Phasers set for ‘Demons’

'Da Vinci Code' follow-up takes aim at 'Trek'

Will Capt. Kirk and his shipmates have an angelic second weekend at the international box office or be demonized?

It’s a hard call, with Sony’s “Da Vinci Code” follow-up “Angels and Demons” hitting the marketplace. In May 2007, “The Da Vinci Code” opened to $147 million at the foreign B.O. in one of the biggest bows of all time.

“Angels” hasn’t generated the same sort of pre-release buzz that surrounded “Da Vinci,” which managed to turn the most negative attention — from boos at the Cannes Film Festival to an angry Vatican — into box-office glory.

“Angels” opened Wednesday in France and rolls out in a handful of other territories today. On Friday, it opens everywhere else, including the U.S.

That’s only one week after “Star Trek” opened around the globe in every major territory except Japan and Mexico.

“Star Trek” bowed to $35.8 million from 5,578 runs in 54 markets — a solid, but not spectacular, overseas opening.

Going in, Par and director J.J. Abrams knew it would be difficult selling the film internationally since the “Star Trek” franchise has never been popular abroad.

“Star Trek” will need strong legs to be considered a modest success overseas. Word of mouth should be healthy considering the film is one of the best reviewed of the year.

Still, developing those legs will be difficult in such a crowded marketplace. Twentieth Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which bowed May 1, has done brisk business, opening to roughly $73 million.

Last weekend, “Wolverine” wasn’t that far behind the bow of “Star Trek” overseas even though it was in its second weekend. “Wolverine” grossed $29.7 million from 8,978 runs for a foreign cume of $123.7 million in its first 10 days.

“Wolverine” stayed No. 1 in 28 territories, although it fell a sizable 59% overall despite playing in far more territories than “Star Trek.”

“Star Trek” opened strongest in the three territories where it has prospered before — the U.K. ($8.8 million), Germany ($4.6 million) and Australia ($3.4 million).

Those territories also saw boffo numbers for “Da Vinci.”

“Star Trek” has three more weekends to take advantage of overseas box office before Sony and Warner Bros.’ “Terminator Salvation” rolls out over the June 3-5 frame. In the U.S., it debuts May 21. Sony is likely looking to put some breathing room between “Salvation,” which it distribs overseas, and “Angels.”

The “Terminator” franchise has done blockbuster business internationally. “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” grossed $283 million overseas and $150.4 million domestically.

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