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'Star Trek' hits mother lode: almost $3 million above estimate

May 11, 2009 |  3:59 pm

Turns out moms might like “Star Trek” after all.

Final box-office tallies for the weekend show that the J.J. Abrams-directed sci-fi reboot made $75.2 million, $2.7 million more than Paramount Pictures had estimated, thanks to a stronger-than-expected showing on Mother’s Day. (Including Thursday evening shows, the total is $79.2 million.)

Studios are usually able to predict Sunday movie ticket sales with near-pinpoint accuracy on Sunday mornings by correlating the Friday and Saturday performances with similar films on similar dates.

In hype-driven Hollywood, of course, they typically err on the side of exaggerating that figure a bit. Fox, for instance, overestimated “Wolverine’s” opening weekend by $2 million last Sunday morning -- and its second weekend by $600,000 yesterday.

Paramount, as well as its competitors, had expected a relatively light $18.4-million Sunday for “Star Trek” because Mother’s Day is not historically big at the movies. For people who do go, it's often women who choose the film -- and women made up only 40% of the "Star Trek" audience Friday. 

But extraordinarily good audience buzz apparently boosted “Star Trek’s” Sunday gross by 15%, signaling that it could live long and prosper at the box office.

-- Ben Fritz

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