Star Trek: Into Darkness

Fanboy-driven sequel improves overseas, grossing $165 million globally

With a softer-than-expected $84.1 million four-day Stateside tally, Paramount’s “Star Trek Into Darkness” reinforced this weekend where the franchise’s strengths lie — with fanboys — and with whom the series needs to improve — most everyone else.

Let’s be clear, however: The film’s total domestic opening weekend (actually 6% better than its predecessor’s), added with an international gross of $80.5 million for a global cume of $164.6 million and counting, represents a truly solid number for the sequel. It’s only perhaps Paramount was a little too eager for a hit, setting its Stateside expectations too high at $100 million-plus.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. scored a surprising No. 1 overseas opening, with “The Great Gatsby” earning $42.1 million from 49 territories, including top contributors Russia ($6.2 million) and the U.K. ($6.1 million). In France, where the film opened the Cannes Film Festival May 15, “Gatsby” grossed a solid $4.7 million, doubling the No. 2 film locally.

The $190 million “Star Trek” sequel, from Skydance Productions and Bad Robot, has done particularly well overseas, already twice the lifetime cume of the 2009 original in many markets including Russia, Taiwan and Mexico. That’s reason for Par to be pleased, especially since the “Star Trek” franchise historically hasn’t traveled well outside the U.S.

Rob Moore, Par’s vice chairman, said the biggest coup this weekend was the film’s overseas growth.

“The one question that people kept asking us was, ‘If people didn’t go see J.J. (Abrams’) original, why would they go see this film?'” Moore said. “So that’s why we spent so much time and effort in those markets and people are now showing up as movie fans.”

Stateside, though, the film played above average with fans, who contributed a higher-than-usual percentage of the pic’s total gross. For instance, Imax contributed 16% of the film’s bow (with $13.5 million), compared to “Iron Man 3,” which had less than 10% opening weekend come from Imax.

Sequel surges, but with little help from 3D

Aside from Imax, opening shares in 3D continue to decrease. The format contributed just 29% of “Star Trek’s” domestic take (excluding Imax), a pathetic result for a mostly fan-driven film. “Gatsby,” by comparison, earned 33% from 3D last weekend; “Iron Man 3″ saw 36% from non-Imax 3D locations.

The first “Star Trek” reboot, which was 2D-only, also launched Thursday domestically. And while that film did better in three days, with $72.2 million vs. $70.6 million for “Into Darkness,” the latter pic ultimately outgrossed its predecessor by nearly $5 million over the long weekend.

“Into Darkness” saw a 27% bump Friday-to-Saturday, compared to the last film, which grew only 1% after opening day. The increase suggests “Into Darkness” had a much larger family turnout than the previous film. Moore said it’s most likely older Star Trek fans now taking their kids.

With franchise fans driving online chatter for “Into Darkness,” word-of-mouth should be especially strong for the sequel, which received an ‘A’ CinemaScore rating.

“Into Darkness” faced tough competition domestically from “Iron Man 3” and “The Great Gatsby.

The Disney-Marvel film earned north of $35 million, down 52% in its third frame, while Warner’s “Gatsby” fell 53% in its second, with an estimated $23.4 million. “Iron Man 3,” which recently became the 16th film to hit $1 billion globally, has cumed $337 million Stateside; “Gatsby” crossed $90 million.

At the specialty B.O., IFC Films did well launching Noah Baumbach’s latest “Frances Ha” at four locations, where it averaged a lively $33,500 per screen. The film sold out screenings at all theaters in New York and L.A. Pic expands to the top 20 domestic markets next weekend.

‘Fast and Furious’ at Blighty box office

Jumping the gun overseas, Universal launched “Fast and Furious 6″ a week early in the U.K., where it scored the studio’s biggest-ever three-day opening with $13.8 million. The film surpassed U’s “Les Miserables,” which previously held the record in Blighty, with $13.1 million.

The series installment should use that momentum as it turns its attention Stateside next weekend. “Fast and Furious 6″ launches Memorial Day weekend a day after Warner Bros. bows “The Hangover Part III.” Both will see top-notch bows, though tracking now suggests “Fast” has a slight edge.

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Star Trek Into Darkness (1): $70.6; 3,868; $18,241; $84.1; –
  2. Iron Man 3 (3): $35.2; 4,237; $8,303; $337.1; -52%
  3. The Great Gatsby (2): $23.4; 3,550; $6,596; $90.2; -53%
  4. Pain and Gain (4): $3.1; 2,429; $1,276; $46.6; -38%
  5. The Croods (9): $2.8; 2,373; $1,159; $176.8; -24%
  6. 42 (6): $2.7; 2,380; $1,147; $88.7; -40%
  7. Oblivion (5): $2.2; 2,077; $1,070; $85.5; -46%
  8. Mud (4): $2.2; 960; $2,250; $11.6; -15%
  9. Tyler Perry Presents Peeples (2): $2.2; 2,041; $1,053; $7.9; -53%
  10. The Big Wedding (4): $1.1; 1,443; $762; $20.2; -56%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. The Great Gatsby (1): $42.1; 49; 8,400; $42.1; $132.3; –
  2. Iron Man 3 (4): $40.2; 55; n/a; $736.2; $1.07**; -55%
  3. Star Trek Into Darkness (2): $40.0; 40; 4,825; $80.5; $164.6; +26%
  4. Epic (1): $14.6; 16; 4,674; $14.6; $14.6; –
  5. Fast and Furious 6 (1): $13.8; 1; 460; $13.8; $13.8; –

*in millions of $; **in billions of $

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