Weekend Box Office: Star Trek Turns 50, Earns 60 (Million)

The thirteenth chapter in Paramount’s Star Trek cinematic franchise –Star Trek: Beyond- blasted off across North America movie screens this weekend, where it easily commanded the number one spot. The thriller Lights Out scared up a great debut in third while Ice Age: Collision Course melted in fifth place.

The $185 million Star Trek: Beyond opened on 3,928 screens where it earned a prosperous $59.6 million. The opening for the acclaimed entry -released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek television series- was the third-best opening for a live-action film this summer. Justin Lin (Fast Five, Furious Six) took over directing duties from J.J. Abrams, who stayed on as a producer for Beyond.

While the opening for Beyond was a solid one, it was somewhat lower than the previous two entries in the series. It was 15% lower than 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, which opened to $70.2 million in May of 2013 and it was 20% lower than the 2009 reboot. Part of the blame could be the overall softness of the market and part of it could be the way Paramount has mishandled the film marketing-wise.

One thing that the film has in its corner is solid support from both the critics and viewers (God, I sound like one of those horrid back covers for a Disney film). Beyond earned a solid 84% on Rotten Tomatoes and an “A-“ CinemaScore rating. This should help carry the film a bit, but will it be enough to keep the film from being crushed by two potential heavyweights aiming for the same target audience: Jason Bourne on July 29th and Suicide Squad on August 5th?

Star Trek: Beyond also opened in a little less than half of the international markets this weekend, where it made $30 million. Many of the territories who didn’t open the movie this weekend are holding off until after the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio. China, Into Darkness’ biggest market outside the United States, opens Beyond in September.

Stepping down to second place, Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets had a solid third weekend. The popular animated comedy eased a reasonable 42% to bark up an estimated $29.3 million from 4,048 screens. This brought its total to an estimated $260.7 million. Foreign grosses stand at $63 million so far. The film should be able to pass the $300 million mark within the next two weeks and continue on to at least $320-330 million by summer’s end.

After underwhelming the box office last weekend, Sony’s Ghostbusters remake fell 53% in its second go around on 3,963 theaters, earning an estimated $21.6 million. After ten days, the paranormal comedy has earned a so-so $86 million domestically and an additional $36 million from overseas. Ghostbusters is looking at a possible final North America haul around $130 million. Not a terrible amount, but certainly a disappointment in relation to production ($144 million) and marketing ($100 million) costs.

Unlike Star Trek: Beyond and Ghostbusters, one film that will have no trouble turning a profit will be Warner’s new thriller Lights Out. Produced for a mere $5 million, the PG-13 frightfest earned solid reviews and struck a cord with female moviegoers. Lights Out spooked out 2,818 screens this weekend where it earned $21.6 million. The film also scared up $8 million from overseas markets.

Landing with a thud in fifth place was the latest chapter in the aging Ice Age franchise, Ice Age: Collision Course. With Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory still drawing in the family crowds, the poorly reviewed Collision Course found itself without much of an audience, opening more than 50% lower than 2012’s Continental Drift. Occupying 3,992 screens since Friday, Collision Course bumped into a moderate $21 million.

While the film sputtered in its North America debut, it has done quite well overseas. So far, Collision Course has amassed a great $179 million. So when we see yet another one of these godawful Ice Age films clog our multiplexes in a few years, you know who to blame: the rest of the world.

The rest of the top ten:

  1.  Finding Dory (Disney/Pixar) $7.2 million (-36%); $460 million
  1.  The Legend of Tarzan (Warner) $6.4 million (-44%); $116 million
  1.  Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (Fox) $4.4 million (-42.5%); $40.3 million
  1.  Hillary’s America (QF) $3.7 million (NEW); $3.7 million
  1.  The Infiltrator (BG) $3.2 million (-38%); $12.2 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of Jason Bourne and Bad Moms. Ol’ JB should have no trouble landing himself a sizeable number one opening.

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