‘Star Trek’ Sequel: Early Tracking Suggests $85 Million Launch

“Star Trek Into Darkness” (Par)

Paramount and Skydance's $185 million pic opens May 17

Star Trek Into Darkness” is about to go where no “Star Trek” has gone before at the domestic box office.

According to early tracking, Paramount and Skydance Productions’ sequel to 2009’s “Star Trek,” opening three weeks from Friday on May 17, is gearing up for a stellar $85 million opening, which would mark a record debut for the sci-fi franchise.

Analysts suggest the 3D actioner could exceed $90 million, depending on word of mouth. Pre-release buzz has been building steadily for the film starting as early as December when Paramount released the film’s first teaser trailer.

J.J. Abrams’ first installment in the re-imagined sci-fi series earned $70 million during its opening weekend before going on to cume $385 million worldwide.

Star Trek Into Darkness,” which was made on a budget of $185 million, was filmed in 2D and converted to 3D in post production.  Pic will also screen in Imax.

Despite its U.S. projection, one of “Star Trek’s” biggest hurdles will be overseas, where the first feature struggled to beam up audiences, earning just $125 million. Sequels usually fare better, however.

Co-starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch as the villian, “Star Trek” has been marketed as a much bigger and more explosive installment than its predecessor.

“In the first film, Kirk got the chair a bit too prematurely,” Pine recently said  at CinemaCon. “In this installment, we see Kirk earn the chair.”

Par’s “Star Trek” sequel will face the superhero leftovers of Disney-Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” which opens in 46 overseas markets this weekend, followed by a Stateside launch on May 3.

“Iron Man 3,” Marvel’s first post-“Avengers” feature, is heading for a massive $120 million opening in the U.S. Pic collected $13.2 million from overseas in its first day.

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  1. jaypeefreely says:

    Likely, this film will be very well received in the states. Since there is a heavy promotion abroad (to build the international box office) with recognizable internationals (Pegg & Eve) in tow/plot, Star Trek will fare better this go around – $175 mil alone in International, with $300 mil domestic. I am completely serious, despite the punters reviewing it so far. It pulled 375 mil in 2009; so $100 mil added is not unheard of.

    I just saw Iron Man 3 – and I was not that impressed – and Downey can really act. But it is worth the viewing – just not Batman in storytelling.

    I feel too that the cast of this Star Trek is about 5-7 years too young for the roles incorporated in the canon. That said, a Star Trek III (rebooted) will finally get close to where the 1979 Motion Picture universe was in maturation level of characters. So, I think 2015-6, with a good script this gets the trilogy in the books as most successful ever in Star Trek. Maybe it ends on that high note – a 2 hour 30 minute thrill ride with multiple story arcs successfully completed with a early trek to Borg land – via early use of worm holes or some cosmic Star Trek event. (May lead to a Part IV)

    • therealeverton says:

      I think this film will do much better in the international market, but it has 2 things going against it. !. It only has about 8 days in some markets before Fast 6 comes out. (I know Thor managed to make $260+ against Fast 5 2 years ago, but tit is stiff competition. 2. Iron Man Three has opened like a sequel to The Avengers, rather than to Iron Man 2, that could mean opening 2 weeks after IM3 may not be such a good idea after all.Let’s hope there is room for the films to breath, and not have a situation like 2009, where Star Trek & Wolverine end up taking a lot of business away from each other and ended up with near identical totals.

  2. Disinvited says:

    Having actually been in the theaters in 1979-1980. I don’t recall it boring anyone. TMP was taken as a 2001:SPACE ODYSSEYesque mind trip with excellent Goldsmith music to pave the way. It later had 70mm 6-channel magnetic discrete audio theater runs that was the IMAX of its time.

    According to this:


    “I created the role on
    TV and look forward to another feature.
    After all, Star Trek — The Motion Picture has
    grossed over $170 million to date when it has
    not even been reissued yet, and has a world-
    wide following as well.” – William Shatner, STARLOG, MAY 1981, Number 46, STAR TREK BACK ON THE TV TRACK

    Not a misprint because figure’s quoted here too in March of the same year:


    This first Trek film made a lot more money than Paramount lets on. And take away Paramount’s attempt to charge the PHASE II television production costs due to their own wavering to it, and TMP made money. Especially so when it is realized that Paramount made $20 million in a theater owners blind bid auction for this picture. I believe before one frame of film was shot.

    • jaypeefreely says:

      I agree, to a degree. Robert Wise made a mistake in the story path – he needed some conflict before V-yer (Voyager) to somehow get more out of the story. He wasted precious minutes on using albeit great music to display the Enterprise, but in essence, a rather unimaginative way to create suspense and story direction.

      Granted, it was 1979. Tech was not quite capable of doing what it easily does today, but I think more action, pacing, could have sustained that movie. (I heard a show reboot was being worked on, then Star Wars, and well…change of direction.) In that instant, if Wise had made just another conflict (a Klingon or Romulan mutually assured destruction compact) to investigate V-yer, give the Enterprise crew a persistent juggling, not just a prolonged move into the digestive tract of an energy force – that was what it was – then maybe the franchise’s fate abroad improves.

      So, multiple plot lines – action but with character development/conflict equal – and cohesive visioning. Not much. ;)

  3. therealeverton says:

    Since Star Trek The Motion Picture bored the pants off most watchers, Star Trek has struggled to make an impact at international cinemas. But JJ’s film was the first since 1979 to sell over $100m worth of tickets internationally.No other Trek film comes close toit; so matching the ticket sales of the first Trek film, which came out at the height of Trek popularity was job done. This film should pass the previous film’s gross in its sleep. Especially with Iron Man 3 being so America-centric.

    To hit that mark with the first film was a triumph, even though (as with Batman Begins) it was more about positive responses from critics and the punters than breaking even at the box office. (Which neither film did)

    • therealeverton says:

      I’m sorry, but it you genuinely believe that the film wasn’t considered boring by the majority of viewers you have some how been deluded. The first film made a very similar amount to star Trek (2009), but the cost of the film itself was so high that profit, from the film itself at the box office, was minimal. that’s w they reduced the budget for the second film so drastically. The fact remains, and this is the salient point of my first comment, that the international gross for Star Trek films never recovered from the “disappointment” the audience had with film one. It took 30 years , until Star Trek (2009) for any trek film to sell over $100m worth of tickets. That is just a fact that you can verify by checking the box office for all of the Star Trek films. Die hard Trek fans may consider The first film a flawed masterpiece, but the average fan and the average “punter” famously, and demonstratively, consider it dull and over long.

      Also When did I ever suggest that the Motion Picture lost money? I never said it didn’t make money, in fact I suggested the opposite when I clearly stated that it was the only film other than the last one, to sell over $100m worth of tickets internationally. What I said was that this was due to Trek being at the height of its popularity and that since then Trek films have struggled overseas, relative to their North American gross,

      Look around at critical opinion, and the kind of votes given to to it on film sites and you will confirm very quickly that majority opinion on the film is pretty low and it is considered very dull. My memory of the film was of a bunch of people bemused at how on of their favourite TV shows, filled with lively and entertaining characters, could have been turned into such a dull, uninspired, over long film. Including the infamous 30 minute trip up and down the new Enterprise.

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