It wasn't a record breaking box office weekend for famed director Steven Spielberg, who is playing the role of producer in this week's number one box office movie.
It wasn't expected to be.
Nevertheless, 'Super 8' did beat a pair of forecasts, while coming in just under another.
The 'Super 8' performance at the North American box handily beat several previously released films.
'Super 8' pulled in $37 million at the box office. The film was released by Paramount and had a $50 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo.
Spielberg did not direct 'Super 8,' that honor went to J.J. Abrams, but his name was quite prominent in the film's marketing in the weeks and months leading into this weekend's box office results.
Trailers released ahead of the film showed how a seemingly normal town is suddenly faced with an unexpected force which turns it upside down. A group of friends making a movie film a huge train crash and police investigate. What follows, according to the movie's website is something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.
Beyond Personal Touch, Film Needed Monster Genre
Spielberg worked with Abrams to get the film made, going through a discussion period with the director and approving a key decision to mix-genres that would go beyond the film's personal significance, giving both parties the confidence audiences would want to go see it.
Abrams, a successful producer in his own right, said recently that the film's origins came from his memories of making movies in the 'Super 8' format as a child.
When I was a kid I made Super 8 movies as Steven made Regular 8 movies and I had an idea one day for a movie called 'Super 8,' he told Empire Online in a joint interview with Spielberg in late May.
Before the idea was even remotely formed, before I thought of anything beyond that I was on the phone calling Steven, saying do you ever want to do a movie called 'Super 8' ... and luckily you said yes.
Abrams said they discussed the story, initially focusing on a group of kids making movies.
[B]ut frankly there really wasn't enough in my mind to bring people to theater yet, it was sort of missing some kind of higher purpose in a way and I had another idea, separately., he said.
I called Steven and said what if we combine these two ideas and luckily he responded to that, so that was sort of how the thing began, Abrams said.
Spielberg also agreed that Abrams could have made a wonderful movie touching on the producer and director's shared love of making movies but said we wanted a lot of people to go and see it.
I thought that we could really make, JJ could make really a wonderful, very personal film just about these kids, based on what I did and what JJ said he did on Super 8 when we were both growing up. But we wanted a lot of people to go and see this movie. So when JJ came up with the idea of another genre -- At one point, we thought this could be a heist movie, we kicked around many different kinds of genres but when he came up with the science-fiction idea, it just felt -- right, to me.
Spielberg says most of what came out on the screen was related to Abrams' experiences.
So there was a lot of our combined childhoods in this movie but 90 percent of it is JJ, and his experiences, making his films, with his friends.
Beating and Nearly Meeting Expectations
Box Office Guru editor Gitesh Pandya had predicted the film would earn $32 million.
Movieline's S.T. Vanairsdale had predicted a gross of $38.7 million.
Brandon Grey of Box Office Mojo forecasted a $34 million take.
Meanwhile, 'X-Men: First Class' pulled in $25 million to take second place. The Fox studio film cost $160 million to make and has grossed $98.9 million by its second weekend.
Rounding out the top five were 'The Hangover Part II,' from Warner Brothers, which grossed $18.5 million, Kung Fu Panda 2 from Parmaount/DreamWorks at $16.6 million, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides from Buena Vista at $10.8 million.