'Star Trek into Darkness' Falling Short in Crowded Market

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
May 18, 2013 4:19 PM
3 Comments
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'Star Trek Into Darkness'
J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness" (Paramount) grossed $22 million yesterday, for a total of $35.5 million since its IMAX-only debut on Wednesday (other theaters were added Thursday). This fell short of the almost $27 million that Abrams' 2009 reboot took in its initial Friday (after $4 million on its first day), so overall it is still ahead. But it looks less likely to equal the earlier film's total of $79 million through its first weekend.

"Into Darkness" had the benefit of 3-D presentation in many theaters, with higher ticket prices, so the dropoff is even more significant. What is better for the film is its international performance so far, where Paramount made a push to boost the series' profile; "Star Trek" has traditionally fared better in the U.S. than overseas. In initial territories (most of the world opened this weekend or has yet to show the film) it took in $47 million, all were ahead of past performance. With a $190 million production cost, the domestic take likely needs to get close to $100 million through Sunday to get the film to its needed ultimate take.

After "Iron Man 3" and "The Great Gatsby" equaled or surpassed their predicted openings, the initial under-performance of "Trek" is a disappointment for the industry, which harbors high hopes for a strong summer line-up to make up for the weak first quarter. The top 10 total, with three films stronger than last year's, came to about $44 million for the day, up about $3 million a year ago. It will take multiple weeks exceeding 2012's weekend figures to start catching up. That this weekend with all its box office promise is at best just a little ahead is a concern.

Last week's top two took big falls - "Iron Man 3" fell about 50% ($9.5 million, $311 million total in only its third weekend) and "The Great Gatsby" closer to 60% ($7.7 million, $74 million - though this is a bit exaggerated since last Friday's number included Thursday night shows). These drops show the normal impact of a new major film opening and competing for ticket buyers -- a situation that will only intensify when three new major films open next week for the holiday weekend.

Nothing else in the day's top 10 grossed more than $1 million, with "42" seem to holding best, now just short of $87 million, still with an outside chance to hit $100 million before it is through.

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3 Comments

  • Malika | May 18, 2013 8:53 PMReply

    I still haven’t seen the first Star Trek of 2009, so I haven’t been compelled to go see this one yet in theaters. Although I was invited to go see Into Darkness with a few of my coworkers after my shift at DISH yesterday, I wasn’t ready to pay for its expensive movie ticket, and it looks like I’m not the only one. I’ve been reading everywhere that Star Trek into Darkness is surprisingly good, so I think I’ll check it out after watching the first one. I’ve added both titles to my Blockbuster @Home queue that I have set up through DISH. This way I’ll get to see what the first one is all about, and when the second one makes it to Blu-ray, I won’t have to remember to add it to my queue in order to get a copy.

  • Jon | May 18, 2013 6:36 PMReply

    I don't think it will get any better for this movie, it's a mediocrity. Indifferently written, or rather put together, blandly acted. The worst Trek movie since Final Frontier.

  • D | May 18, 2013 4:47 PMReply

    I have doubted from the very beginning it will be as hit as IR3.

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