'Star Trek Into Darkness' Takes First, But Opens Below Predecessor

on May 20, 2013 by Daniel Garris

Paramount's Star Trek Into Darkness opened in first place this weekend with $70.17 million. However, the second installment of the re-launched sci-fi series opened significantly below wide-spread expectations, including those of the studio. Star Trek Into Darkness also failed to match the $75.20 million opening weekend take of 2009's Star Trek (which bumps up to $79.20 million when including the $4 million that film earned from late night Thursday screenings). While a sequel opening slightly below its predecessor isn't the end of the world, it is especially underwhelming in this case given that Star Trek Into Darkness had the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions this time around and was following in the footsteps of a very well received previous film.

With an additional $13.54 million on Thursday (which included $2 million from Wednesday night IMAX showings), Star Trek Into Darkness has grossed $83.70 million through four days of release. The last minute release date change clearly hurt the film's Thursday performance, which made the film's weekend performance even that more important. Through four days of release, Star Trek Into Darkness is running 3.5 percent behind the $86.71 million take of Star Trek, 33 percent behind the $125.18 million four-day start of 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and 50 percent stronger than the $55.93 million four-day take of 2009's Terminator Salvation.

Within the softer than expected start, there were some promising signs for Star Trek Into Darkness this weekend. On the heels of Friday's $21.62 million performance, the film did increase a healthy 25 percent on Saturday to gross $26.95 million and generated an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.24 to 1. The film's A rating on CinemaScore was also an encouraging early sign. With that said, holding up well going forward will be no easy task for the film given the upcoming competition it will soon be facing from Universal's Fast & Furious 6, Warner's The Hangover Part III and to a lesser extent Sony's After Earth. The upcoming competition from Fast & Furious 6 and The Hangover Part III likely had an effect on Star Trek Into Darkness already this weekend, as moviegoers anticipating either or both of those films may have simply decided to pass on Star Trek Into Darkness. The continued strength of Disney's Iron Man 3 certainly isn't helping matters for Star Trek Into Darkness either.

It should be noted that Star Trek Into Darkness is performing stronger than its predecessor overseas. After grossing $40 million this weekend, Star Trek Into Darkness has grossed $80.5 million to date overseas. That places the early global total for Star Trek Into Darkness at $164.2 million.

Iron Man 3 fell 51 percent to place in second this weekend with $35.77 million. Given the new competition Iron Man 3 faced from Star Trek Into Darkness, this weekend's hold was quite respectable. It could also be a sign of the blockbuster superhero sequel being able to display solid holding power going forward, even in the face of increased competition. In comparison, 2010's Iron Man 2 fell 49 percent in its third weekend to gross $26.36 million, while last year's Marvel's The Avengers fell 46 percent to take in $55.64 million. Iron Man 3 has grossed a terrific $337.66 million through 17 days of release. That places the film 34.5 percent ahead of the $251.03 million 17-day take of Iron Man 3 and 26 percent behind the $457.67 million 17-day gross of The Avengers.

Iron Man 3 added $40.2 million to its overseas haul this weekend. That brings the film's overseas total to $736.2 million and current global haul to a mighty $1.074 billion.

Warner's The Great Gatsby displayed respectable holding power as well this weekend. The Baz Luhrmann directed film starring Leonardo DiCaprio fell 52 percent to place in third with $23.94 million. The Great Gatsby continues to exceed expectations with a ten-day start of $90.68 million. That places The Great Gatsby 20 percent ahead of the $75.54 million ten-day take of 2010's Shutter Island (which fell 45 percent in its second weekend to gross $22.67 million). Going forward, The Great Gatsby will hope to continue to serve as an alternative to the early summer's action fare.

The Great Gatsby launched overseas this weekend; grossing $43.0 million from 49 foreign territories. That places the film's current global haul at $133.7 million.

Tags: The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness

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