The female-fueled film benefited from special fan screenings and easily beat Tom Cruise's "Edge of Tomorrow," which took in $1.8 million as it began rolling out Thursday night.
Fox 2000's The Fault in Our Stars opened to an astounding $8.2 million Thursday night at the North American box office, fueled by ardent female fans of John Greene's YA novel about two young lovers who meet in a cancer support group.
Fault's Thursday night performance was boosted by 650 special fan screenings that cost $25 per ticket. The screenings included an interview with Green and the cast that was simulcast in theaters. The movie opened in a number of other theaters at 9 p.m.
Whether Fault in Our Stars can topple another female property, Disney's holdover Maleficent, and win the weekend remains to be seen. Both films are tipped to gross $30 million or more from the weekend, although Fault could easily overperform. Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, debuted to $69.4 million last weekend for a cume-to-date of $82.8 million.
Females under the age of 25 are by far the most interested in seeing Fault, which stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. The film is looking like a certain winner, considering it cost only $12 million to make. And Fault producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are certainly no strangers at winning over females, having spearheaded the Twilight franchise for Summit Entertainment
Josh Boone directed Fault in Our Stars from an adapted script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. The movie also stars Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe.
Fault in Our Stars rolls out in a handful of foreign markets this weekend, including Brazil, where Green's book is a cultural phenomenon.
Edge of Tomorrow, costing Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow at least $178 million to make, is looking at a muted North American opening in the $25 million to $27 million range, despite stellar reviews.
Directed by Doug Liman and co-starring Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow has already earned $33 million overseas, where it began rolling out last weekend.