'Star Trek' Boldly Goes To #1 With A Strong $76.5M Opening Weekend

'Star Trek'Much to the chagrin of the hardcore Trekkies out there, this weekend, just about everyone played the role of a "Star Trek" geek, as J.J. Abrams' revamp of the classic sci fi franchise surprised even the number crunchers at Paramount with a jaw-dropping $76.5M opening weekend (which included Thursday showings) -- exceeding the studio's earlier high hopes of a $75M debut, and well surpassing the safe-bet $50M estimate going into the film's wide release.

According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, the film's box office take this weekend -- which is currently being cited as official numbers from Paramount -- proved that "Star Trek" not only attracted those die-hard fans of the beloved TV and film series, but also pulled in healthy numbers of casual viewers who don't know a Romulan from a Talosian. Clearly, overwhelming critical acclaim coupled with strong word of mouth played a huge role in the film's success, as the film will easily become the #1 movie in America, and hopefully setting a course for more "Star Trek" films in the future.

As Deadline Hollywood Daily further notes, "Star Trek" has surpassed "Fast & Furious" as the second highest opening of 2009, and soundly distanced itself from this weekend's second place opener, "Next Day Air," which landed at #6 on this weekend's top 10 list with a $4M debut. Meanwhile, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" continues to attract a crowd in its second weekend, coming in second overall with an estimated $27M tally.

Did you catch "Star Trek" this weekend? Are you surprised at the overall weekend numbers? Let's hear it in the comments.