"Iron Man 3" is about to get beamed out of the top spot. Marvel's follow-up to "The Avengers" will certainly live long and prosper with its nearly $1 billion box-office bounty, but this weekend is going to belong to Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.
"Star Trek Into Darkness," the sequel to director J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot of the nearly 50-year-old sci-fi franchise, is expected to dominate the North American box-office as it warp speeds its way toward a $100 million four-day-plus kickoff. The movie, boasting a heavily guarded secret about its villain and the return of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, opened exclusively in IMAX on Wednesday (making an estimated $3.3 million from 336 locations), followed by regular and 3-D showings on Thursday.
"Star Trek" should beat the $75 million domestic launch of its predecessor by at least $25 million. It's outperforming the first movie overseas as well, where it was released in seven markets a week earlier. "Into Darkness" carried a much larger production budget than Abrams' first foray into the "Trek" universe, with a larger marketing budget behind it as well.
Captain Kirk and crew will certainly steal much of the main demographic for "Iron Man 3," but Tony Stark's latest adventure should still be the runner-up with an expected $30 million domestic haul. While it won't make as much as "The Avengers" in the long run, "Iron Man 3" will certainly crack $1 billion worldwide and is far and away more successful than its predecessors.
With no other big new wide releases in theaters, last weekend's runner-up should fall just one spot to #3. "The Great Gatsby" will collect about $28 million in its second weekend, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com and Exhibitor Relations.
Check out everything we've got on "Star Trek Into Darkness."