Twentieth Century Fox's Prometheus rolled out at midnight in 1,368 North American theaters, grossing a promising $3.6 million.
The strong performance included a stellar $1 million from 294 IMAX locations.
From director Ridley Scott, Prometheus headlines Noomi Repace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron.
Prometheus did notably better in its midnight performance than several recent event pics.
Last weekend, Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman -- also starring Theron alongside Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth -- grossed $1.4 million in midnight runs on its way to a $56.2 million weekend. And two weeks ago, Sony's Men in Black 3 took in $1.6 million in midnight grosses.
Box office observers are divided as to how much Prometheus will open to at the domestic box office, with estimates ranging from $35 million to north of $55 million. The highly anticipated tentpole does have the advantage of playing in 3D -- meaning higher ticket prices -- as well as playing in IMAX theaters.
At the same time, Prometheus is rated R, unlike many of its fellow tentpoles. There's also the question of how many females will turn out to see the movie.
Fox and Scott are hoping that Prometheus launches a new franchise, similar to Scott's blockbuster Alien series.