Star Trek Boldly Resurrects FranchiseS

Box office estimates place Star Trek somewhere in the region of a $70 million domestic take for its opening weekend, roughly half of the JJ Abrams movie's estimated budget. But what does that actually mean?

To expand a little on that box office estimate, Hollywood Reporter is estimating "somewhere between $65 million to $75 million," while the always-editing Nikki Finke is currently pinning it down somewhere closer to $72 million. This is less than last weekend's X-Men Origins: Wolverine (which raked in $85.1 million), but way above the original tracking numbers for the revamped space opera, which had suggested an opening weekend of around $50 million (For math fans, Trek also played in 3,849 theaters versus Wolverine's 4,099, not that that 250 theater difference probably affected the outcome noticably).

Add to that, Abrams' reboot is the most successful opening for the director (Unsurprisingly, considering that it's only his second movie after Mission: Impossible III) and the most successful for the Trek franchise. Most importantly, perhaps, it's also the most successful franchise reboot movie of recent years, significantly besting Casino Royale and Batman Begins in terms of opening day takes. Not bad for a series that was, many thought, best left for dead after the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005.

(International box office estimates aren't officially in yet, but rumors are that Trek is close to Wolverine's $72 million, which would be unprecedented for the franchise, and a sign that this Trek is a bona fide hit for Paramount.)

With critical response for the movie so positive - currently at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes - this movie may end up being this year's Iron Man; a nerd movie that surprises critics and mainstream audiences alike, and ends up showing more staying power than anyone expected.