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'Star Trek' opens at $7 million to $8 million last night, is outpacing 'Wolverine's' Friday morning ticket sales

May 8, 2009 | 12:10 pm


"Star Trek" is on its way to a huge opening weekend.

Paramount's reboot of the classic franchise grossed between $7 million and $8 million from Thursday evening and midnight shows, according to knowledgeable industry source. That's bigger than last year's "Iron Man," which sold about $5 million of tickets on a comparable Thursday opening and went on to make $102.1 million by Sunday.

More notably, one person with access to box-office data said today that "Star Trek" had already sold about $3 million worth of tickets by this morning. That's twice as big as "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which opened to $85 million, at the same point last week.

However, given the franchise's devoted base of hard-core fans, sales for the earliest shows don't necessarily mean the movie will go on to be as big as "Iron Man." But it's now looking very likely it will warp past tracking that indicated it would make between $65 million and $75 million.

Even distribution executives at competing studios, who usually remain nonplussed about competitors' performances, were uniformly impressed by the early returns.

Paramount hasn't yet released an official gross or responded to a request for comment.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: "Star Trek."  Credit: Industrial Light & Magic / Paramount Pictures