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Currently, people are predicting a hundred million dollar weekend for Star Trek Into Darkness, a number that may be made possible by the fact that the studio opened the film on Wednesday night. The film pocketed $3.3 Million from those shows, and has a full day today to rake in extra cash so it can say that it crossed the nine digit mark by Sunday.

And this is where, at least from my perspective, some reporting on these numbers feel like people are in the bag. Take, for instance, this Hollywood Reporter piece. They say “Based on pre-release tracking, Star Trek Into Darkness is expected post a four-day debut of $100 million, notably ahead of the $75 million opening of Abrams’ Star Trek reboot in 2009.”

So let’s analyze that for a second. Number one, this picture has an additional day of box office to make money, so what kind of comparison is that? Number two, the film is in 3D (the first wasn’t) and on way more Imax screens (Imax has become a much bigger deal in the last four years), so it should make more money by nature. Number three, there’s been a modest amount of inflation. If this is all put together, it suggests that for the direct comparison of the three day to three day, Star Trek Into Darkness is set to open to less ticket sales than its predecessor. But whatever, it’s been anointed, or at least it seems that way.

It’s unfair to compare a three day opening to a four day opening, but let’s face facts here, Paramount, J.J. Abrams, etc. need the extra day. Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and it offers both The Hangover Part III and Fast and Furious 6. And all three movies are targeted at the exact same audience: men ages 16-34. And though Trek won’t die next weekend, the competition is fierce for that audience, and I feel like next week’s pictures have more of an appeal to that demographic. Which may also be why early tracking numbers skewed low for Trek. There’s just too much competition for young men. But they need a solid opening, and they need international. the film cost $190 (supposedly), so this is looking like a break-even as it seems likely to dip 50% for Memorial day, which means around $200 domestic.

Reviews have been mostly positive, and Iron Man 3 is old at this point, so they should do well this weekend, which will keep up Abrams and Co. reputations. But this doesn’t look like a home run by any stretch. If they can get it over $100 Million domestic opening weekend, they can declare a victory of some sort. But there’s no guarantee that international will match the domestic numbers or exceed them, and this won’t have the same sort of legs as the first film did. We shall see.

So let’s get on with the predictions:

  1. Star Trek 12 - $78.5 Million (for the three day)
  2. Iron Man 3.5 – $28 Million
  3. The Great Gatsby -  $23 Million

And then Sunday we’ll talk about this some more.

What are you going to watch this weekend?