"Star Trek Into Darkness" took in $13.5 million during its first day in domestic theaters Thursday, putting it on track to net $100 million by the end of this weekend, according to studio estimates. The film opened on 3,762 screens, 336 of them IMAX 3D.
J.J. Abrams' second foray into Gene Rodenberry's sci-fi universe is expected to surpass his first both at home and abroad.
The 2009 film opened to $75 million in the U.S. en route to a domestic gross of $257.7 million. While "Into Darkness" will have to compete with three major wide releases next weekend -- "The Hangover Part III," "Fast & Furious 6" and "Epic" -- it has received strong reviews and boasts an "A" from CinemaScore. It also has secured strong marks on Rotten Tomatoes from all critics, top critics and audiences.
The real improvement for Paramount this time around will be overseas, where the film has already racked up $47 million. It opened early in some markets but still has others ahead of it.
The first "Star Trek" reboot made $128 million overseas, strong for the franchise but weak for a massive summer tentpole. Paramount, partner and co-financier Skydance and Abrams' Bad Robot, put on a full court press to court the international audience this time around, ensuring that their expensive film, a reported $190 million, would make its money back (and far more on top of it).
Abrams directed "Into Darkness" from a script by Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. All four of those guys produced the movie with Abrams' Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk.