Super 8 Slaughters Competition at the Box Office

As expected, the Spielberg-Abrams film Super 8 took the top spot at the box office this weekend amid little competition. Still, the relatively low budget film (it cost $50 million to produce) brought in more than original studio estimates of $25-30 million with a weekend gross of $37 million. The film, an homage to Spielberg’s earlier work, takes place in 1979 and follows a relatively unknown cast as they witness a devastating train crash that unleashes a malevolent entity upon their small town. The malevolent entity, of course, has been kept a big secret by the film’s producers, Paramount Studios.

According to Paramount, 71% of Super 8‘s audience was over the age of 25, an indication that this film wasn’t your average horror flick but an intense psychological thriller appealing to an older audience that grew up around the time the film is set, likely watching Spielberg’s films from that period, the style and mood of which Super 8 emulates. Audiences and critics alike gave the film generally high marks, making it likely it will continue to see success in its second weekend.

The only other new wide release this weekend was the children’s movie Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, which grossed about $6.3 at the box office, coming in seventh behind five returning films, including Bridesmaids in its fifth weekend at the box office, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in its fourth weekend.

After playing in limited release in its first three weeks, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was given a wider release this weekend, bringing in $6.1 million, nearly doubling its domestic gross and nearly tying Judy Moody in sales despite its being released in only 944 theaters as opposed to Judy Moody‘s 2,524 theaters.

Next weekend will see a few more wide release films, but my money is on superhero caper Green Lantern to take top place.

Super 8 is being distributed by Paramount, a subsidiary of Viacom (NYSE:VIA), Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer is being distributed by Columbia Pictures (NYSE:SNE), Midnight in Paris is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics (NYSE:SNE), and Green Lantern is being distributed by Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX).