While the tragic death of co-star Anton Yelchin has cast a bit of a sad shadow over its release, this weekend will still see the theatrical debut of Star Trek Beyond. Directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6), Star Trek Beyond marks the 13th overall film in the Star Trek film franchise, and the first installment in the rebooted series to not be helmed by J.J. Abrams.
Written by co-star Simon Pegg, Beyond has recently garnered mixed responses for its decision to have Enterprise crew member Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) be revealed as gay, including from original Sulu actor George Takei. Critically, the response has been great, with Beyond currently sitting at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nonetheless, Beyond looks to earn a lower opening weekend total than either Star Trek (2009) or 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness.
According to The Wrap, Beyond is projected to bring in $60 million domestically over the course of its opening weekend. Star Trek (2009) earned a $75.2 million domestic opening haul, while Into Darkness opened to $70.2 million domestic. On the surface, this could be seen as a disappointment, but it's not quite time for Trek fans to start worrying about the franchise's future just yet.
While Beyond's production budget is a quite large $185 million, both prior films in the rebooted Trek series had similar budgets. Trek (2009) cost an estimated $150 million, and Into Darkness cost an estimated $190 million. With Beyond's domestic opening only coming in $10-15 million below its predecessors on a similar budget, logic suggests that the film's international grosses will be similar as well.
Trek (2009) brought in $385.6 million worldwide at the box office, while Into Darkness earned $467.3 million worldwide. Both totals were more than enough earn a profit, and that's before home video and merchandise sales were factored in. If past is prologue, Beyond will likely end up with around the same profit margin, assuming the film doesn't utterly bomb with international audiences.
Will Star Trek Beyond live up to J.J. Abrams' two prior trips to the final frontier? All signs seem to be pointing to yes, at least in the quality department. While Anton Yelchin sadly didn't live to see it succeed, it appears that his tenure as Pavel Chekov will at least end on a high note.
Star Trek Beyond beams into theaters this Friday, July 22nd, 2016.
Source: The Wrap