Sure, it’s not the biggest box office opening weekend ever, but for a Star Trek film opening in the second weekend in May, with a blockbuster a week ahead of it (Wolverine), it passed the test with flying colors.

What test? How about “Will people turn out in droves for a Star Trek movie despite the “geek” stereotype?”

Inflation adjusted (to make it more fair for previous films) J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek blew away the opening weekend numbers of every Trek film that came before. In the final analysis, it earned $75.2 million from Friday through Sunday, with an additional $4 million on the late Thursday opening – bringing its total to $79.2 million.

For a Star Trek movie.


Here are the opening weekend numbers of all Trek films for comparison:

Movie Adj Opening Wkend
Star Trek: The Motion Picture $34MM
Star Trek II $35MM
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock $36MM
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home $33MM
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier $31MM
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country $31MM
Star Trek Generations $40MM
Star Trek First Contact $50MM
Star Trek Insurrection $34MM
Star Trek Nemesis $23MM
Star Trek $73MM

As you can see the only previous film that came even remotely close was Star Trek: First Contact, the first fully Next Generation film (and the last good Star Trek film). After that it got ugly with fan support dwindling… and of course if you listen to the folks behind those movies it wasn’t because the movies were getting worse, it was the fans fault for not showing up to “support” the films.

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, folks.

Oh, and lest you look at the earlier films and snicker, keep in mind that the earlier films didn’t open on as many screens so just couldn’t get higher than a certain point on that first weekend – they were actually remarkably steady in their first weekend numbers.

In any case, the latest Star Trek film looks like it’s going to re-ignite the franchise in a big way. Personally, although I’m an old fart classic Trek fan, I’m generally happy with the new film and am just super-excited that we’ll be getting more of them.

And it’s not even close to being done, yet. While Wolverine dropped a precipitous 69% in its second weekend (a worse drop than the oft-slammed X-Men 3), I’m betting that Star Trek will have “legs.” I think the opening weekend box office would have been even bigger were it not for the stigma attached to being someone who watches Star Trek (sorry folks, it’s true). However those brave souls who risked being labeled nerds were treated to a movie that they’re now recommending to all their friends who weren’t quite so brave.

Not only is it the type of film that you can see more than once and still be entertained, it’s going to have the kind of word of mouth that will bouy it on its second weekend and beyond (our onsite poll shows 90% of people who saw it rate it at least 4 out of 5 stars). Plus of course we have the “hot guy” factor with Chris Pine as the new Kirk – sure to draw in the women-folk.

I’m betting we see little more than a 50% drop next weekend, and I’ll be adding my ticket purchase to that total.

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