"Star Trek Into Darkness" scored an 87 percent positive critical average on Rotten Tomatoes, an audience CinemaScore of "A" and managed to beat every other film at the multiplex over the weekend.
The only thing the sequel to the 2009 franchise reboot didn't beat? Expectations.
Director J.J. Abrams' sci-fi blockbuster carried a reported $190 million budget. Paramount, who co-financed the movie with Skydance Productions, had projected a $100 million four-day domestic total, a figure that most industry analysts supported last week. The latest adventure for the Starship Enterprise had no problem opening in the #1 spot, but generated just $84.1 million in its first four and a half days (showings began Wednesday evening).
Even with ticket price inflation, a massive marketing campaign, positive reviews and pricier 3-D and IMAX screenings, "Into Darkness" fell short of the $84.1 million four-and-a-half day total for 2009's "Star Trek." BadAssDigest.com's Devin Faraci warned that the cat-and-mouse publicity game surrounding the "Star Trek" villain could hurt its grosses. BoxOfficeMojo.com theorized, after the weekend, that many had already spent their movie money on "Iron Man 3" and "The Great Gatsby" or are simply saving up for this weekend's "Fast & Furious 6" and "The Hangover Part III."
"Star Trek Into Darkness" has proven much stronger than its predecessor in international markets, where "Star Trek" did somewhat poorly. The sequel has generated $80.5 million in 34 foreign markets (including an $8 million debut in Russia over the weekend) with a $165.4 million worldwide total for Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and crew.
Speaking of worldwide grosses, "Iron Man 3" made it to #9 in the all-time charts both overseas and domestically over the weekend. Marvel's followup to "The Avengers" has collected $1.07 billion worldwide; by this weekend, it's expected to pass "The Dark Knight Rises," "Skyfall," "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" to land at #5 on the all-time worldwide box-office scorecard. At home, "Iron Man 3" was #2 over the weekend with another $35.2 million for a domestic total of $337.1 million in just 17 days.
"The Great Gatsby," which debuted at #2 behind two-time champion "Iron Man 3" two weeks ago, was #3 over the weekend with $23.4 million. The big-budget project has made $90.2 million domestically. Michael Bay's action-comedy "Pain and Gain" was #4 with $3.1 million for a four-week total of $46.5 million. "The Croods" rounded out the top five with $2.7 million. The DreamWorks Animation hit has made $176.5 million domestically since it debuted atop the box office in late March.
Memorial Day Weekend will boast "Fast & Furious 6," which the ensemble cast recently discussed with MTV News and revealed plenty of behind-the-scenes secrets. British audiences got to see the movie a week ahead of everyone else and rewarded Universal Pictures with their biggest U.K. debut ever. The $13.8 million it collected will of course grow exponentially in a few days.
Vin Diesel and company will have to contend with The Wolfpack, who return in "The Hangover Part III" (along with Carlos the baby). 3D CG flick "Epic," featuring the voice of Beyoncé among others, will also give "Star Trek," "Iron Man" and all the rest a run for their money this weekend.
Check out everything we've got on "Star Trek Into Darkness."