erik lundegaard

Sunday May 19, 2013

Reboot of 45-Year-Old TV Series Underperforms with $70 Million Opening Weekend

“Iron Man 3” fell off by more than 50% in its third weekend but still grossed half of what “Star Trek Into Darkness” grossed in its opening weekend ($35.1 million to $70.5 million) . Or do we count Wednesday and Thursday for “Trek”? Apparently there were shows then. For some people anyway. The movie grossed $2 million and $11.5 million on those days, meaning it kind of opened at $84 million rather than $70, but the official tally will still be $70m.

Not sure why you open a movie this way. Bit by bit, I mean. Doesn’t it lessen the impact of the opening weekend numbers? Instead of a headline like “‘Star Trek’ Warps to $84 million finish,” you get “‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Can't Hit Warp Speed at Box Office.” $70 million. Chump change in Hollywood. Four years ago, the first J.J. Abrams-led “Trek,” opened at $75 million, and you never want to open lower than your predecessor.

Not that they’re not trying to spin it. Here’s what Paramount’s head of distribution Don Harris told The Wrap today:

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. Expectations aside, big-picture we’re in a very good place, particularly when you consider how well it’s doing overseas.

How well is it doing overseas? $80 million thus far. That’s not bad, considering previous international numbers for “Trek” ($128 million for the first Abrams reboot), but chump change compared with, say, “Iron Man 3,” which, after this weekend, is at $736 million internationally, for a grand total of $1.07 billion worldwide. That’s ninth all-time. Another $50 million and it’ll be fifth. Another $250 million and it’ll be fourth. “The Avengers” is at $1.5 billion. After that it’s Cameron Country (> $2 billion), where even Iron Man can’t fly. Sorry, dude.

Meanwhile, “The Great Gatsby” fell off 53% for third place with $23.4 million. Everything else grossed less than $3.5 million. We’re putting more eggs into fewer baskets. Or fewer eggs into fewer baskets.

The final frontier numbers.

Star Trek: The Original Series

In the end, “Star Trek” didn't do poorly for a TV show canceled in 1969.

Posted at 05:06 PM on Sunday May 19, 2013 in category Movies - Box Office  
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