‘Trek’ starts out on top, but short of expectations

  • Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:07 a.m., Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:13 a.m.

LOS ANGELES — “Star Trek: Into Darkness” has warped its way to a $70.6 million domestic launch from Friday to Sunday, though it’s not setting any light-speed records with a debut that’s lower than the studio’s expectations.

The latest voyage of the starship Enterprise fell short of its predecessor, 2009’s “Star Trek,” which opened with $75.2 million.

Since premiering Wednesday in huge-screen IMAX theaters and expanding Thursday to general cinemas, “Into Darkness” has pulled in $84.1 million, well below distributor Paramount’s initial forecast of $100 million. The film added $40 million overseas, pushing its total to $80.5 million since it began rolling out internationally a week earlier.

The “Star Trek” sequel bumped “Iron Man 3” down to second place after two weekends on top. Robert Downey Jr.’s saga took in $35.2 million domestically to lift its receipts to $337.1 million.

“‘Star Trek’ remains a fan-boy movie. It doesn’t seem to have the same kind of cross-over appeal as say an ‘Iron Man’ or some of these others,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “It’s a very specific brand, but I think the general public would love this movie, because it’s such an action movie. But to get a hundred-million-plus opening weekend, unless you’re ‘Twilight,’ you really have to cross over to all audiences.”

Paramount points out that overseas business is up in many markets, though, so that worldwide, the sequel is off to a better start.

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