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Is a $72.5m Opening Weekend Enough For Star Trek? 820

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'd-see-it-again-if-i-could-get-a-sitter dept.
brumgrunt writes "At first glance, JJ Abrams' Star Trek has won over audiences as well as critics as it stormed to a $72.5m US opening weekend. However, Den Of Geek sounds a note of caution. Can it hold an audience for a second week? How do its numbers stack up? And as Wolverine looks like its struggling to reach $200m off an $85m opening weekend, is Star Trek yet the huge hit blockbuster that some of the headlines are suggesting?"
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Is a $72.5m Opening Weekend Enough For Star Trek?

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  • first post! (Score:5, Informative)

    by GreenTech11 (1471589) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:30AM (#27905429)
    Star trek will get the loyal fans from the earlier movies, Wolverine had less of a fan base
    • Re:first post! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by beowulfcluster (603942) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:33AM (#27905475)
      The reviews have been very good for the Star Trek movie as well, more so than for Wolverine. Should have some impact for people who aren't necessarily old fans at least.
      • Re:first post! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sandbags (964742) on Monday May 11, 2009 @10:02AM (#27905909) Journal

        I saw both movies yesterday. Wolverine was good, but more drama than action honestly. It was a good story, and entertaining, but did not hold a candle to Star Trek. trek also has a much larger fan base.

        For a non-3 day weekend, non-summer opening, Trek did very well, Most theatres were completely sold out. those that were not sold out Sunday can mostly be attributed to Mother's Day. It's hard to measure it's success vs Wolverine's opening week since the 2 weekends can not be compared.

        I'm here at work telling everyone, if you have to choose one or the other, choose Trek...

        Wolverine had no competition it;s opening weekend, Trek not only has competiition, but it also has 2 more big releases following it. It's going to have softer than WE expect numbers for several weeks, but don;t be surprised if it;s still kicking 20 million weekends 4-5 weeks from now. This moview will likely cross 300 million domestic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by timeOday (582209)
        Reviews and also word of mouth:

        Wolverine imdb [imdb.com]=6.9
        Star Trek imdb [imdb.com]=8.6

        Those unfamiliar with IMDB scores might think that is pretty close, but it isn't. Star Trek is nearing Dark Knight territory (8.9), whereas Wolverine is closer to the X-Files=6.8 (and I mean X-Files, not the first X-Men=7.4)

  • Worst Case (Score:5, Funny)

    by nicolas.kassis (875270) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:31AM (#27905437)
    Just use a black hole to redo it until it's successful. Unless it was successful the first time and didn't need a full reboot. Seriously, why did we need to erase everything that happened again? At least the kirk from the other movies always fixes the timeline.
    • Re:Worst Case (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nyrath the nearly wi (517243) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:37AM (#27905539) Homepage
      Why did they need to erase everything that had happened? Answer: to become free of the arthritic horror of Backwards Compatibility.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      At least the kirk from the other movies always fixes the timeline.

      Are you suggesting The City on the Edge of Forever [wikipedia.org] will have a happy ending? I know that Balance of Terror [wikipedia.org] will be different. My only question is how George's crew knew they were Romulans and not just some crazy Vulcans...

  • Uh... yes. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Burgundy Advocate (313960) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:31AM (#27905439) Homepage

    Yes. Considering the last movie didn't even break even and we're only a few days in, this is fan-fucking-tastic for a trek movie.

    All us dorks can rejoice ;)

  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesandtiger (819476) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:34AM (#27905483)

    The difference between Trek and Wolverine is that fanboys were excited about seeing Wolverine while fanboys were enraged at the idea of a Trek reboot (thus the bigger opening weekend).

    Except Wolverine was horrible. Really, really bad. For people who were fans of the characters, the movie completely got the characterizations wrong. For people who just wanted to see a good movie, the writing was atrocious and the story was just weak.

    And Trek was really quite good - ESPECIALLY for a Trek film. There was enough there that new audiences could get into it and enjoy it as a film, and it was well done enough that fanboys have to grudgingly admit it was not the worst. movie. ever.

    One opens strong and then tanks once people realize just how bad it is, the other opens a little less strong and I imagine it'll keep going strong for awhile.

    • Re:Yes (Score:4, Funny)

      by houghi (78078) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:44AM (#27905641)

      Well, You can watch Wolverine online already at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYSyvIbTAJA [youtube.com] and decide for yourself.

    • Re:Yes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:51AM (#27905755) Homepage

      I think that's going to be a big thing.

      A lot of non-Trekkies are probably thinking "I haven't seen anything else Star Trek so I might not understand it.", but as the reviews come in I think a lot of them will say, "It sounds good anyway, I'm going to go see it."

      I know my girlfriend is NOT a trekkie and was apprehensive about the movie, thinking she wouldn't understand any of it. In the end, she really liked the movie. The movie managed to keep the Trekkies happy, AND it also stands on its own and doesn't require having watched any earlier Trek to understand.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fantom42 (174630)

      And Trek was really quite good - ESPECIALLY for a Trek film. There was enough there that new audiences could get into it and enjoy it as a film, and it was well done enough that fanboys have to grudgingly admit it was not the worst. movie. ever.

      It may not be the worst movie ever, but it is kinda like releasing a Sherlock Holmes movie where he runs around with a giant gun killing people until he solves the crime. Yeah, it might be a good action movie or whatever, but is hardly consistent with the philosophical underpinnings of the original work. That so few Star Trek fans "get" this is a bit unnerving.

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jherico (39763) * <bdavis AT saintandreas DOT org> on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:32AM (#27907595) Homepage

        Yeah, it might be a good action movie or whatever, but is hardly consistent with the philosophical underpinnings of the original work.

        Did you ever actually watch the original show? Star Trek had gotten more thinky and philisophical with every incarnation since then until it was suffocating under the weight of its own continuity and the expectation of the fans. This movie's lack of fealty to the fans is exactly what will refresh Star Trek to something that isn't dead.

        That so few Star Trek fans "get" this is a bit unnerving.

        What's unnerving is fans who think they have some right to dictate the direction of Star Trek.

      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:51PM (#27908977) Homepage

        Yeah, it might be a good action movie or whatever, but is hardly consistent with the philosophical underpinnings of the original work. That so few Star Trek fans "get" this is a bit unnerving.

        Funny, then, that the generally acknowledged best ST movie (Wrath of Khan) was nothing more than a revenge/action movie without a single philosophical monologue to be seen.

        ST has *always* been about *both* action and thoughful plot, but which you got depended on the episode. The Naked Time? Action. The City on the Edge of Forever? Thoughtful plot. To claim ST was only one or the other is to be blinded by fanboi-ism.

  • The opening weekend of any 'blockbuster' movie is really just a barometer for how good the hype was, how good the trailer is, and how much pent up demand there was for the adaptation. This is true for X-Men, X-Files, Watchmen, Batman, and our beloved crew of the Enterprise. That second week, and the subsequent weeks, is very dependent on the reviews. These are the people who waited for someone else to go see it opening weekend, and then wait to hear what they said about the movie. Star Trek is getting great reviews, and not just from the newspaper shills-- audiences generally like the film. This is different than the (lack of) buzz about Wolverine, and the outright confusion about the Watchmen. It's more along the lines of Batman Begins: your older sister asked you "Really? Another Batman movie?" to which you've replied "oh yeah-- it's that good." Expect a strong 4 week run on Star Trek.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by garcia (6573)

      That second week, and the subsequent weeks, is very dependent on the reviews. These are the people who waited for someone else to go see it opening weekend, and then wait to hear what they said about the movie.

      You mean word-of-mouth, not professional reviewers. Many movie-goers, myself included, completely ignore the words of the professionals and instead wait for friends to rave about a flick. Unfortunately for Star Trek, my most trusted word of mouth review was, "it was cast well."

      I'll wait for the freebi

  • As long as (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rotide (1015173) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:35AM (#27905511)
    As long as the media keeps hyping it, people of all walks will continue to go see it.

    What's personal opinion when you can just follow the call of the media outlets!

    What's funny is, my girlfriend is begging me to go see it this week. No, she's no Trekkie at all. But what is interesting is that over the weekend she took out my Generations DVD and wanted to watch it.

    I've been trying to get her to watch it a little bit with me here and there but no dice. One new heavily hyped movie comes out and all of a sudden she wants to start watching it.

    Either way I win, I just find it odd that it took major media outlets hyping/loving it before she would touch it.

    I have a feeling a lot of people will see this sort of thing happening. But again, not complaining. It would be GREAT if the Star Trek fan base could be reinvigorated!

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:35AM (#27905529) Journal

    According to Entertainment Weekly, 70-75 million is how much the previous movies got in *total* income. So even if this new Trek ended right now, it still did as well as all the previous movies. That's nothing to be negative about.

  • sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:41AM (#27905611)
    Wolverine is struggling because it sucked. People went to see it and warned their friends away because, though there were some good elements to the movie, it was terrible, as a whole. Horrendous script and patchwork story - it was a movie by committee. We know that a good movie can be made with a superhero character (Batman, and Ironman to name two recent examples) but Wolverine was everything that is bad about a superhero movie.

    Star Trek, however, is not going to struggle because it's about as perfect a reboot of the Star Trek franchise as one could hope for. Sure, hardcore Trekkies might rage about this or that and it isn't a flawless movie so someone will try to prove their movie critic cred by picking it apart but the reality is that it's an excellent movie that people are going to recommend to their friends.

    Simple lesson to be learned - make a good movie and you'll have long term success. Make a hot movie and you'll have a great opening weekend. Make both and you'll have a great opening weekend and long term success. It's not rocket science.
  • by wiredog (43288) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:43AM (#27905635) Journal

    Surprisingly few single guys there. Mostly middle-aged couples. Mid-40s (like me) or older. Ones I talked to were, like me, Ex-Trekkers (we got lives...) who wanted to avoid the Damn Kids With Their Cell Phones going off, and loud cross-talk, and Hippity-Hoppity "music" and dammit I forgot my point, I knew I had one somewhere around here.

    Oh, yeah, we just wanted to enjoy the movie on a big screen without distractions. Which is what the 9AM showing provided. Damn good movie.

  • by CPE1704TKS (995414) on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:56AM (#27905823)
    JJ Abrams is already on the record saying he would be ridiculously happy with $50 million. $72 million is beyond his wildest expectations. All this nonsense about "is it good enough" is just completely masturbatory. The fact is that it has singlehandedly revived the franchise, and people who have no interest in Star Trek went to go see it. As long as Abrams can keep the storylines less fanboyish (he said he never was a fan, which is a good thing), it seems like he can keep getting people to go see it.
  • Vapid movie (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2009 @09:58AM (#27905859)

    I will fully admit it was a fun movie and worth seeing once. But like all blockbuster summer movies it was just empty except random references and gags that only a trek fan would really enjoy.
    A lot of the characterizations was shallow and the plot was a mess. I wouldn't have bothered seeing it if it hadn't been a Trek movie. But it was still just vapid.

    It was kind of like seeing a James Bond movie where Q is absent, Bond gets no gadgets and in fact 007 only shows up for like 15 minutes where he gets rejected by the girl (named Mary Smith) and then shot in the head. Maybe a great movie but it isn't a Bond movie.

    Same thing here, good movie just not a trek movie. Oh well, maybe I should just embrace this reboot because there is nothing I can do about it and there is already a plan for a sequel to this prequel.

  • by ranson (824789) on Monday May 11, 2009 @10:07AM (#27905971) Homepage Journal
    Considering the previous 10 ST films have averaged about $70M each for their entire runs, I don't think surpassing that figure the first weekend is terribly bad at all. It's a great movie, and word of mouth is powerful. It will continue to do well.

    Last year, as the first trailer rolled at the beginning of Cloverfield, I was sitting there completely giddy and in awe of it. And my friends with me were laughing their asses off at me for being such a geek. They had never seen a Star Trek movie, but those same friends ended up going to the midnight showing on Thursday with me, and we're all going back to see it again this Thursday with an even larger group. All of thse folks are being introduced to Trek for the first time and love it already.
  • by PMuse (320639) on Monday May 11, 2009 @10:08AM (#27905985)

    Rotten Tomatoes [rottentomatoes.com]: Trek 95% v Wolvie 37%
    MetaCritic [metacritic.com]: Trek 84% v Wolvie 44%

    'Nuff said.

  • by Blackeagle_Falcon (784253) on Monday May 11, 2009 @10:09AM (#27905995)
    The two films could make the same amount of money, and Star Trek would be regarded as a hit and Wolverine as a disappointment. Wolverine cost about $60 million more to make, so it needs to make more money to turn a profit. On top of that, Wolverine is getting compared to the earlier X-Men films, while Star Trek is being measured against the previous Trek movies. X2 and The Last Stand both made over $200 million domestically. In contrast, no Star Trek film has ever done over $150 million, and Nemesis did much less than that ($67 million). It boils down to the fact that the studio had much higher expectations for Wolverine, and it's being judged accordingly.
  • My review. (Score:3, Informative)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Monday May 11, 2009 @10:26AM (#27906291)

    This was better then the last 3 movies combined.
    I liked the way the characters were introduced (minus Kirk).
    I liked the story line.
    I liked the character development.
    I loved the fanboy nods.

    I hated everything else. The lens-flare was so horrible (in my theatre) that there were entire scenes in the film that I could not see due to the film being completely white-washed. I was tempted to leave within the first 15 minutes due to the lens flare.

    The bridge: I have seen the future; and it is an Apple iMac inspired hell. The translucent glass was everywhere and it looked like ass.

    The engine room: the scale was completely wrong, and was jarring. I liked the idea of having a 'mechanical' engine room, this looked more like a Detroit Big-3 factory then a nuclear sub.

    In summary: The story was decent, the film was distracting. This is the last Trek for me.

  • Fandom (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday May 11, 2009 @10:27AM (#27906309)

    Everyone keeps saying Abrams wasn't a trek fan, but does anyone know if the actual screen writers (Orci and Kurtzman) are? It's like people forget the director doesn't pull a completed movie out of thin air without the involvement of anyone else.

    I liked the film, I guess, and I thought Quinto nailed the young and conflicted Spock, but I would like to declare a moratorium in Hollywood on the use of black holes. A "temporal anomaly" would have been fine. And someone please explain to these writers exactly how BIG the galaxy is.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday May 11, 2009 @10:34AM (#27906449)

    I'll say right from the start that this is going to prove a very successful movie. The theater was packed, people roared with laughter at the parts that were supposed to be funny, cheered the parts that were supposed to be cheered, and clapped at the end. So by all marketing standards, this is a success.

    But it isn't a very good movie, if we're actually talking about craft and workmanship.

    Michael Bay camerawork is something you're either going to enjoy or hate. Did you think the camera was shaky in Galactica? Did you need dramamine to watch any of the Bourne movies? Then hold onto your butts. In this movie it was like two elephants were having sex on top of the camera. Absolutely atrocious cinematography. I'll be so happy when this fad is over. But this might not bother some people.

    Where the movie fell apart is the writing. Even the positive reviews say the villain is forgettable and the plot doesn't make sense. They'll say that's not the point. Really? I thought it was the point. Our Romulan villain has a nonsensical motivation. We bring time travel into the story again and in a highly clunky fashion. Logical shortcuts are made to get our heroes into the academy, establish Kirk as an outsider who then goes on to become bestest dude ever in Starfleet, and have his little battle with the Romulans. The events we see on-screen don't flow from any sense of internal consistency but are visibly imposed by the writers. Consider the skydiving sequence. They cut one from Generations and the idea is really frickin' cool so they decided they must shoehorn it into the movie. Therefore the mining ship must have a laser it dangles off a 1000km cable in order to drill into the heart of a planet. Why a mining ship would do this we do not know. Why the beam had to be lowered into the atmosphere instead of fired from space is not explained. But this does setup a nice option of having a dangerous platform thousands of feet in the air upon which a fight might be had.

    There's other instances of anti-logic throughout the film. Kirk goes from being a cadet on probation to being given command of the Enterprise. Not just assuming a brevet command during an emergency but given the post and, one can only assume rank, of captain. Of the flagship of the Federation. A very young and cocky captain made sense in the original series because the Enterprise was not meant to be an exceptional ship. It was not the HMS Victory of the Star Trek universe, it was not a ship of the line. It was pretty much a frigate -- it could range far, defeat anything it could catch, run from anything it couldn't, and get involved with all the adventures big, expensive ships of the line wouldn't. The Enterprise of TNG was the flagship, pretty much a floating embassy and symbol of the Federation. It made much more sense to have someone like Picard in charge, someone who thinks first and shoots second. But to give a kid fresh out of the academy command of his own ship, the flagship? That's almost as illogical as grabbing an engineer from an obscure outpost on a Vulcan moon, throwing him into the engine room and giving him carte blache.

    There are visual things that will ruin your suspension of disbelief. The engine rooms for the two Federation ships we saw were filmed in a boiler works and a brewery. The launch pad for the Enterprise looked like a Texas refinery. These kinds of expedients can be forgiven in low-budget scifi. "Hey, we can't afford to build a good set so let's just film inside a decommissioned destroyer and pretend it's our ship." For a $150 million movie, this sort of thing is jarring. It's the kind of nit that would be glossed over if everything else was great but it stands out when the rest of the movie is exhibiting a similar slapdash construction.

    Now some people really don't care about this sort of thing. I'm going to make an analogy that doesn't involve cars so bear with me. It's like porno. "Who cares why the hot chick with the tits wants to fuck the guy? She wants to fuck and I wanna see it!" Few people complain about the writing in pornos. But there are people who care about why two people want to fuck. That's called erotica. We don't really have equivalent terms for movies but that's what it pretty much boils down to.

    • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:26AM (#27907471) Journal

      I agree that the movie is often just STUPID.

      Romulus' sun goes supernova... what, the Romulans, who have starship technology, didn't know in advance?

      The Romulans don't evacuate?

      The Federation sends ONE BLOKE (Spock) to save their sun?

      Chekov knows how to use the transporter a certain way, so he has to take elevators and run through corridors to get to the transporter? Its a huge ship. He can't communicate with anyone down their? The systems aren't interoperable? He's the only guy who knows how to do what's needed?

      And Bad Boy Alternative-Universe Kirk...
      - just rides up to the Federation Recruitment Facility on a motorcycle and jumps aboard a shuttle, no check-points, no questions
      - bangs a green (literally) programmer so he can cheat the Federation exam?
      - gets to be First Officer because Pike respected his dad?!
      - gets strangled by a Vulcan and at least one Romulan and still has a trachea?
      - is marooned on a random, dangerous Class M planet that just happens to have Nimoy-Spock and Scotty as residents?

  • by Churla (936633) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:38AM (#27907699)

    Preface : I am a lifelong Trek fan. I'm not "hardcore", I haven't ever been to a convention, but I have enjoyed the franchise.

    For those complaining that Abrahms "wiped his ass" with the franchise ask yourself one question:

    Would you rather there be no more Star Trek?

    That was the option, re-invent & reboot or buh-bye. I'm glad they chose the former. They even took considerable pains to write into the story a plausible reason for it (time travel creating a splinter/alternate main timeline.) Admittedly this is a departure from some of the previous handling of temporal plot lines, but I'm workable because they needed a reboot. You still get Nimoy as Spock. I'm honestly glad he was the only original cast member in it.

    My wife is a more intense fan than I am, to the point of having a real emotional attachment to the Trek universe/story. The first 8 minutes of the movie made her cry it was intense enough. She loved it and is already planning when we'll be going to see it again.

    Even Nimoy said in an interview said that people who were hurt because it was disregarding previous canon and resetting things were doing so because they had an illogical connection to the minutiae of the universe rather than the story of the universe.

    Besides, they didn't reset everything. Apparently Enterprise is still canon. (i.e. reference to Archer and his beagle)

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