Star Trek was huge last weekend with a nearly $80 million opening, but few expect it to repeat as box office champ. Multiple weeks at number one is a real rarity in modern Hollywood, especially during the summer when each big release is followed by another equally big release which quickly knocks it off the top spot. X-Men Origins: Wolverine for instance made nearly $90 million it’s opening weekend but was immediately followed by the aforementioned Trek, which easily took over at the top.
But with Angels & Demons poised to open as this weekend’s box office big fish, the buzz over Star Trek continues unabated. Even a week after its release and with mere hours to go before the return of Tom Hanks and his Euro-hair the conversation around the web on places like Twitter, Facebook, and the blogsphere in general remains almost solely focused on Star Trek. On the online ticket site Fandango, pre-sold tickets to Star Trek are selling nearly at the same pace as they’re selling for Angels & Demons. Trek has accounted for 42% of Fandango ticket sales while Angels has accounted for 46%. There’s something building here, and it could mean a second week at the top for the crew of the Enterprise.
Beating Angels & Demons may actually prove easier for Trek than you’d expect. Sure, The Da Vinci Code was a huge moneymaker, but consider where most of that money came from: Everywhere but America. Only roughly a fourth of the film’s $758 million total came from the United States. Meanwhile Star Trek has always performed better in America than it has in any other country. When it comes to a face off between the two properties it’s no contest: Americans will take Trek over find the clues to Jesus any day.
Word of mouth on Star Trek is strong. Audiences, even those who’ve already seen it, remain excited. Moviegoers, like those on our message board are vowing to go back for second, third, and even fourth viewings. Reviews for the film have been almost universally positive while Angels currently holds a rather dismal, 48% fresh rating on the review compiler Rotten Tomatoes.
Even if Trek loses 50% of its audience from last week, which seems highly unlikely, it’ll still make nearly $40 million this weekend. On the other hand, the box office predictors at Media Predict currently have Angels & Demons predicted at a $66 million opening, while it’s worth noting that earlier in the week, their estimates were actually much lower, at one point as low as $42 million.
This wouldn’t be the first time Trek has had massive, multiple weekends. Star Trek The Motion Picture was number one for three weeks while Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home held on to number one for two. Appropriate, since this new Trek is the biggest Trek film since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Only one Star Trek never made it to number one, and that’s the last outing of Picard and Data, Nemesis, which debuted at a dismal number two.
What I’m getting at here is that Angels & Demons is extremely beatable and, having seen it, let me assure you that it deserves to be beaten. A&D isn’t half the movie that Trek is and while box office dominance for the film overseas is almost assured maybe for once, we here in America can do the right thing and cast our ticket buying power to the movie that deserves it most: Star Trek. Hey, Obama’s president! Anything is possible, maybe even the box office defeat of the Catholic Church.