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Weekend Box Office: Star Trek Opens On Top, But Not Quite Boldly as Expected

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By Chris Kavan - 05/19/13 at 11:44 PM CT

It was a good weekend for the box office in total, with the weekend running about 15% ahead of the same frame last year. Even with that bit of good news, one has to be a bit disappointed that another blockbuster fell short of expectations. It can't be called a failure by any means, just a bit of a miss compared to the early predictions.


It was pretty much a given that J.J. Abrams latest was going to top the weekend box office, but it remained to be seen how high it would fly. Turns out early numbers of $100 million were a bit more ambitious than predicted by Paramount. Through four days Into Darkness wound up with $84.1 million ($70.6 million for the weekend) falling short of the original film's $86.7 million through the same period. Audience liked it, giving it an A cinemascore but it skewed heavily male (64%) and older (73% over 25) compared to the first film. It did have strong 3D and IMAX showings (45% of grosses - 16% coming directly from IMAX). So what is to blame? Some say the four-year gap was simply too long - others think that casual fans just weren't as interested this time around and yet another theory is that competing movies just offered too much competition.

Whatever the reason, this sequel just couldn't match up to pre-release and looks like it will fall short of the original film's $257.7 million total. A $200 million bow is probably more in line with how things are going. Still, it has been doing much better in the international market compared to the original Trek (which only added $128 million total - as it is a decidedly American brand compared to other franchises). I don't think there is much panic - and we should all be able to look forward to a Star Trek 3 in the future.


Dropping 51.5% in its third weekend, Iron Man 3 brought in another $35.1 million and raised its total to just over $337 million. It easily broke the $1 billion worldwide mark and now stands at $1.07 billion (9th place overall for total box office grosses) and by next weekend should be able to rise all the way to 5th place on the all-time charts. That domestic total also puts it ahead of the two previous Iron Man films and it still has plenty of steam. Even with increased competition, a $400 million total is expected.


Given the tepid response, The Great Gatsby took a 53% hit - but the $23.4 million it took in still raised its total to $90.4 million. It will have trouble banking its $105 million budget and could match the total of two modern Leonardo DiCaprio films Shutter Island ($128 million) and The Departed ($132.4 million) before it falls completely out of the picture. Even the lukewarm reception won't prevent this film from being a mild success.


Outside the top three, grosses dropped off considerably. Michale Bay's body building action/comedy/crime hybrid took in just $3.1 million in the fourth slot. The film edged ever closer to $50 million - now standing at $46.57 million after four weeks.


Having one of the best week-to-week holds, The Croods was only off 23.8% and jumped from 7th back to 5th place. Adding in $2.75 million, the animated feature broke the $175 million mark and wound up with $176.75 million after a successful nine week run. Granted, Epic is going to finally burst the Crood bubble come next weekend - but you can't argue this film has been a bright spot for the 2013 season.

Outside the top five: Once again, the biggest film of note was Mud, which continued its expansion, bumping up to 960 theaters and having the best hold of any film in the top 10 (dropping just 14.9% and it remained in 8th place with $2.16 million - winding up with a new total of $11.6 million and is still eying a $20 million plus run.

Next week is Memorial Day Weekend and sees a trio of heavy-hitting films. Fast & Furious 6 promises to bring the action quotient, Epic looks to attract the family crowd while The Hangover Part III is there for comedy. All three should find success, but with a crowded market already it will be interested to see what films have the best success.


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