'Super 8' Takes #1 Spot At Weekend Box Office

J.J. Abrams movie is only non-sequel in the top five.

"Super 8" took the #1 spot at the box office over the weekend. The film's $37 million opening isn't on par with recent summer blockbusters, but it did beat studio expectations, according to reports. And "Super 8" bears the distinction of being the only non-sequel in the weekend's top five.

The "Super 8" marketing campaign employed many of the tactics used to promote 2008's "Cloverfield," which was produced by "Super 8" writer/ director J.J. Abrams. The movie stars a cast of relative unknowns and features a plot that was largely kept hidden in the trailers. Abrams devised "Super 8" as something of an homage to the work of Steven Spielberg, who served as producer.

Reviews have been largely positive. "For all its obvious touches of Spielbergia, 'Super 8' feels a whole lot like 'The Iron Giant' meets 'Stand by Me,' " wrote FEARnet's Scott Weinberg.

"Super 8" was produced by Paramount, which like MTV is owned by Viacom.

The weekend's only other new movie in wide release was "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer," a children's film based on the widely popular series of books by Megan McDonald, who co-wrote the script. The movie opened poorly, landing at #7 with just $6.2 million. And it's one of the worst reviewed films of the year so far, according to critical aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

"X-Men: First Class" was #2 in its second week of release with $25 million for a $98.8 million total. The superhero prequel is the best reviewed of the franchise since 2003's "X2: X-Men United."

Meanwhile, "The Hangover Part II" passed "Fast Five" to become the highest-grossing movie of 2011 thus far. The buddy comedy took in $18.5 million for a $216.5 million domestic total. Critics have largely panned the film, although co-star Zach Galifianakis detailed plans for another sequel in a recent interview with

target="_blank">Rolling Stone magazine (he did not confirm his involvement).

"Kung Fu Panda 2" came in at #4 at the box office. The animated sequel, which features Jack Black as the voice of the title character, took in

$16.6 million for a $126.9 million total. "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" was #5 with $10.8 million for a $208.7 million total.

This weekend's new releases include "Green Lantern," starring Ryan Reynolds as the DC Comics superhero; "Mr. Popper's Penguins" starring Jim Carrey; and the PG-13 romance "The Art of Getting By."

Check out everything we've got on "Super 8."

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