Weekend Report: Star Trek Got Beamed Up

I’m not sure what to make of it, but I’ve been getting pretty close on my predictions lately. Is it just luck or is it my secret blend of 11 herbs and spices I call Adjustments? Logic tells me it’s the former. My ego insists it’s the latter. I’ll go with my ego. Who better to trust than the voices in my head?

A week after X-Men Origins: Wolverine saw the biggest opening of 2009, Star Trek sidles right up behind it in second place. It hauled in $75,204,289 for the weekend, my prediction off a minuscule $5 million, easily becoming the biggest opening in the franchise and will probably become the overall highest-grossing next weekend. But what does that really mean? It’s not like this Star Trek has a lot to do with anything that has come before. If it weren’t for the names of people, places, and things, you could probably get away with calling this movie a lot of things other than Star Trek without anyone noticing. That’s my problem with this tidal wave of remakes: the movies themselves aren’t much to sneeze at. They’re doing little more than capitalizing on a name to draw an audience. I wonder what would happen if some of these movies were released with different titles. Would Last House on the Left be noted for it’s originality? Would Star Trek have kicked off it’s own string of sequels? But thinking on that is probably as futile as trying to count how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Star Trek as we know it is dead. Long live Star Trek.

Next Day Air, the other new release (in case you forgot), was most likely the recipient of people turned away from sold out Star Trek shows. That’s the a reasonable explanation for it’s $4,111,043 take this weekend. My prediction was only off $300,000 on this bad boy. I guess it didn’t do so bad as it had the third highest per theater average in the top 15 movies and finished in sixth place overall.

Wolverine continued the trend of movies with huge opening weekends crashing back to Earth like a five year-old off a Halloween sugar high. It made $26.4 million, off 69% from last weekend. That is a rather precipitous drop for a second weekend. I see it translating to a hype-fueled opening weekend followed by a weekend fueled by the people that wanted to see it the opening weekend but didn’t. If people were raving and recommending, I would have expected a smaller drop.

If you thought Wolverine’s 69% was bad, Battle for Terra (released last week, won’t blame you for forgetting) saw the box office fall off 84%. On the flip-side, Watchmen had the biggest gain of the weekend, up 81% from last week. Yeah it only made $112,482, but that percentage looks impressive. Say, that’s kind of like the movie itself: looks impressive, but critical inspection reveals there’s less there than you thought.

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