Fanboys showed up in large numbers Thursday night to see Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” which opened to $3.6 million in late screenings, matching the performance of recent box office surprise “World War Z.”

The numbers are better-than-expected for Warner Bros. and Legendary’s expensive sci-fi tentpole with the real test being Friday and Saturday. Decent midnight grosses, since they’re often so heavily fanboy driven, rarely paint an accurate picture as to just how big an upside the film will earn. But if a film craters with late-nights, it’s doomed to underperform. That won’t be the case with “Pacific Rim.”

Heading into the weekend, “Pacific Rim” was tracking under $35 million.

Overseas, the “Pacific Rim” numbers were mixed. Despite a No. 1 start in Korea, the $200 million-plus film came in fourth place in Australia with a less-than-monstrous $604k.

Sony and Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups 2,” this weekend’s other wide release, earned a solid $2.3 million Thursday night and is still expected to beat, if not match, “Pacific Rim’s” debut in the U.S.