Was Star Trek’s Opening Really That Impressive?

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Photo: Paramount

As you've surely heard by now, J.J. Abrams's Star Trek reboot rode a wave of critical acclaim and positive tweets to the top of the box office this weekend, beaming $76.5 million into Paramount's coffers and making the franchise safe for non-geeks. It overcame Trekkie quibbling to break The Dark Knight's record for the best weekend in IMAX history ($8.3 million on 138 screens) and, thanks to the amount by which ticket prices have increased over the past 23 years, it had no trouble more than doubling the Trek series' previous biggest opening (for 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which made $30.7 million in three days). It was also, we suppose, the largest-ever three-day take for a movie featuring Tyler Perry in an acting role.

But is this really that impressive? Admittedly, Star Trek was not the next Watchmen. But just last weekend, the Jackman-powered X-Men Origins: Wolverine extracted $87 million from audiences who'd already seen the movie at home and were told they'd die of swine flu if they set foot in a multiplex. And a month ago, Fast and Furious — which cost way less to make and market than either Wolverine or Star Trek, and played on fewer screens — made off with $71 million in three days.

Hollywood number-comparer Paul Dergarabedian, citing the uptick in attendance from Friday to Saturday, says the movie will "show major 'legs' in the comings [sic] weeks with strong word-of-mouth propelling it well beyond the opening weekend." We hope he's right, since we thought it was awesome and we'd hate for the people who greenlight movies to think we liked it less than Wolverine.

'Star Trek’ Prospers by Brandon Gray [Box Office Mojo]
B.O. Analysis May 10: 'Star Trek' Beams Up Millions [Hollywood.com]
The Trouble With Quibbles [WP]