Spielberg's Super 8 grosses $37 mn in US, tops box office

MUMBAI: Paramount‘s efforts to whip up a hype on the eve of the film‘s release seems to have paid off. After an aggressive eleventh hour marketing blitz by the production house, Steven Spielberg‘s Super 8 went on to gross $37 million at the domestic box office.

Overseas, the film grossed $6.7 million worldwide of which the biggest territory Australia helped the film gross $2.7 million.

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.

Super 8, directed by J Abrams, had been the focus of intense speculation because of soft tracking and a marketing campaign that left the film‘s plot shrouded in mystery.

Ultimately, the film performed on par with sleeper-hit District 9 that opened to $37.3 million at the domestic box office in August 2009. Comparing the $12.2 million gross on Friday, the film grossed $14 million on Saturday.

"I think we accomplished what we set out to do. It was never positioned as a big blockbuster, but as a smaller movie," Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore has been quoted to have said. "We used the sneaks to infuse the marketplace with great word-of-mouth, and it certainly looks like it paid off," he added.

According to Paramount, Super 8 didn‘t need a big opening, since its production cost was $50 million, far less than other summer studio films. The movie played in 3,379 theatres, including 239 Imax locations. Grosses from Imax recorded $4.4 million, a strong start and representing 12 per cent of total earnings.

Super 8 held a comfortable lead over 20th Century Fox‘s X-Men: First Class, which grossed $25 million in its second weekend for a total of $98.9 million.

Overseas, First Class grossed $42.2 million with a worldwide total of $222.5 million.

Two films jumped the $200 million mark over the weekend at the domestic box office-Warner Bros.‘ The Hangover Part II and Disney‘s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Hangover II grossed an estimated $18.5 million for a domestic total of $216.6 million while the film‘s international total stood at $432.1 million.

On the other hand, On Stranger Tides grossed $10.4 million domestically to jointly tota $208.8 million. Overseas, the 3D film grossed $41.1 milion, bringing the film‘s international total to a massive $678 million and worldwide tally to $886.8 million.

DreamWorks Animation and Paramount‘s Kung Fu Panda 2 grossed $16.6 million in a total of $126.9 million. Overseas, the 3D toon grossed $56.5 million to jump the $200 million mark and end the weekend with a total of $205 million that brought the worldwide total to $331.9 million.

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