Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
Entertainment

J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek' sequel outperforming original overseas

While the USS Enterprise has yet to conquer foreign galaxies, it is starting to pick up speed overseas.

Playing in seven foreign markets this weekend, J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness" collected $31.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures. The studio said the sequel performed about 70% better than the original did when it debuted in those same countries four years ago. The movie did well in locations like Germany and Australia but fared best in the United Kingdom, where it grossed $13.3 million.

The movie needs to fare well abroad if it is to become a hit, because the film cost Paramount and co-financier Skydance Productions at least $190 million to produce and more than $100 million more to market.

PHOTOS: J.J. Abrams’ career

But "Star Trek" has long been a property that resonates most strongly with American audiences. Abrams' first entry in the franchise made only about 33% of its overall $385.7 worldwide gross internationally — not the pattern most big-budget tent poles typically follow. 

Realizing it had to boost its overseas ticket sales on the "Star Trek" sequel, Paramount sent cast members Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto to Australia, Germany, Mexico and England to promote the movie over the last month. The studio is also emphasizing that the second film features bigger special effects and was converted into 3-D — unlike the original.

"Traditionally, the 'Star Trek' TV show was known for its lower-budget visual effects, and the international audience in the past didn't connect to it," Rob Moore, Paramount's vice chairman, said on Sunday. "Now the movie has a great combination of humanity and action that foreign markets can embrace."

Moore added that in Mexico — where “Star Trek” has “traditionally not been good at all” — weekend business nearly tripled from 2009, indicating not just that the local marketplace has grown in recent years but that “the franchise is finding a new audience.”

"Star Trek Into Darkness" will debut in the U.S. and Canada's IMAX theaters on Wednesday night and expand to theaters nationwide on Thursday. Next weekend, the film will also launch in Russia, followed by major markets like China and Brazil in June.

[Updated, 4:31 p.m.: A previous version of this post said Rob Moore's title was vice president of Paramount. He is actually vice chairman of Paramount.]

ALSO:

'Iron Man 3' rules again, but 'Great Gatsby' is still celebrating

Star Trek Into Darkness’: Pine, Quinto on film’s real-world parallels

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ beams into theaters one day early, May 16

Follow @AmyKinLA

amy.kaufman@latimes.com

MORE

ON LOCATION: People and places behind what's onscreen

PHOTOS: Biggest box office flops of 2013

PHOTOS: Celebrity production companies

 

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • 'Star Trek' hits mother lode: almost $3 million above estimate
    'Star Trek' hits mother lode: almost $3 million above estimate
  • Harrison Ford 'banged up' but recovering from plane crash
    Harrison Ford 'banged up' but recovering from plane crash

    Actor Harrison Ford is recovering this morning at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center a day after crash-landing his World War II-era airplane onto a Los Angeles-area golf course.

  • 'Scandal' recap, 'The Lawn Chair'
    'Scandal' recap, 'The Lawn Chair'

    Back from her kidnapping, Olivia is having a difficult time dealing with her emotions, so she lies to Jake about her whereabouts (giving Scott Foley a 10-second on-screen appearance) and throws herself into work. Which is what a lot of people do, when dealing with their personal lives seems...

  • 'Unfinished Business' is indeed unfinished
    'Unfinished Business' is indeed unfinished

    The piece of business that's most unfinished in the desperate comedy "Unfinished Business" is the wan hodgepodge of a script by Steve Conrad, a talented screenwriter ("The Promotion," "The Pursuit of Happyness") who should've known better. It's remarkable to think star Vince Vaughn, helmer...

  • Review: 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
    Review: 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

    Three years ago, on a somewhat different scale, the success of the first "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was weirdly akin to the success of the first "Avengers" movie. Both relied on ensemble superheroics and charmingly fractious banter among movie stars. This year brings sequels to both films....

  • Review: 'Red Army'
    Review: 'Red Army'

    "Red Army" is a deceptive name for a charming documentary. Even if you know it's the story of a legendary hockey team and not the fierce Soviet-era military machine, you will be surprised by its sociopolitical and personal content and the engaging way it tells its story.

Comments
Loading