The Weekend Box Office – STAR TREK makes $76 Million!

     May 10, 2009

Star Trek.jpgFew blockbusters arrive in theatres with more expectations, than a film with the words “Star Trek” in its title.  Early week estimates were all over the map for JJ Abrams’ re-imagined Trek, a contemporary spin on the “Classic Trek” canon, so it was hard to get a real handle on how things would shake out by Sunday.  So what’s the financial final frontier looking like for “Star Trek”?  Though the film could not top last weekend’s $85 million take for “Wolverine”, Abrams’ did manage to best the last three “Trek” entries opening days combined with a $76.5 million domestic total.  Plus, “Star Trek” has something going for it that Wolverine’s claws couldn’t crack – this movie is actually good…

Title Weekend Total LW
1 Star Trek $72,500,000 $76,500,000 New
2 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $27,000,000 $129,624,000 #1
3 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $10,450,000 $30,246,000 #2
4 Obsessed $6,600,000 $56,247,000 #3
5 17 Again $4,405,000 $54,167,000 #4
6 Next Day Air $4,000,000 $4,000,000 New
7 The Soloist $3,605,000 $23,501,000 #6
8 Monsters vs. Aliens $3,379,000 $186,892,000 #5
9 Earth $2,488,000 $26,086,000 #7
10 Hannah Montana the Movie $2,414,000 $74,083,000 #8

star_trek_movie_poster_imax.jpgIf you are a “Star Trek” fan than the last three days have undoubtedly been exhausting for you.  If you’re flying the ‘Trekker’ tag than you’ve probably been up since Thursday night in rapture over the return of your beloved franchise.  If the term ‘Trekkie’ is more up your alley, however, than you most likely spent the same period dashing off angry posts about Gene Roddenberry and his presumed position inside his coffin… either way I’m guessing you haven’t gotten a lot of sleep.

Well my friends, it’s time to lay down your burdens and get some rest.  JJ Abrams’ re-launched “Star Trek” is officially one weekend old and there’s no going back, no matter which side of the reboot fence you currently find yourself on.  If you’ve been paying attention than you know that “Trek 2009″ opened on Friday with $24 million and that totals from its Thursday screenings helped the film finish its first official day at $31 million.

Saturday figures, especially on a blockbuster special effects magnet like this, almost always improve over first day totals and “Star Trek” proved no exception. By Sunday the film had pulled in an estimated total of $76.5 million domestically from its 3,849 standard and IMAX bookings.  That’s a per screen average of $18,836, in case you’re interested.

“Star Trek” also topped the international box office, bringing in another in $35.5 million from 5,000 theatres worldwide.  Those totals weren’t quite as dazzling as Paramount hoped, but the studio was quick to point out that, internationally, “Trek” was 3% ahead of the opening numbers for “Batman Begins”.  That gives you a little idea of where they are hoping to end up with this franchise – a solid launch means a sequel and – how did that sequel to “Batman Begins” do again?  I’ll have to look it up, but I’m pretty sure it did OK.

Star Trek movie image Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto.jpg

Considering that the last film that flew the “Trek” banner, 2002’s “Nemesis”, topped out at only $43.2 million by the end of its run, the Abrams version is already a true windfall for Paramount.  The studio did pull out all the stops to promote this re-launch, but it’s been years since either a “Star Trek” spinoff or feature became more than a middling success. In other words, all the awesome trailers in the world couldn’t guarantee a blockbuster.

But a blockbuster is what we will likely get.  “Star Trek” films aren’t known for going the distance, box-office wise, but the 2009 “Trek” has something special up its sleeve that could give it legs: it is currently enjoying a 96% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  That is the best reception a special-effects movie has gotten since “The Dark Knight” briefly claimed a perfect 100% rating from the site last July.  I know that good reviews don’t necessarily factor in to a summer movie’s success – but word of mouth could be enough to convince old-school Trekkies and the sci-fi adverse alike to drag their asses to the multiplex… at a certain point folks, resistance is futile.

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