Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody


[tm:2812_]Star Trek[/tm]

The new adventures of Kirk and Spock blast off to a pretty solid $24.4 million, on top of the $7 million earned starting Thursday evening. In one and a half days, it has already passed 1996's First Contact as the biggest Trek opener ever and the entire box office of 2002's Nemesis will be surpassed sometime Saturday.

Now, this may be the 11th Star Trek film and you might be thinking a pretty lousy multiplier here, but forget about that. This is going to behave as a new franchise. Think Batman Begins (3.23 weekend multiplier), Casino Royale (2.77) or even last week's Wolverine (2.88). Reboots take a hit at the box office in exchange for future potential earnings. See: The Dark Knight or Quantum of Solace. The significant Thursday earnings will also reflect in a weekend multiplier that just might surprise you. Add in the absolutely glowing reviews and you have the makings of a weekend of $65.9 million. Putting the stated Friday number back in, the headlines you'll see will tout Trek as a $73 million opener.

[tm:4734_]Next Day Air[/tm]

The other wide release this weekend, not that you could tell, is Next Day Air and it earned a weak $1.4 million. To be fair, it's only in 1,138 theaters so it's actually third in per screen average among the top ten but it's going to get lost in the shuffle and it's another one of those films you'll have completely forgotten existed until it shows up in the bargain DVD bin in a few months. Call it $3.8 million.

[tm:1858_]X-Men Origins: Wolverine[/tm]

Wolverine takes a swan dive in weekend two, off 76% to $8.2 million. This is generally unsurprising and comes close to the dropoff that X-Men: The Last Stand had in its second weekend. A weekend of $26.3 million seems to be in store for the [bp:195_]Hugh Jackman[/bp] film.