Okay, it’s not your father’s Star Trek. We get the campaign. We love the campaign. But what will happen at this weekend’s box office when J.J. Abrams’ reinvention of the classic Star Trek franchise takes on reigning champ X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Clearly, Wolverine loses. And it could drop as much as 60 percent from its opening weekend gross.
But more importantly, how high can Star Trek go? That’s the question that’s got industry insiders making all kinds of wacky bets around town. No one really knows. The only consensus here is that there is no consensus. Predictions are all over the map: as high as $75 million and as low as $45 million. (The highest-opening Star Trek movie to date, 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact, bowed to only $31 million.) We’ll take our own guess below and wait till Sunday for some answers.
1. Star Trek — $65 million
Showings begin tonight at 7 p.m., and the must-see factor is high among the geeks. Can the same be said for everyone else? Well, J.J. Abrams brings a lot of credibility to the all-but-dead franchise, but the film features a cast of relative unknowns: Eric Bana and Heroes‘ Zachary Quinto are probably the most recognizable names. Still, advance praise is high and word of mouth could help this film gain fans outside the core male-over-25 demographic.
2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine — $30 million
Has the excitement already worn off the X-Men franchise? It feels like this film (which opened last weekend with $85.1 mil) was the next best thing for a New York minute. Yes, it’s great news that Twentieth Century Fox is developing a Deadpool origin story so we can see Ryan Reynolds finally become a star. But will more people show up this weekend to see Wolverine? Doubtful. The drop is likely to be pretty significant.
3. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past — $7 million
Early tracking suggests that most women could care less about Star Trek. That may change, but until then this Matthew McConaughey-Jennifer Garner film (which earned a decent $15.4 mil last time around) should benefit from its current monopoly status as the only romantic comedy in the mix.
4. Obsessed — $5 million
It’s good to be Beyonce. The actress has proven to be a formidable talent at the box office, with this “it’s so bad it’s good” feature hanging on well. Obsessed has made close to $50 million in its two weeks of release. Quite impressive. Expect a few more bones this weekend as the pickings for women remain slim.
5. Next Day Air — $4.5 million
Sure, this is a new comedy, but does anyone really care? Commercials seem to be resonating with exactly no one, and despite a solid urban cast including Donald Faison (Scrubs), Mike Epps (Soul Men), and Mos Def, this has the look of a turkey written all over it. Don’t expect much.
Also coming out this weekend: Little Ashes starring Twilight‘s hunky Rob Pattinson as the young, brooding artist Salvador Dali. His gay sex scenes are getting a ton of attention on the Internet. It will be interesting to see if that translates into ticket sales when the movie opens on 12 screens. And Sony Pictures Classics bows Rudo y Cursi. The first release from Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Cha Cha Cha production company, this Spanish language movie has already made a killing in Mexico. Critics like the charming story featuring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. It’s opening pretty small, so a big per-screen average this weekend will be critical if the movie hopes to sprout long legs at the box office.
More Box Office News:
Wolverine opens with an impressive $87 million
Obsessed knocks out the competition with $28.5 mil
17 Again handily wins the weekend
Hannah Montana: The Movie wins the weekend
EW.com’s Box Office Chart