“Star Trek Into Darkness” was expected to run away with this weekend’s box office and while it knocked off “Iron Man 3,” the movie’s numbers fell way short of expectations.
The J.J. Abrams-directed sequel to the 2009 hit reboot was expected to beat the box office numbers of its predecessor, drawing from the goodwill of “Star Trek” as well as a lack of competition for its demographic. Over the weekend, “Star Trek Into Darkness” grossed $70.6 million and the movie has brought in $84.1 million, including early screenings, since its release on Thursday reports Box Office Mojo.
The “Star Trek” reboot in 2009 grossed $75.2 million during its opening weekend and, in a similar timeframe as “Star Trek Into Darkness,” earned $86.7 million in four days. While the numbers are impressive, and Paramount Pictures will be happy about its strong debut and positive reception, they do fall short of estimates. On Friday, some experts were expecting “Star Trek Into Darkness” to bring in over $100 million through its first four days in theaters but rival studio executives who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter pegged the film’s box office take correctly, predicting a near $80 million gross.
With “Star Trek Into Darkness” being crowned box office champion, “Iron Man 3” drops to second place, earning $35.2 million in its third weekend. The latest Tony Stark movie, starring Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Shane Black, has been a huge success for Marvel Studios, which capitalized off the success of 2012’s “The Avengers.” “Iron Man 3” has grossed close to $1.1 billion worldwide since its release in early May. “The Great Gatsby” finished in third place, earning $23.4 million over the weekend.
The Baz Luhrrman-directed “Gatsby” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last week and earned $42.1 million at the foreign box office. The film should be considered a success, notes Box Office Mojo, and “Gatsby” may be one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s highest-grossing films to date, edging close to the box office take of “The Departed,” which earned $132.3 million domestically.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” will be considered a disappointment and may not match its predecessor’s take at the box office. Memorial Day is notoriously competitive and this year there are plenty of movies to choose from. “Fast and Furious 6” and “The Hangover III” may be competing for the same audience as “Star Trek Into Darkness” and with the continued success of “Iron Man 3,” it seems as the movie may not live up to the high expectations from Paramount.
The Hollywood Reporter paints a rosier picture, calling the film’s debut “solid” while also noting the positive fan response to the film. Word of mouth should be good for the film, as is its impressive foreign box office, but it may not be enough to make “Star Trek Into Darkness” an undeniable success. Box Office Mojo thinks not revealing the film’s villain during the marketing campaign may have hurt the film’s earning potential.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” beat “Iron Man 3” at the box office but its reign may be short-lived. With plenty of competition during the Memorial Day weekend, as well as other big summer movies set to debut, it remains to be seen if the “Star Trek” sequel lives up to its predecessor.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.