[IMG: L As expected, Paramount’s well-reviewed reboot of the Star Trek franchise took the number-one spot with a stellar $72.5 million. An incredible Friday to Saturday uptick shows that the film is resonating with audiences. After a strong showing of $4 million in pre-midnight Thursday screenings, the film went on to a solid $26.8M on Friday, $27.4M on Saturday and $18.3M on Sunday for a Friday through Sunday total of $72.5 million and a total cumulative of $76.5 million including the Thursday previews. The film will show major "legs" in the comings weeks with strong word-of-mouth propelling it well beyond the opening weekend. The J.J. Abrams crowd-pleaser boasts a terrific new cast (including Chris Pine as James T. Kirk) that nails the essence of the classic characters while giving them their own unique spin.
IMAX showings of Star Trek set a new record for the large-screen giant with $8.2 million for the weekend (beating The Dark Knight's previous record of $6.3 million). Ninety percent of IMAX screenings of Trek were sold out for the entire weekend!
BONUS TRIVIA: Chris Pine’s dad, Robert Pine, played Sgt. Joseph Getraer (Ponch and John’s boss) in the TV cop show C.H.I.P.S., which ran from 1977-1983. Interestingly enough, Chris played Bill Pullman’s son in the 2008 wine country comedy Bottle Shock and Robert and Bill Pullman co-starred in 1996’s Independence Day. Pullman played President Thomas J. Whitmore and Pine played his Chief of Staff Glenn Parness. Chris was just 16 when that movie was released.
At number two with a silver bullet is Fox’s Wolverine, which took in about $27 million and a not insignificant, but expected second weekend drop of 68 percent. The film has earned a whopping $130 million in just ten days of release and certainly met with a lot of competition from Star Trek. Thus, no surprises here.
In third is the romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past with $10.4 million for the weekend. The Warner Brothers film offers a safe haven to women looking to avoid the sci-fi genre and have their own “girl’s night” alternative. The Matthew McConaughey vehicle is up to $30.2 million in domestic receipts.
Number four brings Sony/Screen Gems’ Obsessed with about $6.6 million in alimony and offers another alternative to the big blockbusters; the highly profitable film now approaches the $60 million mark.
Rounding out the top five is Warner’s 17 Again as Zac Efron proves he is a box-office force to be reckoned with. Another $4.4 million has it holding strong with just a small fourth weekend drop of 31 percent and a total domestic cumulative of $54.2 million.
Finally at number six is the debut of R-rated comedy Next Day Air from Summit Entertainment. The film offered a comedy alternative in the weekend’s only other wide release debut and took in about $4 million worth of box office in the process.
A big 20 percent plus “up” weekend at the box office after last week’s slightly “down” weekend, and so begins the statistical tug-of-war for summer 2009 vs. 2008 box-office supremacy. Year to date still rockin’ at a 16.1 percent advantage in the revenue department and 13.4 percent attendance advantage as the summer-movie onslaught continues next week with Sony’s Da Vinci Code follow-up, Angels and Demons, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard. In limited release, look for the amazing The Brothers Bloom from Summit Entertainment.
1. NEW! Star Trek (Paramount) - $72.5M; 3849 theaters; $18,836 PTA
2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox) - $27M; 3849 theaters; $7,015 PTA; -68%; $129.6M cume
3. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (Warner Bros.) - $10.4M; 3175 theaters; $3,291 PTA; -32%; $30.2M cume
4. Obsessed (Sony/Screen Gems) - $6.6M; 2602 theaters; $2,537 PTA; -45%; $56.2M cume
5. 17 Again (Warner Bros.) - $4.4M; 2903 theaters; $1,517 PTA; -31%; $54.1M cume
6. NEW! Next Day Air (Summit) - $4M; 1138 theaters; $3,515 PTA
7. The Soloist (Paramount) - $3.6M; 2090 theaters; $1,725 PTA; -36%; $23.5M cume
8. Monsters vs. Aliens (Paramount) - $3.3M; 2185 theaters; $1,546 PTA; -42%; $186.8M cume
9. Earth (Disney) - $2.4M; 1794 theaters; $1,387 PTA; -43%; $26M cume
10. Hannah Montana: The Movie (Disney) - $2.4M; 2301 theaters; $1,049 PTA; -42%; $74M cume
MORE BOX OFFICE:
LAST WEEK'S B.O.: Wolverine Sliced It!
Full of wonderful characters and smart witty dialogue--not to mention the wonders of Napa--Bottle Shock is based on the true story of the beginnings of the California wine industry and its underdog triumph at the blind Paris wine tasting competition of 1976. Using this as a backdrop the film is really a character study focusing primarily on the rocky relationship between novice vintner Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) and his happy-go-lucky son Bo (Chris Pine). Despite the generational and other gaps between them they both have a common goal of producing the perfect Chardonnay at the Chateau Montelena vineyard Jim in the early ‘70s. By happenstance Brit Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) is in Napa on the prowl for the perfect bottle for the upcoming French wine tasting contest he is sponsoring in France which he thinks will boost business for his money-losing Paris wine shop. The elder Barrett passes on the idea but Bo who has just been blown off by their gorgeous intern Sam (Rachael Taylor) in favor of his buddy Gustavo (Freddy Rodriguez) is looking for something to lift his spirits and manages to get two bottles of their wine to Spurrier just as he is about to leave. There’s just one complication: It seems the wine has turned brown a circumstance that seems fatal until some even more astounding facts turn up. The ever-reliable Rickman is absolutely delightful in his role as the enterprising vino connoisseur and leads the perfect cast along with perennially underrated Pullman ideal as the frustrated perfectionist Jim Barrett. The real find of the film however is Chris Pine all raggedy long hair and free-spirited attitude as the love-struck Bo. Pine who’ll play Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek reincarnation is just terrific here totally endearing as he etches a character we root for heart and soul. He is certainly an actor to watch out for. It’s also easy to see why he er pines (pun intended) for Sam a stunning charmer lovingly played by Taylor. Rodriguez (Six Feet Under) is a perfect addition as the romantic threat to buddy Bo. Rounding out the cast in style are veteran Dennis Farina who has a couple of nice scenes and the lovely Eliza Dushku who works at the local bar. Director Randall M. Miller’s last feature attempt was the overly sappy and hopelessly sentimental Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School but what he’s achieved with Bottle Shock is a quantum leap forward in quality. As co-writer (with wife Jody Savin who also co-produced and Ross Schwartz who came up with the idea in the first place) he has infused the film with just the kind of light touch to make this real-life story work as that rare kind of glorious human comedy from the heart. It’s a pure delight that goes down like the finest of wines with a superb look and feel--particularly highlighted by Michael J. Ozier’s eye-popping cinematography. Of course when you have Northern California’s breathtaking wine country as your canvas it would be hard to screw it up. Bottle Shock is on a par with some of the sleeper comic successes of recent years including such Oscar winners as Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine. Like those sleeper hits Miller has unleashed a 100 percent-certified cinematic gem the perfect tonic for a summer night.