Star Trek Into Darkness may have had disappointing box offices sales in the U.S. this weekend, but the film experienced more success than any in the franchise overseas.
Into Darkness was J.J. Abrams’ second Star Trek movie, and it grossed $70.6 million in the U.S. and Canada since screenings began on Wednesday evening. While the movie topped domestic box office sales, distributor Paramount Pictures, owned by Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA), had hoped it would sell $100 million by Sunday. The first of Abrams’ Star Trek movies grossed $79.2 million in its opening weekend. In second place for weekend box office sales was Walt Disney Co.‘s (NYSE:DIS) Iron Man 3 with $35.2 million, followed by director Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby with $23.4 million, which was released by Warner Bros, a division of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX).
The Star Trek sequel might not be making what was expected domestically, but it has grossed 82 percent more than the first film did overseas. Paramount looked to increase international ticket sales for Into Darkness with increased foreign marketing and a global publicity tour. It is expected that the film will more than make up for low domestic ticket sales by bringing in about the same amount as the first Star Trek domestically — and double internationally.
Like Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness was released overseas before U.S. audiences could see it, having had its premiere in London and opening in multiple foreign countries before being released in the States. While this strategy has increased international sales, it could also lead to spoilers for American audiences. Paramount explained that they chose to release the film overseas first due to changes in The Great Gatsby‘s release date, which opened a convenient hole for Into Darkness to occupy. While some movie buffs are annoyed with the marketing strategy, it seems that as international sales of blockbusters beat out domestic sales, the trend will continue.
International sales have left Paramount feeling optimistic about the “Star Trek” franchise, with plans for more sequels in the future.