Paramount's Super 8 was off to a nice start this weekend with a first place debut of $35.45 million. When including the film's Thursday preview gross of $1.00 million, the J. J. Abrams directed science fiction film has grossed $36.45 million to date. The film did come in $1.55 million below Sunday's studio estimate, as Game 6 of the NBA Finals had a clear effect on Sunday's grosses in general. Super 8 exceeded pre-release expectations, which had been downplayed in part from weaker than expected online buzz. However, in hindsight a factor in the apparent lack on online buzz was that Super 8 skewed extremely heavily towards older moviegoers. A whopping 71 percent of the film's audience was over 25. Obviously the nostalgia factor over producer Steven Spielberg's older science fiction efforts helped in a big way with older moviegoers, but yet again teens and young adults decided to stay home this summer. 56 percent of the film's audience was male.
While Super 8 obviously didn't open as strong as other high profile releases so far this summer, with a production budget of $50 million it was produced for a fraction of the cost of a traditional high profile summer release. Super 8 opened just below the $37.35 million start of 2009's District 9. However, Super 8 held up significantly better than District 9 did in its first days of release. Super 8 grossed $12.14 million on Friday and went on to deliver a very solid opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.92 to 1. In comparison, District 9 saw a ratio of 2.64 to 1. That is a good early sign for Super 8 going forward, though it is also true that it will face far more fierce upcoming competition than District 9 faced during its box office run.
Fox's X-Men: First Class took second place with $24.13 million. The superhero prequel was down a significant 56 percent from last weekend. However, X-Men: First Class was able to avoid the truly massive second weekend declines experienced by 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand (67 percent) and 2009's Wolverine (69 percent). Instead its second weekend percentage decline was more along those of 2000's X-Men (57 percent) and 2003's X2: X-Men United (53 percent). Without taking into account ticket price inflation, X-Men: First Class is running 1.3 percent behind the pace of the original X-Men, as it is performing extremely similar to that film. While word of mouth is strong for X-Men: First Class, competition from Super 8 (and from Warner's Green Lantern starting on Friday) will help prevent the film from having stronger holds.
X-Men: First Class isn't performing as strong as the last three X-Men films domestically, but that hasn't been the case thus far internationally. The film grossed $42.2 million from 66 foreign markets this weekend and has now grossed $124.2 million internationally to date. That places the film's worldwide total at $222.2 million. Key debuts this weekend included $2.9 million in Germany, $2.2 million in India, $2.2 million in Japan and $2.0 million in Italy.
Warner's The Hangover Part II and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides both surpassed the $200 million domestic milestones this weekend. The Hangover Part II reached the milestone in just 16 days, while On Stranger Tides reached the milestone in 22 days. The Hangover Part II took third place this weekend with $17.67 million and has grossed $215.73 million to date domestically, making it the highest grossing release of the year so far domestically. On Stranger Tides finished in fifth place with $10.95 million and now boasts a current domestic total of $208.87 million.
Internationally, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has been the far stronger film. It grossed $41.1 million internationally this weekend, bringing its international total to a simply massive $678.0 million. That being said, the international performance of The Hangover Part II has been terrific in its own right. It grossed $39.4 million internationally this weekend, placing its international total at $216.4 million. Respective worldwide totals stand at $886.9 million for On Stranger Tides and at $432.1 million for The Hangover Part II.
Kung Fu Panda 2 also delivered strong international grosses this weekend, as it took in $56.5 million from 45 foreign markets. With an international total of $205.0 million, the computer animated sequel from Paramount and DreamWorks Animation continues to perform significantly stronger internationally than it is domestically. Domestically, Kung Fu Panda 2 finished in fourth this weekend with $16.54 million, which was down a healthy 31 percent from the previous frame. The domestic total for Kung Fu Panda 2 stands at $126.81 million, placing its worldwide total at $331.8 million.
Midnight in Paris continued its noteworthy performance upon expanding to 944 locations this weekend. The acclaimed Woody Allen directed film from Sony Pictures Classics grossed $5.83 million to place in eighth. The film generated a per-location average of $6,177, which strongly suggests that it will stick around for quite a while still. Midnight in Paris has grossed $13.91 million through 24 days of release.
Meanwhile, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer debuted in line with its modest expectations. The family film from Relativity Media debuted with $6.08 million to finish in seventh. Judy Moody opened slightly below both the $7.81 million start of last year's Ramona and Beezus and the $6.83 million start of 2007's Nancy Drew. However, Judy Moody could deliver solid summer midweek grosses going forward.
Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.