Box Office Report: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' on Course for $83 Million Debut

8:31 AM PST 05/18/2013 by Pamela McClintock
Paramount Pictures

UPDATE: Overseas, "Fast & Furious 6" scores the top opening day ever for Universal in the U.K. and Ireland; "The Great Gatsby" also starts rolling out overseas.

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness took in roughly $22 million on Friday for a projected four-day debut of $83 million, in line with the opening of the director's 2009 reboot. The 3D sequel opened late Wednesday night in North America and has earned $25.3 million to date.

Into Darkness should benefit from a coveted A CinemaScore and generally upbeat reviews, although some had expected the movie to open close to $100 million (Paramount had always estimated $80 million to $100 million).

Abrams' 2009 Star Trek, which successfully relaunched the iconic sci-fi franchise, opened to $79.2 million in May 2009 (that film wasn't in 3D).

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The sequel returns Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in the roles of Captain James T. Kirk and Spock. Other returning castmembers include Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Karl Urban. This time out, a scheming villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch resorts to terrorism to threaten Earth.

Paramount and Skydance co-financed the $190 million tentpole, and produced alongside Abrams' Bad Robot. The script was written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof.

Into Darkness faces a crowded marketplace in North America, competing with Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby.

Disney and Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3 placed second on Friday, grossing $9.5 million for a domestic total of $311.4 million. The Great Gatsby, from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, came in No. 3 on its second Friday, grossing $7.7 million for a cume of $74.4 million.

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Overseas, Into Darkness opened in seven markets last weekend. The 3D pic has grossed a stellar $37 million through Wednesday, 70 percent ahead of the 2009 film.

Its projected to hit $35 million overseas for the weekend, lead by Russia at $9 million. (That's $2 million more than the opening on last film.)

By this weekend, the international cume is predicted to hit $75 million with just over half of all markets opened.

As Abrams' rolled out in North America, Universal's Fast & Furious 6 and The Great Gatsby commenced their international runs.

Zooming out of the gate, Fast & Furious 6 debuted in the U.K. and Ireland on Friday, grossing $4.6 million and marking the best opening performance ever for a Universal title in those territories. 

Gatsby, which opened the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, began rolling out internationally Wednesday and is now playing in 49 countries. From Wednesday through Friday, it has grossed $17 million, more than the entire opening weekend of Moulin Rouge, which took in $13.8 million during its opening weekend in 2001.

In France, the third top-grossing market for the film, behind only Russia and the U.K., Gatsby has taken in $2.2 million on 660 screens to rank first.

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