After selecting the weekend release date that featured “The Karate Kid” last year and “E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial” back in 1982, the J.J Abrams, Steven Spielberg feature production certainly had a lot to live up to.
The movie is set in Ohio in 1979. When a group of young teenagers attempt to film their own Super-8 movie, they witness a horrific train crash and, soon after, strange things begin to occur in their hometown.
According to Box Office Mojo, ‘Super 8’ premiered this weekend on 5,500 screens at 3,379 locations across the country, grossing a total of $37 million. Compared to other movies of the similar sci-fi/horror genre, ‘Cloverfield’ raked in $3.1 million more, ‘District 9’ did about the same with $37.4 million, and both ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ and “The Happening” grossed $6.5 million less on their opening weekends.
But to those who were thinking that this movie was supposed to be the next ‘E.T.,’ $37 million is simply not that much money. Vice chair of Paramount Rob Moore justifies this popular claim with, “It was never positioned as a big blockbuster, but as a smaller movie.”
On the other hand, as Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo claims, “The most important expectations for any movie are the ones that are set when a movie is green-lighted as well as the ones that guide a marketing campaign.” Considering the massive Twitter sneaks feature that grossed $1 million, as well as having a Superbowl spot and a plethora of TV ads, ‘Super 8’ was pretty well advertised. In that sense, $37 million is a tiny sum, not even paying off the movie’s $50 million budget.
Based on its performance this weekend, ‘Super 8’ definitely did not do poorly according to MTV, some are calling ‘Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer’ one of the worst reviewed films of the year after it grossed only $6.2 million). In fact, if ‘Super 8’ continues to do as well as it did, it is estimated that it could gross up to $120 million. Considering all of that, its relatively unfamiliar, young cast (aside from Elle Fanning, Dakota Fanning’s up-and-coming younger sister), and the fact that it was the only non-sequel movie out of the top five, ‘Super 8’ didn’t do half-bad.