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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

North American box office: it’s warp factor 9 to the top for ‘Star Trek’

Oh, you knew a joke about light-speed was in the offing:

1. Star Trek: $79.2 million (NEW)
2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: $26.4 million (2nd week; drops 69%)
3. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: $10.3 million (2nd week; drops 33%)
4. Obsessed: $6.6 million (3rd week; drops 46%)
5. 17 Again: $4.2 million (4th week; drops 34%)

actual numbers, not estimates
It’s by far the biggest opening for a Trek movie ever, and even higher than the early-Sunday estimates had pegged it, which means word of mouth has been awesome and upped Sunday’s actual takings more than had been expected. If this means we’re on track for another outing with this alt-universe Enterprise, I’m all for it.

Trek’s success is notable, too, in that it’s the result of grownups going out to the movies: 65 percent of those who turned up at the multiplex to see it this weekend were over 25 years old, according to Box Office Mojo. That’s old, as far as Hollywood is concerned. It’s not quite the same thing as a “grownup movie” succeeding — I’ve been bitching recently about that — but it’s not a bad thing if you care about quality movies.

Also according to Box Office Mojo: this weekend racked up the largest takings ever for a second weekend in May, and overall business was up more than 19 percent over last year. The rush to the flicks — for escape, or whatever — continues as Great Depression II deepens.

Except, poor Next Day Air. It mostly did not screen for critics (some managed to get into promo screenings), and it debuted at No. 6 with $4.1 million. That’ll learn ya, Hollywood: Don’t make movies so bad you don’t want critics to see them.

Star Trek had the best per-screen average by far at $19,539 (at each of 3,849). The next three in rank were almost neck-and-neck:

Outrage: $6,518 (5 screens)
Wolverine: $6,438 (4,102 venues)
Little Ashes: $6,116 (12 screens)

Next up was Under the Sea 3D, taking in $5,779 on each of 40 screens, but those were IMAX screens, which means inflated ticket prices. After that, though, was the dreadful Fly Me to the Moon, which was released last August and has been available on DVD for months. It earned $5,375 on each of the six screens it’s still playing on. All I can imagine is that one of those screens hosted some rich kid’s birthday party, and that threw off the average.

Milestones this week: Fast & Furious passed $150 million. Wolverine passed $125 million. Obsessed and 17 Again both passed $50 million. Earth passed $25 million.

And summer is truly here. Can we see numbers like $75 or $80 million every weekend this summer? We’ll see…

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]



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