Will ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Dethrone ‘Iron Man 3’ At The Box Office?

This week’s big movie, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is looking at a big opening weekend, and it looks like the “Iron Man 3” reign as box office champion will be over but will still have an impressive showing.

“Star Trek Into Darkness,” the J.J Abrams-directed sequel to the surprise 2009 hit, is looking to earn $89 million at the box office, easily beating “Iron Man 3,” which is expected to take the second spot with an estimated $33.2 million haul, Box Office Mojo reports.

As for last week’s big movie, “The Great Gatsby,” it will round out the top three, with estimates projecting the film to earn $27.6 million at the box office. “Star Trek Into Darkness” opened on Thursday and pulled in $13.5 million in ticket sales, not a bad outing but lower than industry projections, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” seems to have the backing of fans and critics, which could help the film during its opening weekend. The sequel to the “Star Trek” reboot stars Chris Pine as James T. Kirk, Zachary as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Bones and Simon Pegg as Scotty. Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”) plays the film’s main villain identified as John Harrison but spoilers have revealed he is playing an infamous “Star Trek” character from the past.

On Rotten Tomatoes, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is listed as 87 percent fresh, with 167 positive reviews from critics, compared to 25 negative reviews. Audience reception is slightly better than the critics’, as Rotten Tomatoes, based on 78,686 user reviews, has the film at 89 percent fresh.

THR notes a similar response based on CinemaScore grades and exit surveys given to audiences, giving “Star Trek Into Darkness” an A rating. The film, with an estimated budget of $190 million, is looking to build off the surprise success of 2009’s “Star Trek,” and Paramount Pictures hopes the film could cross the $100 million threshold after Sunday’s initial box office tally, THR reports. Box Office Mojo thinks the film will beat those estimates, getting $117 million through its four-day release, while studio executives speaking to THR believe the film may fall short, projecting an opening around $80 million.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is already surpassing expectations overseas, and Paramount hopes that success continues in North America, where the fanbase is located. “The Great Gatsby” is nearing its expected production budget, while “Iron Man 3” has already grossed $1 billion worldwide.

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