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‘Star Trek Beyond’ beams up a big weekend while ‘Ice Age’ faces extinction

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It’s fitting that the latest chapter in one of Hollywood’s greatest sci-fi sagas won the weekend at the box office, given that Comic-Con International — the world’s biggest comic and pop-culture convention — kicked off in San Diego the same day that Star Trek Beyond arrived in theaters.

Director Justin Lin’s spin on the rebooted Star Trek universe raked in a respectable (but not fantastic) $59.6 million for its debut, on a rare weekend when five movies all managed to earn at least $20 million. It was only the sixth time such a thing has happened in U.S. theaters, and the first occurrence since May 2015.

As for the weekend’s big winner, Star Trek Beyond ended up with the lowest opening of all three films in the “Kelvin” timeline that began with J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot, Star Trek, despite debuting in the highest number of theaters. Beyond earned good reviews from critics and general audiences, though, so pundits are expecting it to have a decent run in theaters when all is said and done.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Star Trek Beyond $59.6M $59.6M $89.6M
2. The Secret Life of Pets $29.3M $260.7M $323.7M
3. Ghostbusters $21.6M $86.8M $122.8M
4. Lights Out $21.6M $21.6M $29.9M
5. Ice Age: Collision Course $21M $21M $200M
6. Finding Dory $7.2M $460.2M $781.7M
7. The Legend of Tarzan $6.4M $115.8M $261.5M
8. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $4.4M $40.3M $49.4M
9. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party $3.7M $3.8M $3.8M
10. The Infiltrator $3.3M $12.2M $12.2M

It was a mixed bag for the weekend’s other two new releases, with the horror film Lights Out enjoying a relatively big, $21.6 million debut, given that the film only cost $4.9 million to make.

The news wasn’t as positive for the animated sequel Ice Age: Collision Course, which appears to be one of the first animated features in quite a while not to do well at the box office — although it did manage to earn quite a bit of cash internationally. Brace yourselves: The five-film franchise that began with 2002’s Ice Age could be nearing extinction, folks.

In its second week in theaters, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters continued to have a good-but-not-great weekend, tying Lights Out and dropping 53 percent from its opening-weekend ticket sales. Somewhere around 50 percent tends to be the industry average, so Ghostbusters continues to reside in the “wait and see” realm as far as final judgement goes.

The biggest movie opening for the upcoming week is the spy sequel Jason Bourne, which will certainly challenge Star Trek Beyond at the box office. Right now, it feels like the calm before the storm, as Suicide Squad hits theaters the following week and is riding a wave of positive buzz out of Comic-Con.

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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