Sunday, May 12, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness Opens Strong in Europe

The Hollywood Reporter indicates that Star Trek Into Darkness has opened strong in Europe with a $31.7 million weekend, breaking several franchise records (which really isn't saying much). While Star Trek does have a fervent fan following over its nearly 50 years, its penetration into other countries has been lukewarm at best. As a result the Into Darkness marketing campaign targeted international markets to try and boost the franchises popularity around the world. This included the world premiere in Australia with country premieres in each country before the US one. It seems the result paid off as the opening in UK, Australia and Germany is 56% ahead of the 2009 opening and in Mexico, New Zealand, and Switzerland it is 250% ahead. While $31.7M doesn't seem like much compared to most US weekend openings, this first weekend grosses is higher then the entire international total of Star Trek: Nemesis. Paramount's goal is for Star Trek Into Darkness to exceed the $128 million international take of 2009's Star Trek and of course destroy the $385.6 million worldwide take of the last film.

The unspoken goal is to achieve that around 30% US/70% international box office ratio that seems to mark a true world wide blockbuster. By this I mean if a movie takes $1 billion (for easy math) in worldwide grosses, generally speaking $700M came from international sales, $300M came from US sales. Even reaching a 50-50 ratio would be considered an achievement for Star Trek considering the franchise's overall movie history. As for those asking "why do we care about box office dollars?" those numbers dictate not only will there be a sequel but how much of a budget the next movie will get, the marketing support it will get and may inform any decision to create a new television series since most TV shows are now regularly sold overseas.

Star Trek Into Darkness opens in the US on May 16th and continues to roll out internationally for the new few weeks.

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