Box office: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ flies to $22 million on Friday

J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” has finally launched in North America, and is off to a strong — but not spectacular — start at the box office.

The sequel took in roughly $22 million on Friday, and will likely earn $83 million for the weekend, which will put it in line with the 2009 reboot’s debut weekend. 

“Darkness” is opening somewhat softer than expected, with most box office prognosticators guessing that it would rack up a total closer to $100 million in its debut weekend. 

Having opened late Wednesday night in North America, “Darkness” has so far earned $35.3 million domestically. 

“Star Trek Into Darkness” stars Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Zachary Quinto,  Bruce Greenwood and Bendict Cumberbatch. 

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is still selling strong, coming in at No. 2 with another $9.5 million. The threequel’s domestic total already stands at a massive $311 million.

Worldwide, “Iron Man” recently crossed the enviable $1 billion mark, although it likely won;t top Marvel’s previous smash “The Avengers,” which also starred Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.

In third place is Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” which jitterbugged its way to $7.6 million on Friday.

The 3D F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, has so far earned $74.3 million. 

With the top three taking a significant portion of the box office share, the rest of the top five was very slow. “42” $750,000. To date, the Jackie Robinson biopic has scored a robust $86.7 million at home. 

Rounding out the top five, the Tom Cruise sci-fi drama “Oblivion” picked up another $633,000, bringing its domestic cume to a strong $83.8 million.

Next Friday is the start of the long Memorial Day weekend, and will feature new films including “Fast & Furious 6,” “Epic,” and “The Hangover Part III.”

Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.