Debuting Friday with $12.2 million including $1 million in midnight sneaks, "Super 8" should gross between a strong $33-35 million for the weekend.  That's higher than pre-release polling predicted and no doubt thanks to a massive last minute marketing push from the studio.

Paramount insists the budget of the thriller is only $50 million, but sources have told HitFix for weeks it's much closer to $140 million.  Still, if the film receives good word of mouth, a $200 million plus worldwide gross would make Abrams' star-less '80s homage easier to digest for the studio.

Dropping to second place with another $7.6 million is Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class."  This critic's favorite looks like it will drop under 50% for the weekend and will be close to $100 million by end of day Sunday.

The third slot went to "The Hangover, Pt. II" with $5.7 million and a new 16 day total cume of $209.2 million.  

"Kung Fu Panda 2" is holding tight in fourth with $4.6 million and $114.8 million to date.  

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" rounded out the top five with $3.1 million as it eeks toward the $200 million mark.

Among other debuts, "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer" was a bummer at the box office for Relativity Media grossing just $2.2 million from 2,524 theaters.  "Moody" will be lucky to gross $6 million by Sunday.

"Midnight in Paris" continued its magnificent run grossing $1.5 million after expanding to 944 theaters.  That put it at no. 8 with more than double the gross of "Thor."  With $9.6 million to date, "Paris" could end up being Woody Allen's highest grossing picture ever.

Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.