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Paramount’s Super 8 — directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg — topped the Friday box office with an estimated $12.2 million. The period sci-fi pic is now on course to win the weekend with a gross of $35 million.
Including $1 million in Thursday sneaks, Super 8 is looking at a four-day cume of $36 million, besting Paramount’s expectations.
Super 8 drew a B+ CinemaScore, while 71% of the audience was over the age of 25. That wasn’t a surprise to Paramount, since the movie is Abrams’ homage to the Spielberg films he grew up with. Males made up 56% of the audience.
WATCH: ‘Super 8’: Watch the Full Industrial Film Buried Within the Pic
Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men: First Class came in No. 2 in its second Friday, grossing an estimated $8 million. The prequel is on track to earn $27 million for the weekend, only a 49% decline from its opening frame.
Two films jumped the $200 million mark on Friday: Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part II and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Hangover II, placing No. 3 for the day, grossed $5.7 million on its third Friday for a domestic cume of $203.8 million.
PHOTOS: ‘The Hangover’ Stars: Before They Were Famous
On Stranger Tides grossed $3.1 on its fourth Friday for a domestic cume of $201.1 million. The pic placed No. 5.
DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda 2 came in No. 4, grossing an estimated $4.6 million for a domestic total of $114.9 million.
After Super 8, the weekend’s other new nationwide entry is Relativity Media’s new entry Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, based on the bestselling book series. The film, targeting girls aged 6 to 12, grossed $2.2 million to come in No. 7. Relativity is distributing the film on behalf of Smokewood Entertainment, which also came up with the marketing money.
Set in 1979, Super 8 tells the story of a group of kids who are filming a home movie when there’s a violent train crash. When unexplained events start to threaten their town, they begin to suspect something inhuman escaped from the train. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Ryan Lee, Riley Griffiths, Gabriel Basso and Zach Mills.
STORY: J.J. Abrams: Working With Steven Spielberg on ‘Super 8’ Was ‘Crazy Good’
Paramount maintains Super 8 doesn’t need a big opening, since it cost $50 million to produce, far less than other summer studio films. The studio has been predicting an opening in the $25 million to $30 million range.
The studio partnered with Twitter to host the paid sneaks on Thursday in a first for the giant social media site.
Paramount said 100,000 people participated in the Twitter promotion, and that it met its goal of creating a vocal group of proponents who will plug the sci-fi film.
STORY: ‘Super 8’ Earns $1 Mil in Thursday Sneak Previews
Additionally, Super 8 earned $500,000 in midnight runs. That figure was rolled into Friday’s gross.
It’s looking like domestic box office revenues will be down compared to the same weekend a year ago when Sony’s The Karate Kid opened to $55.7 million.
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