I sat next to a fidgety gay couple at my screening of Star Trek, but I thought it was just because I lived in San Francisco. Turns out it was actually part of a broader trend (THANKS, OBAMA). That trend being, that girls and youngins largely stayed away from Star Trek 2: 2 Trek 2 Furious. I guess that’s what they get for building a spaceship that looks like a flying saucer with three penises.
Trek earned $70.6 million for the weekend, which is decent, but not as much as the first, or as much as Paramount wanted or expected. Sucks to be you, bros.
While it’s usually unfair to knock a movie for opening in line with its predecessor, it certainly feels like the “disappointment” label is applicable in this case. All signs suggest the 2009 Trek is very well-liked (it has a strong 8.0 rating on IMDb) and Paramount’s marketing did a decent job walking the sequel tightrope (a balanced approach of promising more-of-the-same and offering something new). Additionally, there was four years of ticket price inflation and the addition of 3D and IMAX premiums. Based on historical comparisons, this should have added up to around $100 million for the four-day weekend, which was what Paramount was publicly forecasting going in to the weekend.
Trek‘s demographics tell an interesting story that contributes to that theory: the audience skewed heavily male (64 percent) and older (73 percent over the age of 25). In comparison, the first movie did a better job reaching women (only 60 percent male) and younger audiences (only 65 percent over 25). [BoxOfficeMojo]
It would’ve had more female viewers, but a lot of girls got left on the curb when they kept calling it “Star Wars.” It’s just as well, they probably would’ve just sat there texting the whole time anyway.
My guess is, they didn’t sell the villain enough. Iron Man 3 made $175 million opening weekend, and that was at least advertised as Iron Man fighting The Mandarin. Star Trek 2 had the crew that we already knew, plus an unnamed British dude with really messy bangs (“Run for your lives! He’s all drippy!”) JJ Abrams likes to keeps his projects all secrety, like he did with his Trek fanboy handjob reveal halfway through this one, but that probably works against you somewhat when it comes to makin’ money. To extend the metaphor, secret handjobs are nice, but you make a lot more cash when you just shout “Hey! Over here! Handjobs!”
1. Star Trek: Into Darkness (Paramount) – $70.6 million ($81 mil.)
2. Iron Man 3 (Disney) – $35.2 million ($337 mil.)
3. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros.) – $23.4 million ($90 mil.)
4. Pain and Gain (Paramount) – $3.1 million ($46 mil.)
5. 42 (Warner Bros.) – $2.8 million ($89 mil.)
6. The Croods (Fox) – $2.8 million ($176 mil.)
7. Oblivion (Universal) – $2.3 million ($86 mil.)
8. Mud (Roadside Attractions) – $2.2 million ($11 mil)
9. Peeples (Lionsgate) – $2.1 million ($7.8 mil.)
10. The Big Wedding (Lionsgate) – $1.1 million ($20 mil.)
FANTASY SUMMER BOX OFFICE STANDINGS
Laremy (First overall pick)
1. Iron Man 3 – $175.3
2. Man of Steel (Bomb)
4. 300: Rise of an Empire (release pushed back an entire year, just like when Laremy picked GI Joe: Retaliation last year. Man is the kiss of death)
Vince (2nd pick):
1. 6 Fast 6 Furious
2. Pacific Rim
3. The Wolverine
4. We are the Millers (Bomb)
Bret (3rd pick)
1. Star Trek 2: 71
2. Despicable Me 2
3. Lone Ranger (Bomb)
4. After Earth
Brendan (4th pick)
1. Man of Steel
2. Hangover 3
3. The Internship
4. The Great Gatsby (Bomb): $51 million on a $105 million budget, which equals 49 percent of budget, subtracted from 100 is 51.
1. Monsters University
3. World War Z
4. World War Z (Bomb)