Paramount's sci-fi movie "Star Trek" opened as No. 1 at the box office in North America this weekend, taking in some 72.5 million dollars over the three-day period, a movie industry-charting firm reported on Sunday.
The re-booting of the classic sci-fi franchise has gathered strong word-of-mouth endorsements since it debuted with 4 million dollars in late-night Thursday screenings, according to Hollywood. com. Those pre-screenings are not calculated in the weekend total.
"The film will show major legs in the coming weeks with strong word of mouth propelling it well beyond the opening weekend," said movie industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian, whose box office tracking firm Media By Numbers was recently purchased by Hollywood. com.
Meanwhile, showings of "Star Trek" in large-screen Imax theaters set a new record, with an estimated 8.2 million dollars for the weekend, beating the previous record of 6.3 million dollars set by "The Dark Knight" last summer.
About 90 percent of the IMAX screening of "Star Trek" were sold out during the weekend, said Dergarabedian.
The film also took a bite out of 20th Century Fox holdover "X- Men Origins: Wolverine," which debuted to 87 million dollars last weekend, the best opening of the year. The X-Men film was in second with 27 million dollars this weekend.
Rounding out the top five movies over the weekend are Warner Bros.' romantic comedy "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" with 10.4 million dollars, Sony Pictures' extramarital affair thriller " Obsessed" with 6.6 million dollars, and Warner Bros.' comedy "17 Again" with 4.4 million dollars.
(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2009)