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LOS ANGELES — Hollywood’s summer box-office streak has cooled a bit with a $37 million opening weekend for J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi tale “Super 8.”
It was a healthy but unremarkable launch in a summer season whose newcomers often open with two or three times as much money. Released by Paramount Pictures, “Super 8” largely features a cast of young newcomers, the story centering on teen filmmakers and an alien entity that escapes from a wrecked train.
“The movie was never conceived to be a blockbuster, tent-pole film opening to $60 or $70 million,” said Don Harris, head of distribution for Paramount.
Writer-director Abrams (“Star Trek,” TV’s “Lost”) was inspired by his own youth as a Super 8 filmmaker who emulated such talents as Spielberg, a producer on “Super 8.”
When the studio scheduled “Super 8” amid such known summer quantities as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Kung Fu Panda” sequels, “there was some concern we were sending a signal that it was a big summer blockbuster,” Harris said. “What we really wanted to do was find a place where the movie could open, find its audience and hopefully play for a long time.”