In 2009, Paramount successfully relaunched the franchise with Star Trek. It garnered an impressive 95% Tomato Meter (Rotten Tomatoes), which resulted in a 1st place, 75MM opening weekend. The movie went on to gross $258MM in the US (giving it a 3.4 multiple, 75×3.4=258) and an additional $128MM internationally. The $386MM global take, on a $150MM production budget, was enough to launch two more movies.
Star Trek Into Darkness, the second film, dipped to an 86% Tomato Meter, had a lower $70MM opening weekend and only made $229MM in the US (3.3 multiple), yet made even more internationally at $239MM. I attribute this to Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. Unfortunately, the $467MM global take was offset by a $190MM production budget.
As for ‘Beyond’, they are already predicting a soft $60MM weekend. I expect a lower multiple of 3.0 due to its 85% Tomato Meter and the fact Jason Bourne premieres next week and the highly anticipated Suicide Squad comes out the week after. This will result in a US gross of only $180MM. Most international markets will be flat to down due to the lack of recognizable actor as the antagonist. Idris Elba is the villain, and he’s known worldwide, but his face is completely covered. However, China will single handedly lift the international box office to $300MM.
So a global gross of $480MM (180+300) may seem like a success, until you remove the 50% US movie theaters take from box office receipts and the up to 75% in international markets. Then subtract the hefty $185MM production budget and God knows how much more in marketing costs, and Paramount’s accountants may have to set phasers to stun.