After an auspicious start, “Star Trek Into Darkness” had trouble breaking new ground Friday, earning a modest $22 million at the domestic box office for an estimated $65 million weekend.
That’s well below the Paramount’s first “Star Trek” feature, which earned $79.2 million in its 2009 debut.
J.J. Abrams’ 3D sequel did open a day earlier (Wednesday night) than its predecessor but the sci-fi tentpole had been tracking for an $85 million-plus weekend. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” also didn’t benefit from 3D sales.
Paramount and Skydance co-financed the $190 million feature, which is playing in 3762 locations, including 336 Imax 3D theaters.
“Star Trek’s” four-day domestic cume is projected to reach $83.5 million, according to Paramount, and the film’s international tally is currently orbiting $75 million for the weekend (33 int’l territories).
The numbers aren’t exactly chump change for Paramount but considering the film’s “A” Cinemascore from audiences and successful relaunch of the “Star Trek” franchise in 2009, the U.S. figures are less than encouraging for a studio in dire need of a hit.
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“Iron Man 3” earned an estimated $9.5 Friday, bringing its domestic cume to $311.4 million, while the femme-friendly “Gatsby” grossed an estimated $7.7 million on Friday.
Memorial Day weekend won’t get any less crowded for “Star Trek,” as WB’s “The Hangover Part III” and “Fast & Furious 6” join the fray on May 23 and May 24, respectively.