Box Office Beat: Weekend of May 17

Danny Baldwin's Box Office BeatHello and welcome back to Box Office Beat, the column in which I predict the upcoming weekend’s box office results. Like two weeks ago, with the release of Marvel’s mega-hit “Iron Man 3,” there is only one new wide opener this time out. So let’s just get to it…

Star Trek Into Darkness“Star Trek Into Darkness” began its sure-to-be-successful run in nearly 4,000 theaters today (well, actually last night, as IMAX 3-D engagements began at 8 p.m.), and early word from those in the know says that the movie will have accumulated about $17 million by the time theaters close late tonight. This makes predicting the gross a more scientific process than usual, though the list of comparable Thursday releases is rather short. Given the audience is a combination of diehards who rushed out to see the movie right away and older viewers who remember previous iterations of the series fondly, I think the best comparison is “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which did 4.0004 times its Thursday business over its opening weekend. Yes, that came out one weekend later, with Memorial Day boosting its Sunday evening gross, but I still believe it’s a better comp than “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “A Good Day to Die Hard,” and (fellow Memorial Day weekend opener) “Terminator Salvation.” Plus, I just have a feeling that “Trek” will experience a big weekend uptick after this rather anemic opening day, as I don’t believe the fan-base has winnowed over the four years since 2009’s “Star Trek.” Thus, applying the 4.0004 multiplier to an early gross of $17m brings “Star Trek Into Darkness” to $68.0 million over the weekend. That’s still less than its predecessor ($75.2m), but that opened on Friday, so they can’t exactly be stacked up head-to-head.

My prediction of what the full top 10 will look like:

  1. “Star Trek Into Darkness” … $68.0m
  2. “Iron Man 3” … $37.0m  -49.0%
  3. “The Great Gatsby” … $22.5m  -55.1%
  4. “42” … $4.1m  -10.6%
  5. “Pain & Gain” … $3.6m  -28.0%
  6. “The Croods” … $3.3m  -8.6%
  7. “Oblivion” … $3.0m  -27.1%
  8. “Mud” … $2.7m  +6.9%
  9. “Peeples” … $1.9m  -58.8%
  10. “The Big Wedding” … $1.6m  -35.8%