of film. Plus it had a competing sci-fi film also playing to adult men to deal with. It was a smaller drop than the 60% fall that Universal witnessed in June 2008 with its Marvel reboot The Incredible Hulk and beat out the 59% slide that Fantastic Four suffered in July 2005. However it was larger than the 47% dip that Thor experienced last month in its sophomore session. That pic introduced a brand new character to the screen and did not have a major action film opening against it in the second weekend. Look for the domestic total to end with around $140M. The overseas weekend brought in an estimated $42.2M, down just 33%, for a $124.2M cume and $223.1M worldwide tally.


The Bangkok mayhem of The Hangover Part II attracted an estimated $18.5M worth of business for a reasonable 41% fall in the third session. Warner Bros. smashed the $200M mark on Friday after just 16 days setting a new speed record for live-action comedies. The old record of 19 days was held by 2004's Meet the Fockers. The new Hangover pic has now reached an impressive $216.6M in 18 days and could be headed past $260M. Global audiences are also having fun with the hungover boys as holdover markets overseas dropped by just 37%. The weekend brought an estimated $38.3M pushing the international take past the double century mark as well to $215.5M. Worldwide, The Hangover Part II has grossed $432.1M. While the film's domestic final may end a bit short of its predecessor's, the international figure has already zoomed past the $191.6M of the first Hangover.

Despite facing two new films with kids as their lead characters, the animated comedy Kung Fu Panda 2 held up very well dropping only 30% to an estimated $16.6M in its third weekend. The Paramount/DreamWorks title has now banked $126.9M in 18 days and could be headed past the $170M mark. Panda opened at number one in 17 international territories fueling a strong $56.5M offshore frame lifting the overseas gross to $205M and the global take to $331.9M. Top spot bows this weekend in the U.K., Mexico, and Brazil helped keep the global roll-out going and an amazing hold in China has propelled the local total to a stellar $71.2M. The Panda sequel debuts in a number of European markets next weekend including France and Germany. Adding foreign to domestic, Kung Fu Panda 2 was the world's most popular film this weekend.

Dropping 40% to fifth place was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with an estimated $10.8M boosting Disney's take to $208.8M. The latest Johnny Depp adventure is the second biggest domestic grosser of the year behind the Wolf Pack, however overseas business remained red hot with the film collecting an estimated $41.1M boosting the international haul to an eye-popping $678M. That makes Tides the sixth biggest blockbuster of all-time overseas. By the end of the week, the Fountain of Youth pic will sail past the $690.1M of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and the $690.2M of Depp's own Alice in Wonderland to take the number four spot trailing only the third Lord of the Rings and a pair of James Cameron megahits. The new Pirates now stands at a towering $886.8M worldwide with a steep 77% coming from overseas and the one billion mark likely within reach. Top international markets are Japan ($74.5M), Germany ($66.7M), China ($65.2M), Russia ($60.7M), and the United Kingdom ($48M).

For the fourth straight weekend, Bridesmaids posted the lowest decline in the top ten slipping a mere 16% to an estimated $10.2M. If the estimate holds, the Kristin Wiig hit will become the only film of 2011 to gross over $10M for five weekends. With $123.9M, the Universal sleeper hit is cashing in on great word-of-mouth as more audiences continue to discover the raunchy wedding comedy. Bridesmaids should have no problem breaking the $150M mark now and may even reach the $164M of The Proposal from two summers ago which was PG-13.


Stumbling into seventh place with an estimated $6.3M in its opening weekend was the tween girl comedy Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer which didn't excite too many kids. The PG-rated film starring Jordana Beatty and Heather Graham averaged a weak $2,483 from 2,524 theaters and could not carve out a big audience despite being based on a popular series of books. The budget was under $20M with producer Smokewood Entertainment paying that plus the marketing tab. Relativity distributed the critically-panned film in the U.S. for a fee. The overall CinemaScore grade was a B+ and females made up 78% of the audience. Playing mostly to moms and daughters, Judy generated 88% of its business from children under 12 plus their parents.

After three sizzling weeks in limited release, Woody Allen's new hit comedy Midnight in Paris accelerated its expansion plan and went nationwide this weekend taking in an estimated $6.1M from 944 locations for a good $6,511 average. Sony Classics has taken in $14.2M to date and could have a lot more to go as it positions the Owen Wilson starrer as an alternative choice for mature adults in a marketplace dominated by sci-fi actioners, sequels, and kidpics. Critics have been singing praises so the PG-13 film could enjoy good legs in the weeks ahead as buzz spreads and the long Fourth of July holiday weekend approaches.

Rounding out the top ten were the summer kickoff films that went head-to-head around the world. The 3D comic book pic Thor fell 44% to an estimated $2.4M for $173.6M to date for Paramount with $434M worldwide. Universal's bigger hit Fast Five grossed an estimated $1.7M, off 46%, putting the domestic cume at $205.1M and the worldwide tally at a muscular $583.4M. The Vin Diesel vehicle is now the third biggest domestic grosser of the year but second highest globally behind only the Pirates sequel.

Top-tier specialty films continued to perform well as they expanded to more markets. Terence Malick's The Tree of Life starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn went from 20 to 47 theaters and grossed an estimated $875,000 for a solid $18,617 average for Fox Searchlight. Focus widened its Ewan McGregor pic Beginners from five to 19 playdates and collected an estimated $255,000 for a $13,421 average. Totals stand at $2.4M and $465,000, respectively.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $134.6M which was off 4% from last year when The Karate Kid opened in the top spot with $55.7M; but up 4% from 2009 when The Hangover remained at number one with $32.8M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

Comments

ChristophMiddle

Christoph M

Good news. Glad to hear Super 8 doing well. It's good that good old fashioned film making focusing on creativity and originality can still be rewarded.

Man that made me sound way older than 28.

Oh sorry everyone. I guess no one can obnoxiously post "FIRST!!!!!"

Jun 12 - 11:38 PM

Amalgamate7

Norman Dostal

originality? not one single original element in that movie...havent seen many movies huh? it was OK, but not original

Jun 13 - 10:21 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I agree. The most depressing thing about Super 8 is when it started off Paying Homage to Spielberg coming of age adventures then suddenly starts ripping them off entirely. Not a bad film at all but I was disappointed.

Jun 14 - 08:45 AM

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Jun 16 - 06:04 PM

Superzone

Link O'Fett

I definitely need to see Super 8 soon. I hear it's very good.

Jun 12 - 11:49 PM

Neutral3

Adrian Nguyen

The interesting thing that made both X-Men: First Class and Super 8 No.1s chronologically is through positive word of mouth. If these films keep this sort of marketing to make it box office hits for the rest of the summer, then it's damn good for them.

Jun 13 - 04:00 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

SUPER 8 IS WONDERFUL!!!!! you must see it soon!!!! (Filmed in West Virginia; West Virginia has got to be the poorest state in The Union. . . every film should be filmed in West Virginia for the next five years)

Jun 13 - 07:56 AM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Gordo, that's a bit asinine of a statement don't you think? Comon' man. How could a remake (hypothetical) of Flight of the Phoenix, or Sahara, or Gladiator, or ANY OTHER MOVIE IN THE WORLD, that needs a certain location to shoot in something other than lush green hills and mountains, be done? Think man, think! lol

Jun 13 - 02:18 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Glad that Super 8 is doing well - it really deserves it. Hangover 2 - not so much.

Jun 13 - 12:27 AM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

How come you say Hangover 2 isn't that well? It already passed the 200 million mark against Johnny Depp.

Jun 13 - 01:03 AM

Matthew T.

Matthew Thomas

He's saying Hangover 2 doesn't deserve all the money its making. I don't necessarily agree, but yeah, that's what he's saying.

Jun 13 - 01:18 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Whenever someone points to poor american taste in the face of the rest of th world, point to this weekend and see who's wasting their money. Pirates? Seriously?

Jun 13 - 05:31 AM

shane1jat

Shane Patterson

Pirates is doing very well outside the States. Wouldn't that point to poor taste elsewhere? Anyway, my kids and I enjoyed it.

Jun 13 - 06:07 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Meh, I think people are being too hard on 'Pirates' and asking too much of it. It's not supposed to be cerebral. It's brainless, escapist entertainment.

Jun 13 - 06:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

That's what I was saying and Val, that's cool, I like escapist cinema as much as the next guy, but I want it to be good escapist cinema which for me Pirates wasn't. It just seemed to me to ramble on forever with nothing to really say.

Jun 13 - 07:59 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Poor taste, unfortunately, exists everywhere... that I know from personal experience. However, I wouldn't necessarily classify Pirates under that category. I enjoyed Tides more than Chest and End, and it was quite enjoyable for the 2 hours that it was on-screen. Insanely forgettable, safe and mediocre, but it's Disney so I don't know what else you can expect.

Jun 13 - 11:18 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

I agree. H3 doesn't even need to be mad let alone H2 before it.

Jun 13 - 12:45 PM

Sue Bush

Sue Bush

It's worth to see, Super 8 is good.



-----------------------------------
Paul Smith Sale|
Paul Smith UK

Jun 13 - 12:58 AM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

How come you say Hangover 2 isn't that well? It already passed the 200 million mark against Johnny Depp.

Jun 13 - 01:03 AM

Matthew T.

Matthew Thomas

He's saying Hangover 2 doesn't deserve all the money its making. I don't necessarily agree, but yeah, that's what he's saying.

Jun 13 - 01:18 AM

Matthew T.

Matthew Thomas

He's saying Hangover 2 doesn't deserve all the money its making. I don't necessarily agree, but yeah, that's what he's saying.

Jun 13 - 01:18 AM

Matthew T.

Matthew Thomas

Good for Super 8 and X-Men: First Class.

Matthew Vaughn finally made a movie that a lot of people cared to see in theaters.

Jun 13 - 01:19 AM

waggaga1

noel noel

I like Super 8!

Jun 13 - 02:10 AM

Neutral3

Adrian Nguyen

The interesting thing that made both X-Men: First Class and Super 8 No.1s chronologically is through positive word of mouth. If these films keep this sort of marketing to make it box office hits for the rest of the summer, then it's damn good for them.

Jun 13 - 04:00 AM

Bloody Mathias

Mathias N/A

What JJ got right: Character, tone, suspense and setting.

What JJ got wrong: Underwhelming creature design, weak 3rd act and an especially on the nose ending.

JJ got me to care about the kids and walking out of the theater, i couldn't help but wish that the entire film was about them. As a coming of age story, Super 8 is better than average but as a sci-fi mystery, it's lacking severely.

I give it a 6/10.

Jun 13 - 05:15 AM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

I agree. Also, JJ is looking like he is going to make lens flares his signature much like John Woo made doves his. Give it up JJ. I enjoyed the film though. Elle Fanning can act. 75%

Jun 13 - 09:31 AM

Bloody Mathias

Mathias N/A

Lens flares were annoying in Star Trek but at least in that film, they made sense. There's was no reason to have so many lens flares in Super 8. Somebody's gotta talk to JJ cutting that out!

Jun 13 - 03:42 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I was mixed on the creature, as well. I am going to talk about it, so if you do not want to have an idea what it looks like DO NOT READ FURTHER! Anyway, I liked that Abbrams wanted something that was big and hulking and badass, but when it came down to some of the plot elements, the huge nature of the monster made it a little hard to believe. One of my other gripes was that they never really gave a good view of the creature in its entirety, not even at the end. We got to see his face up close and detailed, but that was it. The rest of the time it was always covered by darkness or the camera was placed far away.

Jun 13 - 11:13 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

SPOILER ALERT DO NOT READ AHEAD!: i also thought it was really lame how the alien was "eating" the people he kidnapped and not doing something else, but for some reason kept them alive before he was going to eat them. My GF stated he didn't want to and there were no animals around to eat. There was clearly a scene where you could see cows next to the road after the evacuation scene. I really don't see the motivation he had to kidnap and then eat those people.

Jun 13 - 11:21 AM

Iceman Cometh

Adam Levin

he was kinda of pissed at humans for, you know, holding him prisoner and experimenting on him for all those years

Jun 13 - 04:14 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Exactly, if aliens held me prisoner for 30 years and tortured me, I'd probably eat them...I'm just sayin'.

Jun 14 - 04:55 AM

Lenny M.

Lenny Monroe

I agree. I saw Super 8 and I must say while it was good I was also letdown. There are however 2 different ways to look at Super 8. One as a nod to old-school filming, which is the enjoyable way, and the other way to look at it straight up as a movie, which is disappointing.

As a nod to old films, it really works. The kids feel ripped straight out of the Goonies and E.T. and are always one or two steps ahead of the adults on the mystery. The camera always is at their eye level so you can connect with them more, and the setting was great as well with the music that went perfectly.

Now looking at it as a film in 2011, you will be disappointed. There were no original ideas, with the creature and the "I wanna go home" story that's been used hundreds of times, the 3rd act is a train wreck (no pun intended), and it will leave you wanting more.

Jun 14 - 05:07 AM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

SPOILERS AS WELL! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT!!!! I rated it slightly higher, 8/10 but only because I thought the tone, the kids, and the homages to earlier films were the best things about it. I agree that the sci-fi plot didn't deliver. The creature was much creepier when you didn't know what it was. As soon as we got the face reveal all the tension and awe deflated. A friend of mine went so far as to suggest that Jaws was very much the same thing: The shark looked fake and was best when barely visible, so perhaps it was intentional. I seriously doubt that. But it was an entertaining movie and the performances from those kids really made it standout in a way that didn't feel the least bit juvenile. I thought the ending was mawkish and silly. Moments before this creature was eating a human leg and suddenly we're watching it create its ship and fly home all heroic and in wide-eyed wonderment. I thought the locket was a nice touch. I was rolling my eyes one second and with the locket scene, actually got a lump in my throat. Cheesey, but effectively so.

Jun 14 - 06:53 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Agree with DJ Mark. My sentiments exactly.

Jun 14 - 07:43 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

I didn't like it quite as much as you did, but I will agree the kids were spot on. The locket bit would have worked better if I didn't notice that Ron Eldard (Elle's father) had on a silver necklace and was standing right near Joe. Why didn't his necklace go too? (I know it's metaphor, but it would have been easy enough to hide the other necklace)

Jun 15 - 03:19 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

LOL... yeah, I didn't notice his necklace, but I found myself noticing other bits of metal around them and wondering the same thing.

Jun 17 - 07:12 AM

Deanno

Dean Nelson

I loved Super 8! Caught a midnight showing on Thursday!

Jun 13 - 05:27 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Whenever someone points to poor american taste in the face of the rest of th world, point to this weekend and see who's wasting their money. Pirates? Seriously?

Jun 13 - 05:31 AM

shane1jat

Shane Patterson

Pirates is doing very well outside the States. Wouldn't that point to poor taste elsewhere? Anyway, my kids and I enjoyed it.

Jun 13 - 06:07 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Meh, I think people are being too hard on 'Pirates' and asking too much of it. It's not supposed to be cerebral. It's brainless, escapist entertainment.

Jun 13 - 06:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

That's what I was saying and Val, that's cool, I like escapist cinema as much as the next guy, but I want it to be good escapist cinema which for me Pirates wasn't. It just seemed to me to ramble on forever with nothing to really say.

Jun 13 - 07:59 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Poor taste, unfortunately, exists everywhere... that I know from personal experience. However, I wouldn't necessarily classify Pirates under that category. I enjoyed Tides more than Chest and End, and it was quite enjoyable for the 2 hours that it was on-screen. Insanely forgettable, safe and mediocre, but it's Disney so I don't know what else you can expect.

Jun 13 - 11:18 AM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Super 8 was very good. Not a masterpiece, but these days I'm happy with "very good." It was definitely a nostalgia trip for me as I grew up back then as well, and I certainly recognized nods to Close Encounters/ET/Goonies/Gremlins/Stand By Me as many others have pointed out. The kid actors were phenomenal (especially Elle Fanning), and there was some very well-timed humor. Lastly, while I expect some plotholes in movies of this sort, there were a few that - unless I missed something - I was surprised to find they weren't resolved or explained by the end.

Jun 13 - 05:59 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

Of course, one of the best parts of Super 8 was during the closing credits. Everyone did stay and watch, right?

Jun 15 - 03:22 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

Hands down best part of the movie. Every person who was leaving the theater stopped in their tracks and watched the entire film. It was hilarious to see a theater full of about 60 people watching the credit sequence while still standing.

Jun 17 - 07:13 AM

shane1jat

Shane Patterson

Pirates is doing very well outside the States. Wouldn't that point to poor taste elsewhere? Anyway, my kids and I enjoyed it.

Jun 13 - 06:07 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Meh, I think people are being too hard on 'Pirates' and asking too much of it. It's not supposed to be cerebral. It's brainless, escapist entertainment.

Jun 13 - 06:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

That's what I was saying and Val, that's cool, I like escapist cinema as much as the next guy, but I want it to be good escapist cinema which for me Pirates wasn't. It just seemed to me to ramble on forever with nothing to really say.

Jun 13 - 07:59 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Poor taste, unfortunately, exists everywhere... that I know from personal experience. However, I wouldn't necessarily classify Pirates under that category. I enjoyed Tides more than Chest and End, and it was quite enjoyable for the 2 hours that it was on-screen. Insanely forgettable, safe and mediocre, but it's Disney so I don't know what else you can expect.

Jun 13 - 11:18 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Meh, I think people are being too hard on 'Pirates' and asking too much of it. It's not supposed to be cerebral. It's brainless, escapist entertainment.

Jun 13 - 06:44 AM

Jaxx Raxor

Adam Jones

Surprised that Super 8 did so well, as it was predicted to only barely beat First Class. Summmer has been quite decent compared to the abysmal period last year.

Oh and that Judy movie is trash so not surprised it did poorly. The relatively low budget for it means it will likely make a small profit eventually (through DVD/Blu-Ray because theaters are not going to be enough) so it won't bomb.

Jun 13 - 07:12 AM

Isaac

Isaac H

Glad Super 8 did so well, saw it Friday and it was great (check out my review on my profile). Not surprised about Judy Moody. It had a bad marketing campaign and the book series is years old. I'll be seeing Green Lantern and Hangover 2 this weekend.

Jun 13 - 07:30 AM

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