'Star Trek' sequel tops weekend box office in North America
By Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski
(Reuters) - "Star Trek Into Darkness," the newest installment in the classic intergalactic franchise, blasted to the top of movie box office charts with $70.6 million in weekend ticket sales at theaters in the United States and Canada.
The new 3D voyage for Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise knocked mighty "Iron Man 3" into second place, while the Marvel superhero sequel grabbed $35.2 million. Jazz Age drama "The Great Gatsby" finished third with $23.4 million, according to studio estimates.
Weekend ticket sales for "Into Darkness" failed to reach the level of 2009 movie "Star Trek," which took in $75.2 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters without a lift from higher 3D ticket prices.
However, its overall take from Wednesday through Sunday beat the 2009 numbers, with "Into Darkness" taking in $84.1 million. The 2009 installment took in $79.2 million for the same period, according to distributor Paramount.
"Into Darkness," a $190 million production, opened late on Wednesday to grab a head start on the weekend. The take through Sunday was shy of the $100 million some box office analysts projected.
Paramount said the film's audience was comprised largely of longtime "Star Trek" fans, but was optimistic that good reviews and word of mouth would bring in a broader audience in coming weeks.
Paramount also expressed satisfaction with the film's performance abroad.
"To a large extent, the last film was uniquely a U.S. and Canada event, but we're really pleased that the foreign sales are neck-and-neck with the domestic market," said Don Harris, president of domestic theatrical distribution at Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc. Continued...