SUNDAY 9 AM, 7TH & 8TH UPDATE (WRITETHRU): The iconic space tentpole grossed a lot of money worldwide as May continues to sizzle for Summer 2013. But came nowhere near the $80M weekend and $100M total predicted. Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot opened with $2M Wednesday from IMAX late shows, $11.5M Thursday, $22M Friday, $27.2M Saturday (for a +25% bump), and an estimated $21.2M Sunday. So that’s a $70.5M weekend from 3,868 theaters and an $84M domestic cume. Exit polling shows that the audience was 64% male/36% female with 27% under age 25/73% age 25 and over. Despite the passage of 4 years and the addition of 3D and IMAX for ticket premiums, 4 1/2 days of Star Trek Into Darkness barely beat 2009′s Star Trek 3-day weekend opening. Rightly or wrongly, fanboys (who are notoriously hard to please) saw the sequel as a ripoff of 1982′s The Wrath Of Khan. I felt the problem was that the latest pic’s marketing assumed people had seen the first installment and therefore didn’t target newbies. The iconic space tentpole in 3D received a coveted “A” CinemaScore to help word of mouth and 87% positive Rotten Tomatoes score setting it up for a strong weekend. The budget was a costly $190M, but the studio was predicting a 3-day weekend domestic estimate of $80M and 4-day estimate of $100M. Abrams’ first grossed $257.7M in North America but only $128M overseas where the franchise has long underperformed. STID was expected to easily beat the North American take so Abrams filmed 30 minutes using high-resolution cameras to increase the IMAX grosses which comprised 16% of domestic. To expand international, Paramount dispatched Abrams’ Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk to share 20 minutes of footage with media and distributors abroad earlier this year. It helped: international told a stronger story. Since sequels usually play well overseas, the total is $80.5 from 40 markets through Sunday, or +80% from the prior film. For comparison, STID is running +33% on a global basis compared to the 2009 reboot. Worldwide total is $164.5M. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Kirk and Spock with its ensemble USS Enterprise cast and Benedict Cumberbatch debuts as the movie’s mysterious baddie in this sequel to Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise, which began as a 1960s TV series. Star Trek Into Darkness, based on Gene Roddenberry’s creation, was written by credited scripters Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof, who also are producers along with the Bad Robot duo of Abrams and Burk.
1. Star Trek Into Darkness (Skydance/Paramount) Week 1 [3,868 Theaters]
Wed $2.0M, Thurs $11.5M, Fri $22.0M, Sat $27.2M, Est Sun $21.2M
Wkd $70.5M, Dom Cume $84.0M, Intl Cume $80.5M, WW Total $164.9M
2. Iron Man 3 (Marvel/Disney) Week 3 [Runs 4,237]
Friday $9.6M, Saturday $15.8M, Weekend $35.5M,
Dom Cume $337.1M, Intl Cume $736.2M, Worldwide Total $1.073.3B
On May 16, the film crossed the $1B benchmark at the global box office in 23 days and the $300M threshold at the domestic box office in 14 days. Iron Man 3 is now the #9 highest grossing film of all time globally and the #9 highest grossing film of all time internationally. This is the 2nd Marvel Studios film and the 6th Walt Disney Studios release to reach $1B globally, and the 9th Disney release to reach $300M domestic.
3. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros) Week 2 [Runs 3,550]
Friday $7.6M, Saturday $9.5m, Weekend $23.6M (-53%)
Dom Cume $90.1M, Intl Cume $42.1M, Worldwide Total $132.2M
Baz Luhrmann’s biggest to date here and overseas looks to make $140M domestic all in. “Domestic box office results are excellent,” a Warner Bros exec gushed. “Counter-programming can succeed with great success in a summer of tentpole fanboy event films.” Coming off the heels of a gala opening night event at the Cannes Film Event, The Great Gatsby in 3D released in 49 territories overseas and grossed a big $42.1M (ith 4.6Madmissions from almost 8,400 screens). This was 38% higher than Luhrmann’s Australia in the same markets ($30.4M) and 3x higher than Moulin Rouge ($13.8M). This weekend’s rollout abroad represent 70% of the international box office; major markets yet to launch include Australia (May 30th), Mexico (May 31st), Brazil (June 7th), Japan (June 14th). This weekend’s results included some #1 placements despite stuff competition: Russia $6.2M (Rbl 194M), UK $6.1M (£4.0M), France $4.7M (€3.6M), Korea $4.3M (KRW 4.75B), Italy $3.8M (€2.9M), Germany $3.7M (€2.8M), Spain $2.2M (€1.7M), Taiwan $779K (NT$23.9M).
Also, Universal’s May 24th domestic opener Fast & Furious 6 kicked off its worldwide release in the UK and Ireland this weekend with a record breaking #1 opening. The film grossed $13.8M (£9M) at 460 dates scoring Universal’s biggest 3-day opening weekend in that territory (smashing the previous record set by Les Miserables of $13.1M). It is the biggest opening weekend in the UK for the franchise and the highest opening weekend for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. F&F6 is now the 2nd biggest opening weekend of 2013 there behind IM3‘s $17.6M.
SATURDAY 4:45 PM, 6TH UPDATE: International for continues way up from the last film with $35M projected for this weekend, led by Russia debuting at $9M vs $2M. That would put the overseas total at a projected $75M through Sunday with just over half of all markets opened.
SATURDAY 8:30 AM, 4TH & 5TH UPDATE: Friday domestic numbers for Star Trek Into Darkness diverged wildly last night as did estimates for the 3-day weekend and 4 1/2-day cume from 3,868 theaters. Heck, they’re still over the place.
FRIDAY 1 PM, 3RD UPDATE: My sources say early matinees are very strong for Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. It continued its domestic run today in 3,762 theaters with a refined number of $13.4 million from Wednesday’s 336 IMAX late shows and Thursday’s midnights and then yesterday’s wide release. Today’s grosses are almost double Thursday’s and an early read of noon averages is ranging from $25M to $27M Friday and $80M to $88M for the 3-day weekend - with a prediction of $100M for the first four days. Abrams’ first 2009 installment of the long-running film franchise opened to $30.1M Friday (without a Thursday start) and $79M for the first weekend. Fandango reports the new pic’s ticket sales are outpacing the first movie at the same point in the cycle and 55% of surveyed filmgoers plan to see it more than once. Over 80% of MovieTickets sales are for Star Trek Into Darkness and that’s led to some 430 sold out screenings this weekend. Overseas, the iconic 3D space tentpole’s cume is now $47M through Thursday.
THURSDAY PM, 2ND UPDATE: Still more good news at the start of the Summer 2013 box office as May continues to sizzle. My sources say Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot began its domestic run in 3,762 theaters with at least $14 million including $3.5M in Thursday midnights and Wednesday 336 IMAX late shows. Over 400 screenings offered by MovieTickets.com are sold out for this upcoming weekend. Right now Star Trek Into Darkness is running around 80% of Fandango’s ticket sales today while 75% of yesterday’s sales on MovieTickets.com came from STID. The international grosses continue to surprise: My sources say the film’s opening day in Russia looks like $1.4 million, or nearly 4x the starting gross of 2009′s Star Trek. The sequel opened in 7 international markets this past weekend, earning $40M thru Wednesday. The combined figures from these territories are almost 70% greater than 2000′s Star Trek from the same UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. New markets, led by Russia, will open this weekend representing just over 15% of the overseas potential. Total now is just over 50% with 40 markets playing the pic through Sunday.