As expected, “Star Trek Beyond” is dominating the weekend box office, bringing in $22.5 million in Friday grosses from 3,928 screens.
Also earning an impressive $5.5 million during Thursday night preview screenings, Paramount and Skydance’s sci-fi adventure sequel is expected come in at around $60 million for the three-day weekend.
Meanwhile, New Line Cinema’s low-budget scary movie “Lights Out” amassed a whopping $9.2 million on Friday from 2,818 screens, and Fox and Blue Sky’s “Ice Age: Collision Course” brought in $7.8 million from 3,992 screens.
While director Justin Lin‘s expensive $185-million “Star Trek” production has received stellar reviews (now 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a favorable 70 Metacritic score), it will likely fall under the debut of J.J. Abrams‘ last two reboots in the long-running sci-fi franchise.
2009’s “Star Trek” bowed to $75.2 million on a $150 million budget, while 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness” opened to $70.2 million on a $190 million budget.
Lin, who directed four movies in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, took over the mantle from Abrams.
“Star Trek Beyond” stars Chris Pine, John Cho, Simon Pegg (who co-wrote the script), Zachary Quinto, Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, Sofia Boutella and Idris Elba. The film also features one of the last performances of Anton Yelchin — who died tragically in a freak car accident just a month ago.
The third film in the reboot franchise, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise find themselves in yet another uncharted area of the universe where they face a new, enigmatic foe (Elba) who tests the most central of their beliefs as dutiful foot soldiers of the Federation.
20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which has a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 13 percent and an unfavorable Metacritic score of 33, is on a collision course of its own, given the film’s $105 million production budget.
The animated sequel was initially expected come in at around $25 million once the weekend is through, but is now pointed below that figure.
Returning voice cast includes Ray Romano as Manny, John Leguizamo as Sid, Jennifer Lopez as Shira, Denis Leary as Diego and Queen Latifah as Ellie. This fifth adventure in the series brings the film’s prehistoric characters in a face-off with a meteor.
Also playing wide this weekend is New Line’s PG-13 horror movie “Lights Out,” being distributed by Warner Bros., which got off to a great start and may surpass initial weekend estimates of $15 million to finish strong behind higher profile holdovers “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Ghostbusters.”
“Lights Out,” which stars Teresa Palmer as a young woman who fights off a spooky entity that has attached itself to her mother (Maria Bello), is already pointed at profitability given its $5 million production budget.
The film has a solid 78 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a mixed Metascore of 57.