Super 8, “X-Men” Top Box-Office

It’s nice to report on good movies doing well.

Both “Super 8” and “X-Men: First Class” have scored amongst the best reviews of the Summer. Both films have a B+ CinemaScore in audience polling. Both have charted very well on Rotten Tomatoes with “Super 8” getting 82% (7.5/10) and ‘X-Men’ getting 87% (7.4/10) – the only other wide release to come close is “Bridesmaids” with 89% (7.4/10).

Now, both have had good news at the box-office this week. Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi Spielberg homage performed above expectations with a robust $37 million opening weekend, quite impressive for a $50 million film (with a mostly word-of-mouth driven marketing campaign) and about on par with another cost-effective original sci-fi movie that has gone on to earn a good reputation – “District 9”.

Meanwhile “X-Men: First Class” in its second week dropped 54.6% to $25 million, a much better drop-off rate than the last two films in the series ‘The Last Stand’ and ‘Wolverine’ which fell 66.9% and 69% respectively. Only “X2” held better at 53.2%, a number so close that when final figures come in that standing may change. ‘First Class’ will pass $100 million domestically on Monday and will pass that number internationally this weekend.

“Bridesmaids” and “Kung Fu Panda 2” held the best of the top ten with drop-offs of 16% and 30% respectively, and “Bridesmaids” has pulled together an impressive $123 million haul in its first month. Both “Thor” and “Fast Five” look to be about to drop out of the Top 10 and look to be wrapping up their domestic runs with an impressive $195 million and $220 million respectively.

Woody Allen’s latest “Midnight in Paris” expanded and cracked the top ten with $6.1 million. His two most profitable films in recent years – “Match Point” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” – took in $23 million domestic hauls. ‘Paris’ stands at $14.2 million and could well match or exceed those. In limited release the only two films of note were the cut-down version of the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon road movie comedy doco “The Trip” which scored $14,100 screen averages, while the comedy “Beginners” with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer also had a very strong $13,421 per screen haul.

Onto the less critically acclaimed – both “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “The Hangover Part II” passed the $200 million domestic mark on the weekend with the comedy sequel at $216 million overtaking the haul of the fourth pirate film with $208 million.

Overseas ‘On Stranger Tides’ has been a monster, raking in a whopping $615 million thus far. The previous two sequels both took in $650 million overseas, this one will easily surpass that, though the extra cash will likely make up for the domestic shortfall – the film won’t crack the $300 million domestic mark like the last two did.

Comparatively overseas ‘Hangover’ hasn’t done nearly so well with $151 million. For an American R-rated comedy though that’s a huge result and it looks like the film will easily surpass its predecessor both in and outside the United States.

UPDATE – EARLY MONDAY: ‘Pirates’ and ‘Hangover’ international hauls have been updated with this weekend’s results – they now stand at $678 million and $214 million respectively. “X-Men First Class” is up to $124 million outside the States by the end of its second weekend.