New “Star Trek” Can’t Get “Beyond” $60 Million


July 22-24, 2016

(estimates from


Star Trek Beyond  $59.6 million
The Secret Life of Pets  $29.3 million
Ghostbusters $21.6 million
Lights Out $21.6 million
Ice Age: Collision Course  $21.0 million


Sequel fatigue continues to plague the biggest releases of this summer. Star Trek Beyond, with only an estimated $59.6 million, couldn't match the openings of the 2009 reboot or its now-maligned sequel Star Trek into Darkness. Unless it has strong legs – certainly possible given there are no major releases after Suicide Squad – it's unlikely to get much more than $200 million, if that. And once again a studio is left to worry about international box office receipts to break even.

The Secret Life of Pets kept its impressive run going, taking in another $29.3 million. That was more than enough to keep all the family money for itself. Ice Age: Collision Course, the fifth entry in the series and the first since 2012, had a meltdown. Its $21 million is less than half of what Dawn of the Dinosaurs debuted with back in 2009. (Coincidentally, that film actually ended up being the franchise's biggest movie.) But that won't happen here.

Ghostbusters had a big scare, as it's in a virtual tie with Lights Out, the low-budget horror movie. The former fell around 53 percent, while the latter premiered on fewer screens with much less marketing. That's spooky. But it wasn't all bad, in that this is the first time in more than a year – and only the sixth time ever – that the top 5 movies each made more than $20 million.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Don't Think Twice, the new film from comedian Mike Birbiglia, opened on only one screen. But it made an incredible $90,126 on it.
  • It remains to be seen if it has any staying power, but Dinesh D'Souza's anti-Clinton screed Hillary's America expanded into wide release, taking in $3.7 million. His previous effort, simply titled America, made $14 million. But his opus 2016: Obama's America is the second-biggest political documentary ever, with $33 million.
  • On a much more fun note, South Korean zombie thriller Train to Busan opened strong. It averaged more than $10,000 on 27 screens.

Next week:

Do audiences still care about Jason Bourne nine years after his story wrapped up? We'll find out as Matt Damon returns to the role that made him a blockbuster figure. I'm predicting a bet-hedging $60 million. That would be more than any debut in the franchise besides Ultimatum.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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