Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Beats Expectations

Negative buzz starting flying around the internet last week concerning the box office potential of ‘Super 8’. Mid-week, Paramount predicted earnings between $25-$30 million, and claimed those low numbers were acceptable considering that ‘Super 8’ was produced on a surprisingly low budget of only $50 million. It wouldn’t take long to make its money back. Now that the totals are in, ‘Super 8’ has capped out the weekend in the #1 spot with $37 million, over $7 million above predictions.

Super 8‘ is the second J.J. Abrams-produced monster movie to be made on a minimal budget. 2008’s ‘Cloverfield‘ also defied studio expectations with a $40 million opening weekend in mid-January. Both ‘Super 8’ and ‘Cloverfield’ prove that the “less is more” philosophy of filmmaking works well. Many viewers have speculated that there are connections between the two films that place them in the same creature-infested universe.

The success of ‘Super 8’ might be attributed to the 82% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes or the great word of mouth recommendations that have followed the Twitter-promoted sneak previews held across the country last week.

X-Men: First Class‘ dropped to the #2 spot with $25 million. That’s down 55% from opening weekend, which is about typical for comic book fare during the summer.

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer‘ painfully opened in the #7 spot with a soft $6.2 million. Families must have opted out of ‘Judy Moody’ for ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, which held the #4 spot.

Just as it deserves, ‘The Troll Hunter‘ hasn’t even shown up on the weekend tracking yet.

Of note this week, both ‘The Hangover Part II‘ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides‘ crossed the $200 million mark domestically, ‘The Hangover’ being three weeks out and ‘Pirates’ four. While ‘The Hangover’ has eclipsed its $80 million budget, ‘Pirates’ is still over $40 million away from meeting its.

After four consecutive weeks (I promise this will be the last time you hear about it), Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris‘ maintained the #8 spot despite adding 797 screens to its 944-screen release. With a total gross of over $14 million, ‘Midnight in Paris’ is only $9 million away from matching the grosses of fellow Allen hits ‘Vicky Christina Barcelona‘ and ‘Match Point’.

Top 10:

1. ‘Super 8’ (Paramount) – $37 million

2. ‘X-Men: First Class (Fox) – $25 million

3. ‘The Hangover Part II’ (Warner Bros.) – $18.5 million

4. ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ (Paramount/DreamWorks) – $16.6 million

5. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ (Buena Vista) – $10.8 million

6. ‘Bridesmaids’ (Universal) – $10 million

7. ‘Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer’ (Relativity) – $6.2 million

8. ‘Midnight in Paris’ (Sony Pictures Classics) – $6.1 million

9. ‘Thor’ (Paramount) – $2.3 million

10. ‘Fast Five’ (Universal) – $1.7 million


  1. Jane Morgan

    ‘Pirates 4’ has made $886.7 million worldwide.

    ‘Hangover 2’ has made $431.3 million worldwide.

    It looks like sequels are inevitable.

    • Luke Hickman

      No doubt. And I truly wish they weren’t.

      Depp says he wants to film a ‘Pirates’ film every two years. We are screwed.

    • Pirates I’m okay with. Honestly, am I the only one in the world who liked all 4 movies? Apparently not with those sales totals!

      As for Hangover, not my stuff, but its not like anyone has forced me to go see them.

      I’ve had my passionate says about movies, and what series should never see another sequel, and so forth, but at the end of the day, I am not being forced to watch them, and if the studios can continue to make money off the francise, more power to them. The only people I feel bad for is movie reviewers who HAVE to review them.

      I mean, I learned after the first two Transformer movies that I have no interest in seeing the third movie. They won’t get any of my money, but I am sure they don’t care – it will still make tons of money, and that is corporate America – doesn’t matter how good or bad your product is, if it makes money, who cares? Obviously someone likes it, or they wouldn’t keep making money on these things, and the sequels would stop.

        • Jane Morgan

          Hollywood is half business, half art.

          Johnny Depp makes $50M for each new ‘Pirates’ movie.

          Which helps him make more personal films like ‘The Rum Diary.’

          • My problem with Pirates is that it that a single good character can’t sustain a whole film or franchise. You need 3 or 4 good characters, it worked in the first film (mostly) but since then Captain Jack has moved to the center of the film and it has suffered accordingly

          • All three Pirates (well 4 now) had great supporting characters, sure Jack took front row because of the popularity of his character, but there wouldnt be much there if Depp didnt have the others around him, Bloom, Knightly, Rush, Nighy and the list goes on…..Geoffry Rush has been my favorite in the whole series, WAY more Pirate than anyone else in those movies, his voice, mannerisms and just about anything else outshone everyone for every film in the series, Pirates 4 had some great characters in Black Beard and Jack’s former “love interest”, plus as I said, Barbosa stealing the show again 🙂

            I’m all for more Pirates movies, I’ve loved them all, great adventure films in a world that is very short on those anymore

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