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'Star Trek: Into Darkness' to Boldly Lead Weekend Box Office

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May 16, 2013 | 3:00pm EDT

Zachary Quinto and Chris PineThe venerable Star Trek brand has its phasers set to stun audiences this weekend with Paramount's Star Trek: Into Darkness. This weekend, director J.J. Abrams brings the frenetically brilliant second installment of his re-booted vision of the franchise to a combined total of 3,868 IMAX and traditional movie screens in both and 3D and 2D. The first Abrams Star Trek kicked off the summer of 2009 in high style with a first place North American weekend debut of $79.2 million. That film blew away audiences and critics and solidified Abrams' reputation as the perfect visionary to re-imagine the Star Trek universe. The film went on to earn $257.7 million in North America and $127.9 million overseas for an impressive worldwide total of $385.7 million.

Into Darkness has already endeared itself to critics and audiences are amped up to see Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock and the rest of the crew this weekend. An expected franchise high debut of over $90 (with the possibility of a number closer to $100 million) for the Thursday through Sunday opening frame will land it in first place ahead of the seemingly unstoppable Iron Man 3.

Check out the trailer for Star Trek: Into Darkness:

Speaking of Disney's Iron Man 3, the film will cross the $300 million mark in North America on Thursday after just 14 days in release and has already earned an incredible $990.5 million to date worldwide! An expected second place weekend finish in the $35 million range will easily put it over the $1 billion mark globally by Sunday night! 

Third place is assured for Warner Bros.' The Great Gatsby which has proven all of the critics wrong as it continues to wow audiences and on Wednesday even out-performed Iron Man 3 in the daily derby.  A modest second weekend drop should be the result as the film will be the counter-programmed choice for audiences disinterested in the sci-fi machinations of the top two films.  This could give it a gross of around $30 million and have it flirting with $100 million in North America on Sunday after just 10 days of release.

Next week look out for an insane Memorial Weekend at the nation's theaters as Fast and Furious 6, The Hangover 3 and Epic join an already crowded marketplace.

More:
'Gatsby' Box Office Better Than Expected as 'Iron Man' Rules the World
'Iron Man 3' Beats 'The Avengers' Record


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