|The all new 2009 model Star Trek
warped into first place on Friday with an estimated $30M in ticket sales
in its first 1.5 days of release (grosses from Thursday night shows starting
at 7pm are included). It was the third largest opening day gross for this
year trailing the action sequels X-Men Origins:
Wolverine ($34.4M) and Fast & Furious
($30.6M). Neither film offered early showtimes before midnight on Thursday
night. As with previous sci-fi summer hits Iron
Man and Transformers, Paramount
launched Star Trek with evening shows
on the night before the official opening day in order to help fuel word-of-mouth
going into the debut weekend. Early buzz from fans has been very positive
and should help convince undecided voters to hit the multiplexes on Saturday
The J.J. Abrams-directed Trek can plot a number of courses over this weekend. Typically, franchise movies drop on Saturday once the die-hard fans have seen the film on opening day, but word-of-mouth can affect how big or small that decline is. And with the Friday tally covering more than just one day, Saturday's drop will be larger than normal. But strong reviews and a story that does not require audiences to know the background of the franchise could help bring in moviegoers new to the property who are just interested in a fun summer thrill ride. Playing in 3,849 theaters, including 138 locations with Imax screens, Star Trek may fly to $67-72M over its 3.5-day opening frame giving the studio a spectacular reboot to a franchise thought to be dead just a few years ago.
Kirk and Spock sent Wolverine plunging on Friday to an estimated $8.4M representing a colossal 76% collapse. A weekend tally of $26-29M seems likely which would lift Fox's super hero flick to the neighborhood of $130M after ten days.
With so much attention on effects-driven action, the romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past enjoyed a good hold falling 45% on its second Friday to an estimated $3.1M. The counter-programming tactic is working for Warner Bros. and New Line as the Matthew McConaughey pic should see a low weekend decline of around 35%. That would give Ghosts about $10M for the frame and a ten-day cume of $30M.
Summit opened the new comedy Next Day Air with an estimated $1.4M on Friday and will have a tough time cracking the top five for the weekend. A three-day take of roughly $4M seems likely.
Among holdovers, Friday-to-Friday declines were 50% for Obsessed, 36% for 17 Again, and only 41% for The Soloist.
The overall top ten looks to reach the $130-140M range over the Friday-to-Sunday period which will easily beat out the $115.9M from a year ago when Iron Man remained in first place with $51.2M in its sophomore session.
Check the NEW historical box office chart for the Star Trek franchise.
For a NEW review of Star Trek visit The Chief Report.
Check back on Sunday for the complete weekend box office report.
Last Updated: May 9, 2009 at 11:30AM ET
Written by Gitesh Pandya