‘World War Z’ Bites Off $3.6 Million at Midnight

'Monsters University' Earns $2.6 Million in Thursday Shows

Paramount’s big-budget zombie actioner “World War Z” started Thursday with more than $9 million worldwide, including $3.6 million from domestic late-night and midnight grosses.

This weekend’s other wide release, Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University,” nabbed $2.6 million from Thursday screenings beginning at 8 p.m.

World War Z, which expands wide Friday to more than 3,600 locations, bowed a day early in two major overseas territories: In South Korea, the pic earned $1.5 million (better than “Inception”), while in Australia, auds shelled out $1.1 million, a touch better than “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

SEE ALSO: “World War Z” a Big Test for Paramount

In total, “World War Z” grossed $5.7 million from 4 territories.

Domestically, the film’s late-night start is slightly better than “The Great Gatsby,” which collected $3.25 million in early late-night grosses. That film ended up with more than $50 million during opening weekend, which would be higher than the projected $40 million upside for “World War Z.”

If that happens, the $190 million-budgeted Par tentpole could have a slightly easier road toward profitability. Much depends on how the film plays overseas, however.

“World War Z” launches day-and-date this weekend in 25 international territories.

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