Paramount Pictures' highly-anticipated Cloverfield dominated the box office its first day in theaters with an estimated $16.8 million from 3,411 theaters. Made for just $25 million (plus marketing costs), the J.J. Abrams-produced movie will easily beat the all-time 3-day January weekend record held by "Star Wars: Special Edition" ($35.9 million) and the 4-day Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend record held by Black Hawk Down ($33.6 million). Cloverfield's three-day total should come close to $50 million, and the four-day should surpass the $50 million mark.
20th Century Fox's 27 Dresses had a strong opening as well, earning an estimated $7.7 million from 3,057 theaters in second place. The romantic comedy stars Katherine Heigl ("Grey's Anatomy," Knocked Up).
Overture Films' first release, crime caper Mad Money, with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes, collected $2.3 million from 2,470 theaters in the fifth spot.