J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness has boldly gone into first place in the box office race and the “dark” film passes Iron Man 3 without even having to set their phasers on stun.
By the close of business on Friday the Star Trek sequel knocked Robert Downey Jr and his alter ego Tony Stark right out of their fancy metal suit and pushed them into second place in the box office wars. The highly-anticipated science fiction blockbusting sequel, which opened world wide on Wednesday, pulled in an estimated $22.0 million on Friday in 3,868 locations, including 336 IMAX 3D locations, bringing the domestic total to $35.5 million.
The second in the series has not done as well as expected. The first Star Trek that opened in May 2009, grossed a almost $27 million when it opened in 3,849 theatres.
While Abrams has lept up into the top spot, this week, his latest Star Trek offering still has a way to go before it can match Iron Man 3’s $1 billion world box office receipt. It will be interesting to see how well the film does over the same length of time that Shane Black’s ultimate Iron Man sequel has and see if he can match those record breaking numbers.
But Star Trek wasn’t the only film to finish the week with a decent run. Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby finished on Friday in the third position with a respectable $7.7 which is a pretty hefty drop of around 60 percent but the film, with its glitzy 3D glamour and trio of top rated stars, will no doubt continue to gross at a steady if not remarkable rate. Considering that Leonardo and co have pulled in $74 million from the domestic market alone, no one will be too surprised if they stay at least in the third position next weekend.
Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain hasn’t done too badly either with a estimated gross receipt of $44 million.
But harking back to Abrams accomplishment of finishing first this week, it is interesting to look at his somewhat short track record as a director. His 2011 lower budget film, shot at a miserly $50 million super 8 and his 2006 Mission: Impossible III both did very well , but, not as well as his latest project. Presumably his earning power is going up “per film.”
Star Trek Into Darkness will undoubtably continue to rake in the money considering that this second “episode” in the franchise is hammering home the new faces of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. These “new” actors are much better known now and with the added bonus of even more Zoe Saldana as Uhura combined with the incredible writing talents of the Star Trek scripting team the film should continue to perform well.
Into Darkness could even give Iron Man 3 a proper run “for its money” in regards to its recent $1 billion record. If you also add into the mix the totally bad ass villain, Benedict Cumberbatch, who is this generation’s Khan; there is little room for doubt that this will continue to be a crowd pleaser for some time yet.
The only “fly” in the ointment for Star Trek fans is the news that Abrams has jumped ship from this popular spaceship and will be steering the next Star Wars feature instead. But for right now at least, Star Trek “this iteration” is number one.
By Michael Smith