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'Star Trek' knocks off 'Iron Man' to win box office

By Todd Cunningham

"Star Trek Into Darkness" zoomed to $84 million in its North American debut this weekend and knocked "Iron Man 3" out of the top spot, but couldn't ascend to box-office hyper-space.

Find: 'Star Trek' spoilers

J.J. Abrams space epic sequel's opening was the year's third-best, but its $70.5 million three-day total was less than the $75 million that "Star Trek" debuted to four years ago. And its four-day total was well short of the $100 million that Paramount, Skydance Pictures and Abrams' Bad Robot Productions had hoped to bring in.

"Into Darkness" opened in 33 foreign markets as well this weekend, and the $40 million that the film brought in took some of the sting out of the domestic results. It has taken in more than $80 million from overseas, and $164.5 million worldwide.

"The good news is, when you have a really good movie like this one, the word of mouth is going to bring the audience in over time," Paramount's head of distribution Don Harris told TheWrap Sunday. "We think that big-picture, we're in a very good place, particularly when you consider how well it's doing overseas."

Also on The Wrap: How the Battle Over 'Star Trek' Rights Killed J.J. Abrams' Grand Ambitions

Disney's "Iron Man 3," which last week crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office, was second with $35.2 million in its third week. It's now made $337.1 million domestically, $736.2 million overseas and has a global total of $1.07 billion -- ninth-best ever.

"The Great Gatsby" finished third with $23.4 million. That's a 53 percent drop from its opening week for Baz Luhrmann's take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel which has taken in just over $90 million since its debut for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow.

Paramount opened "Star Trek Into Darkness" with early screenings Wednesday night at 336 Imax theaters, and rolled it out in 3,868 locations across the country on Thursday, after moving its opening up a day from Friday. The extra day -- which brought in a little more than $13 million -- didn't help that much. It made $22 million Friday and another $27 million on Saturday.

"Into Darkness" skewed male at 64 percent, and surprising older. Just 25 percent of the audience was under 25 years of age.

"I think a part of that is when you have an audience that is invested in this franchise all the way back to 1960 TV show, you're going to see plenty of long-time fans turn out. But 'Star Trek' really captured a whole new group of fans, and they'll be coming out," Harris said.

The film played well in 3D and in Imax theaters. Together, they accounted for 45 percent of the first-weekend grosses. Imax alone brought in 16 percent of the total.

"We have four weeks in Imax and I think that's going to be a big part of how this movie plays out at the box office," Harris said.

Paramount and director Abrams successfully re-launched the franchise in 2009 with "Star Trek," which brought in more than $255 million domestically. "Into Darkness" could do better than that, with overseas grosses expected to be much higher this time around.

The stakes are high: The production budget on "Into Darkness" was $190 million and there's been a major marketing push behind the film. The film was reviewed well -- it has an 87 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes -- and opening night audiences gave it an "A" CinemaScore.

Chris Pine returns as Capt. Kirk, and is rejoined by Zach Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Lt. Uhura), Karl Urban (Bones), John Cho (Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Chekov) and Simon Pegg (Scotty). British actor Benedict Cumberbatch comes aboard as the baddie Khan. Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, along with Damon Lindelof, wrote the screenplay.

The overall box office is heating up. This weekend was running about 15 percent ahead of the comparable week last year, when "The Avengers" led the way with a $55 million third week and "Battleship" ($25 million) and "The Dictator" ($17 million) followed.

And next week, Universal's "Fast & Furious 6" and Warner Bros.' "The Hangover Part III" arrive, along with Fox's animated "Epic."

The weekend's top 10:
"Star Trek Into Darkness," $70.5 million
"Iron Man 3," $35.1 million
"The Great Gatsby," $23.4 million
"Pain & Gain," $3.1 million
"The Croods," $2.7 million
"42," $2.7 million
"Oblivion," $2.2 million
"Mud," $2.1 million
"Tyler Perry Presents Peeples," $2.1 million
"Big Wedding," $1.1 million

Also on The Wrap:
Cannes Review: Coen Brothers' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Is a Breathtaking Ode to Failure
'Star Trek Into Darkness' Heading Where None Has Gone Before: Foreign Profitability

May 19, 2013 11:39AM

Hyperspace is STAR WARS NOT STAR TREK!! Really????

May 19, 2013 4:56PM

For the record, I think the new Star Trek movie was better than the new Iron Man movie...



May 19, 2013 12:46PM
The biggest complaint i ever see about JJ is ...lens JJ was the first to use it or the 1982 movie the Thing with kurt russel

People dont like the way the characters are potrayed now...hmm

TOS KIRK, sleeped with women, than slapped them afterwards and got into more fist fights than one else in the crew
JJ KIRK, sleeped with women, hasnt slapped them afterwards, still gets into alot of fist fights

TOS SPOCK, has emotional bouts every other episode, shown as the rational mind not fully understanding kirks actions 3d chess.....
JJ SPOCK, has emotional bouts every other scene, shown as the rational mind not fully understandnig kirks actions

TOS BONES, knows more backward planet medicine than anyone else (frontier doctor) single, grumpy alot
JJ BONES, knows all sorts of backward planet medicine than anyone else, single, grumpy alot

I could go on but im sure someone will just rage again without any real premises for an argument
May 19, 2013 12:22PM
Yogurt you ignorant slut. The alternate universe caused by Nero meant that Kirk grew up without the father that instilled those traits in Shatner's Kirk. This is not your father or grandfather's Trek. I have been a fan since the original three year run and once held the rank of Commander in Starfleet International and this new incarnation is fracking brilliant. I firmly believe the "Great Bird" would have loved this version that has finally opened the world of Trek to all generations! I have sent an email to Rod Roddenberry to get his perspective. All of you diehards without the ability to suspend disbelief that keep whining about the Enterprise being built on Earth or Spock and Uhura should GET A LIFE. Keep up the blubbering and we will be right where we were before 2009 - without Trek on TV or in the movies! None of you are Bjo Trimble (and if you don't know who she is you are a Trekkie and not a Trekker!)

As for filming in the Supercollider, you obviously know absolutely nothing about the history of all of the science that Trek has brought to our world. Filming there was a brilliant homage to the influence science owes to Gene's vision. Your complete lack of understanding of this leads me to believe you are a pretender and need to spend a week watching back to back episodes of "The Big Bang Theory!" Get a clue!
May 19, 2013 2:25PM
I loved the new Klingon make over ... they go through many evolutionary changes in each movie appearance.  Luckily, Uhura speaks Klingon but they don't live long enough in this sequel to make a difference and Lt. Uhura survives the big battle with little combat expertise.  The Lone Ranger came to the rescue and saved the day for the landing party.   LOL
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