J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness beamed into first place Friday, pushing Tony Stark and his Iron Man suit into the No. 2 spot. The highly-anticipated sci-fi sequel, which opened wide on Wednesday, made an estimated $22.0 million on Friday in 3,868 locations, including 336 IMAX 3D locations, bringing its domestic total to $35.5 million. This was somewhat shy of expectations: The first Star Trek of the Abrams era opened in May 2009 to a $26.98 million Friday in 3,849 theaters.
As a director, J.J. Abrams has a limited history at the box office. His only other efforts are 2011′s relatively low-budget ($50 million) Super 8, and 2006′s Mission: Impossible III. But, big things are still expected from this sequel, which cost an estimated $190 million to make. With the help of the original cast — most of whom are bigger stars now — and writing team (including new addition Damon Lindelof), strong reviews from critics and an impressive “A” CinemaScore, and the tease of a menacing new villain in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch, the sci-fi epic is on pace for a $60 million three-day weekend.
Iron Man 3 dropped out of the top spot for the first time since it opened 15 days ago, with an estimated $9.5 million Friday. The Marvel juggernaut is currently boasting a $311.4 million domestic total, and just crossed the $1 billion mark globally.
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby snagged the No. 3 spot Friday with an estimated $7.7 million — a 60.6% drop off from its opening. Warner Bros. PG-13 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel provides a welcome alternative to the explosion heavy blockbuster sequel and threequel competition. Gatsby, currently at $74.4 domestic, could cross the $100 million mark next weekend.
Rounding out the Friday top five are Pain and Gain and 42. After three weeks in the theaters, Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain has made an estimated $44.3 million domestically on a $26 million budget. It will be interesting to analyze its drop off next week when Fast & Furious 6 hits theaters, since both star Dwayne Johnson. 42, for its part, continues to chart relatively well. Warner Bros. historical baseball drama has made an estimated $86.8 million in its five-week run.
1. Star Trek Into Darkness — $22.0 million
2. Iron Man 3 – $9.51 million
3. The Great Gatsby – $7.65 million
4. Pain and Gain – $876,000
5. 42 — $750,000
Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.