SATURDAY 8:30 AM, 5TH UPDATE: Friday domestic numbers for for Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot diverged wildly last night as did estimates for the 3-day weekend and 4 1/2-day cume. Heck, they’re still over the place. One thing I can say for sure: despite the passage of 4 years and the addition of 3D and IMAX for ticket premiums, Star Trek Into Darkness even though its release began Wednesday night will not beat 2009′s Star Trek opening 3-day weekend. The new film’s 4 1/2 day number may not even gross bigger than 2009′s $75.2M. Paramount obviously wants to put the best face on an underperforming situation and is still telling me that “when opening day isn’t Friday you get a higher multiple vs Friday”. But the numbers are the numbers, and rival studios have estimates for STID that are dramatically lower. Don’t get me wrong: the movie is still making a lot of money. Just not the $100M cume predicted all week by the studio which is now claiming $22M for Friday, $70M for the 3-day weekend, and $83M for the 4 1/2-day total. Rival studios have numbers of $21.6-$22.0M for Friday, $56.2M-$66.2M for the 3-day weekend, and $69.7M-$75.5M for the 4 1/2-day total. Paramount says moviegoers “are definitely choosing IMAX as it is 14% of the gross” helped by director/producer J.J. Abrams filming 30 minutes of the new sequel using high-resolution cameras to increase the IMAX audience. MORE
FRIDAY 1 PM, 3RD UPDATE: My sources say early matinees are very strong for Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot. It continued its domestic run today in 3,762 theaters with a refined number of $13.4 million from Wednesday’s 336 IMAX late shows and Thursday’s midnights and then yesterday’s wide release. Today’s grosses are almost double Thursday’s and an early read of noon averages is ranging from $25M to $27M Friday and $80M to $88M for the 3-day weekend - with a prediction of $100M for the first four days. Abrams’ first 2009 installment of the long-running film franchise opened to $30.1M Friday (without a Thursday start) and $79M for the first weekend. Fandango reports the new pic’s ticket sales are outpacing the first movie at the same point in the cycle and 55% of surveyed filmgoers plan to see it more than once. Over 80% of MovieTickets sales are for Star Trek Into Darkness and that’s led to some 430 sold out screenings this weekend. Overseas, the iconic 3D space tentpole’s cume is now $47M through Thursday. More later…
THURSDAY 11:30 PM, 2ND UPDATE: Still more good news at the start of the Summer 2013 box office as May continues to sizzle. My sources say Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and director J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot began its domestic run in 3,762 theaters with at least $14 million including $3.5M in Thursday midnights and Wednesday 336 IMAX late shows. The iconic space tentpole in 3D received a coveted “A” CinemaScore to help word of mouth and 87% positive Rotten Tomatoes score setting it up for a strong weekend. Over 400 screenings offered by MovieTickets.com are sold out for this upcoming weekend. The budget was a costly $190M, but the studio is still predicting a 3-day weekend domestic estimate of $80M and 4-day estimate of $100M. Right now Star Trek Into Darkness is running around 80% of Fandango’s ticket sales today while 75% of yesterday’s sales on MovieTickets.com came from STID. Star Trek Into Darkness is expected to easily beat the director’s first installment in North America and do much better overseas, where the franchise has long underperformed. To do that, Abrams filmed 30 minutes of the new sequel using high-resolution cameras to increase the IMAX audience, while Paramount dispatched his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk to share 20 minutes of footage with media and distributors abroad earlier this year. The international grosses continue to surprise: My sources say the film’s opening day in Russia looks like $1.4 million, or nearly 4x the starting gross of 2009′s Star Trek. The sequel opened in 7 international markets this past weekend, earning $40M thru Wednesday. The combined figures from these territories are almost 70% greater than 2000′s Star Trek from the same UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. New markets, led by Russia, will open this weekend representing just over 15% of the overseas potential. Total now is just over 50% with 40 markets playing the pic through Sunday. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Kirk and Spock in this sequel to Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise, which began as a 1960s TV series.
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