Star Trek More Than Doubles Previous Best Star Trek Opening Weekend

Gosh… do you think people have been hungry for a change of pace to the Star Trek universe? I’ve been saying for years that Star Trek was a dead franchise. DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD. Its movies bomb, the interest in the TV shows tanked and the numbers of those who call themselves “Trekkies” or even “Trekkers” has been slowly but measurably shrinking year after year after year. The only way, I’ve argued, to revive the dead Star Trek carcass was to breath new and different life into it. And this Star Trek movie did that.

The results? An opening weekend of $72.5 million. To put that into harsh perspective, the previous best opening weekend for a Star Trek movie was “Star Trek: First Contact” which netted a total of $30 million opening weekend. Let’s look at it as a whole:


1) Star Trek (2009 edition) – $72 million
2) Star Trek: First Contact (1996) – $30 million
3) Star Trek: Generations (1994) – $23 million
4) Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) – $22 million
5) Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) – $18.5 million
6) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – $18.1 million
7) Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) – $17 million
8) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) – $16.8 million
9) Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock (1984) – $16.1 million
10) Star Trek 2 (The Wrath of Khan (1982) – $14 million
11) Star Trek (1979 edition) – $12 million

If you want to take inflation into account (thanks MadarinOrange) the list looks like this:

2) Star Trek: First Contact (1996) -$ 40.8 Million
3) Star Trek (1979 edition) – $34.1 Million
4) Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock (1984) – $33.0 Million
5) Star Trek: Generations (1994) – $33.0 Million
6) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) – $32.6 Million
7) Star Trek 2 (The Wrath of Khan (1982) – $30.8 Million
8) Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) – $29.2 Million
9) Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) – $28.9 Million
10) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – $28.3 Million
11) Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) – $22.0 Million

So basically this Star Trek movie made as much opening weekend as the last 3 Star Trek movies did on their opening weekends put together.

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42 thoughts on “Star Trek More Than Doubles Previous Best Star Trek Opening Weekend

  1. but there was also not much else competing for your entertainment dollar back then either. there is so much media people can get their hands on…so much competition for your time and money in games, tv, dvd etc etc tat wasn’t around back then. back then if you didn’t see the film when it was out you would never see it again. there was vhs, hell there was barely televison. you either saw it at the cinema or that was it.

    i just think its silly to compare the two without taking everything into account.

    I can’t go to the bank for a loan and say “well i may only make 50k a year right now in 2009 if this was 1934 i would be worth a hell of a lot more so how about a loan.”

    i mean if we are going to compare box office of then and now lets also include production budgets and marketing budgets….

    1. I don’t get what you are trying to compare, how good the movie is? If that is the case then you are correct, the inflation doesn’t say anything. John has said several (or was it Rodney?) that the way the industry works is that you vote with your wallet. Thus, what the box office dollars means is how popular it is. This does not mean how good or bad it is only how popular it is which is affected by timing, advertisement, popularity of the subject, ratting and many other factors. This information, from a business perspective, tells you when is the best time to realize movies, what are good demographics, what type of movies are popular, and many other things.

      That said what you say on the surface is ridicules. Saying that inflation dollars doesn’t mean anything is the same thing as saying that exchange rates are unimportant. Thus if a $3 hamburger costs 192 yen then you would say that this means that hamburgers are cheaper in the U.S. when, in fact for this
      scenario, the it is cheaper in the Japan.

  2. i saw the movie yesterday and im surprised to say it was a excellent movie. i dont know much about the series, but i recognized some of the homages to the old show at it was great. im glad its doing well, all adaptations need to done with this much care. bravo JJ.

    1. fuck using inflation. you have to take everything into account then. social climates, fads etc etc

      you can’t just go dollar for dollar.

      everyone goes on about using inflation gone with the wind is the biggest film of all time.

      you release gone with the wind today as it is. the exact film not a remake but the original version – would it become the biggest film of all time in todays dollars?

      no of course not.

      inflation figures are meaningless.

      time and place fellas time and place.

    2. alfie, it doesn’t matter how much Gone with the Wind would make today. The movie was released in the past and the only thing that matters is the past. You are absolutely right with this fact. But the adjustment is nevertheless “necessary” in my eyes to put everything into perspective.
      From our perspective, the movie ticket prices from that time are nothing, but for those people it might have been quite a sum. And the movie made tons of money for that time. The adjustment only makes this clearer.

  3. For those of you who would like to know, here is the inflation adjusted numbers.

    2) Star Trek: First Contact (1996) -$ 40.8 Million

    3) Star Trek (1979 edition) – $34.1 Million
    4) Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock (1984) – $33.0 Million
    5) Star Trek: Generations (1994) – $33.0 Million
6) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) – $32.6 Million
    7) Star Trek 2 (The Wrath of Khan (1982) – $30.8 Million
    8) Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) – $29.2 Million
    9) Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) – $28.9 Million
    10) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – $28.3 Million
    11) Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) – $22.0 Million

    So it didn’t do quite half but it was close.

    For those who would like to know, I used this website for my calculations.

  4. This doesn’t account for inflation, so the numbers are useless. The first Star Trek movie made (inflation-adjusted) more, but here, it looks like it made the least.

  5. it’s bit early here, we could still have another watchmen. Plus this star trek has something last few didn’t, novelty factor. Now the people who used to beat you up for liking star trek can go on and on about how great the movie is, meh!

  6. I, too, have always liked Winona Ryder. In the film, she is neither a strongest link nor the weakest one. Her screen time is short, to the point, and when she’s gone, she’s missed.


    Looking back at the films, I don’t think John counted for inflation. Even so–he’s still correct. It should be said he’s only counting opening weekends. Yes, back in the 80’s and early 90’s, films hung around longer. But did they have Fandago?

  7. Phil, i woul dlove to see it hit 300Mil, but i think it will be far short of that. My guess is that it will finish out at around 175 Mil Domestic.

    It needs 225Mil to get to 300, and next week you have Angels & Demons, followed by the new Terminator, and in coming weeks yo uhave Up & TF2 in there.

    But, hey, i would LOVE to be wrong on this one…

  8. It was definately a good move holding the film back for a summer release. I doubt anything else I see this summer is going to be as good (unfortunately ‘Up’ doesn’t count for me because we don’t get it in the Uk till October).

    I’m still saying $300 million domestic; you just see how little business drops next weekend. I’m seeing ‘Angles & Demons’ but I’m also seeing Trek for a second time the same day :)

  9. Paramount was smart and screened the shit out of this movie before the release to get the word of mouth going. I caught a screening last Wednesday and screamed at everyone I knew to see the movie. Word of mouth is through the roof. This one is going to perform similarly to Iron Man last year, I think.

    1. It does have one disadvantage that Iron Man didn’t have. Iron Man had awesome trailers and great word of mouth but unless you were a comic book fan you probably wouldn’t have any more knowledge of Iron Man other then possibly the name and that it is a guy in this high tech suit.

      Star Trek had the trailers and reviews, however, there was also the stigma. I still have friends saying they won’t see it just because it is star trek and star trek is stupid and star wars is awesome. Iron Man was just born and everyone likes cute babies. Star Trek is being reborn and that concept is still a little to bizarre for people.

  10. Great opening but I really thought it would do more considering the great reviews and positive audience reaction. Isn’t it tracking at 95% on Also with Wolverine getting bad word of mouth, I thought Trek would absorb a lot more of that audience. Still not to bad. But I really thought it would do slight over 80 or at least close to Wolverine.

    It’s to bad I didn’t enjoy the movie. JJ is a horrible director working of two horrible screenwriters. Ruined a great performance by Karl Urban…I mean since when did the enterprise become a Beer Brewery? Talk about pipes! And I know they filmed at Budweiser factory but don’t you think they should have disguised it better?

    1. Really? He is a horrible director because of a three minute scene involving pipes in one part of the Enterprise? All the praise and great reviews the movie is getting is proof enough that he is not that bad. Seeing as this is only his second theatrical release he has directed, I think he did a damn fine job. Obviously he is not perfect and as he puts more movies under his belt as a director his craft will only get better.

    2. That was just one complaint amongst many in the film. I just happened to mention that one in particular because I thought it looked like a brewery when I watched it and when I found out it actually was…well it just cracked me up!

      Granted the film got great reviews and great fan support but I just couldn’t bring myself to like it…to many plot holes and just bad direction with horrible dialogue.

    3. As for reboots I preferred Batman Begins, BSG and even James Bond Casino Royale. This Trek didn’t measure up for me. Besides I am not a fan of JJ and his directorial style. It’s to Micheal Bayish for me.

    4. Hahaha, did you see Mission Impossible 3? It was like the least action packed of the three Mission Impossible movies. Mission Impossible 3 and Star Trek are the only two theatrical movies he has directed, everything else is TV shows (which for the most part are also no action shows). To be like Michael Bay shouldn’t he only direct big major action franchises? Star Trek had some major action sequences in it, but most of the other Star Trek movies had some major action scenes as well.

      Dialog I can understand. I can see why some people would not like it, but personally I found it hilarious. For a Trek movie that was made for a new audience, the dialog paid a lot of homage to the original Star Trek. The dialog paid tribute to all the great lines yet still left room for the actors to recreate the characters in this new time line. Granted a lot of the rehashing of old lines was done in a humorous way that may have turned people off, but I thought I couldn’t stop laughing every time I recognized a line that belonged in the old school Trek. Very fun for me anyway.

    5. Granted I know people were really into the rehashing of the old dialogue and stuff but I was really hoping for a fresh reboot…a true re-imagining of trek. I guess I’m just not a true Trekkie…er sorry Trekker. :)

      Oh I hated all the MI’s anyway and what I saw of MI III kind of sucked. And action doesn’t necessarily mean all Bay…bay has sucky dialogue and story as well with plenty of holes to boot. I mean just look at Pearl Harbor.

    6. For all the people who are comparing it to past Trek B.O. those stats really mean nothing. The goal here is to make the 250-300 million mark. That’s the only thing Paramount needs to see in the end. They want their money back after spend 150 to make and nearly 100 to promote. There is reason why they spent a hell of a lot of money to promote this overseas because Trek has always done poorly internationally and they figure in order to make the booko bucks they need to make a lot more this time internationally not just domestically.

    7. You do realize the movie was not really a reboot? It was made in hopes to reboot the franchise and scripted in such a way that it would appeal to a new audience, but in the end it could still be viewed as a sequel. There was a reason for making a story line that involved the time line getting changed. They brought in the original Spock to show that he came from the time line the original movies took place, but then allowed for some major changes in presentation as the new time line was created.

      Sounds like you were hoping for something it was not. Sounds like you were looking for a reboot in the style of those others that you mentioned where all past material was ignored. I can’t blame you for not liking it if that is the case. I usually don’t like it either when I go into something expecting one thing and end up getting something else.

    8. Hey Jeremy K,

      I have to disagree with you my friend. This was a reboot.

      A whole new cast that is free from the Canon of the previous Star Trek Universe is a reboot. They used the original as a device to launch this reboot (which was quite unique and i loved the way they did it) but it is still a reboot IMO very clearly.

    9. Thank you John. I would have typed the same thing. I should have clarified my previous statement…I was hoping for a different kind of reboot a story that had no relation to the past. I was not a fan of rebooting from the past to recreate new future.

    10. I agree that it is a reboot for the franchise, but I still hold to the fact that it is not a reboot in the sense of Batman Begins or BSG. The new cast is because you cant use all the old cast to play their younger selves. And they did bring back the original Spock and referenced the old Kirk. Abrams still made use of the old material, but created a story arc that allowed the old material to no longer have weight as the new story is told.

      The reboots that 1138 listed basically ignored all previous movies and presented a new take on the story. Star Trek reminded users of the original material while opening a window to present in a new form that could appeal to a new audience while in hopes of revitalizing the old audience.

      I might of worded it poorly in saying “it was not really a reboot”. What I meant is that it is not a reboot in the sense that these other reboots were. 1138 sounds like he would have more preferred it being a reboot in the sense of these other movies where the story is recreated without anything of the past being in reference.

  11. I liked the shows, which waned (IMO) in quality, as John wrote. This is a welcome change. And for inflation, just double it basically. Should be pretty close.

    Now…for the sequal. Kill off Spock Prime!

  12. I don’t know if this would be a spoiler so I’ll jusst put up the spoiler warning just in case

    I’d like to add to what john said in his review about kirk and if pines performance. Becaue kirks timeline is changed from his birth he leads a different life completely, it makes him more rebelious that he ever would have been because of the death of his father, it wouldn’t have made sense for kirk to be played the same way he was in the other movies because of the shift in his timeline, therefore I think that it supports Johns comment on kirk didn’t need to be played like shatners kirk.

    1. yip… winona ryder was definately a sheisty cast choice… at least she….. nevermind, that would spoil it. The rest… awesoem.. hated Star Trek up until friday, now not only am I fan of the new series, but, Zachary Quinto is now one of my favorite actors… He can run it guy!

    2. She had about 10 minutes of screen time, kind of a stretch to find something to complain about. I’m kinda shocked you picked her instead of Jennifer Morrison, Faran Tahir, or Greg Ellis who all have about the equivalent amount of screen time.

  13. Out of curiosity, does this include inflation or is it the original numbers it brought in. I’m always curious to see how many people went to see the, compared to the money. When it used to be $4 dollars a ticket and is now $10, how do you take that into consideration. Just wondering.

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