Extremely positive critical reception, great fan reaction, an “A” CinemaScore (which should bode well for its word of mouth). What could possibly go wrong? Well, aside from not meeting certain studio expectations regarding its opening, nothing really. Star Trek Into Darkness took the top spot at the box office, no problems there, yet something is not right.
Coming after a movie as well received as the 2009’s Star Trek, one would expect a sequel to at the very least match, if not exceed, the predecessors’ numbers. Then how come Stark Trek Into Darkness debuted with a $70.1 million weekend while Star Trek got off to a $75.2 million start? Not to mention 4 years of ticket price inflation and the added benefit of 3D overcharging. But then we go further, after 4 days the original generated $86.7 million while Into Darkness “only” made $83.7 million. That’s just not right, so either Star Trek hit its North American box office ceiling with the 2009 film or the market is worse now than 4 years ago. I’m more inclined to believe the first part, so that being said, don’t take my initial approach towards Into Darkness’ numbers the wrong way. This is a bonafide hit, a blockbuster if I ever saw one. Even if it drops faster than Star Trek 2009, it should still easily pass $200 million. That’s the worst case scenario; best case is $250 million, in line with the $257.7 million of the previous entry.
Iron Man 3 drops to 2nd place with $35.7 million, down a solid 50.7%. Ok, that’s solid and not good because I was expecting the superhero flick to already be around 45%, seems we’ll have to wait another week for a softer drop. Anyway, after 17 days Iron Man 3 grossed $337.6 million, bringing its awe inspiring worldwide total closer to $1.1 billion.
The Great Gatsby moved to 3rd, $23.9 million for the weekend and $90.6 million so far after 10 days in theaters. This is now by far the most successful movie of director Buz Luhramann’s career. For star Leonardo DiCaprio it will become his 8th $100+ million earner.
Pain and Gain is still here only because there isn’t anything else out there (that’s not one of the above) strong enough. So that’s how a $3.2 million weekend can get a film all the way to #4. Oh, and its total is $46.7 million thus far.
Rounding out the top 5 is the only kids film in the top 10, The Croods with $3 million. DreamWorks Animation should be proud of this feature’s $177 million (and they are, since a sequel is well underway).
So why do you think Star Trek Into Darkness couldn’t match Star Trek‘s opening?