Star Trek: Box-Office Bonanza

May 9, 2009–Paramount's revitalizing of the sci-fi classic franchise “Star Trek” played well beyond its core Trekkie crowd Friday, grossing $31 million, thus becoming the studio's second highest opening day ever at the box office for a live-action film.

Playing at 3,849 theaters, “Star Trek” ranked behind the first day gross of Paramount's “Iron Man” which made $38.7 million last May.  Included in that figure was $4 million of Thursday evening and midnight runs. Previewing on a bulk of its entire theater count at 7 p.m., “Star Trek” made $7 million on Thursday.

The new version of “Star Trek”, directed by J.J. Abrams (of TV's “Alias”) fame takes a look at the younger years of the Star Trek crew during their enrollment in Starfleet Academy.  Picture features fresh faces in the primary “Star Trek” roles including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Anton Zelchin and a cameo by the original Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy.

“Star Trek” also scored the biggest opening day for Abrams in his second outing as a feature director behind 2006's “Mission: Impossible III” ($16.6 million) and for the sci-fi pic franchise overall, besting the $12.9 million generated by 1996's “Star Trek: First Contact.” Pic, which headlined the 1980s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” cast previously touted the biggest opening weekend ever for the franchise with $30.7 million.

Based on Gene Roddenberry's '60s TV series, “Star Trek” has spawned 10 feature films prior to the current installment beginning in 1979. The highest grossing “Star Trek” film to date remains 1986's “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” with $109.7 million at the domestic B.O.

Last weekend's top film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” slotted second with $8.3 million on 4,102, registering a 76% drop and an eight-day cumulative of $110.9 million.

Also in its second Friday, Warner/New Line's romantic comedy “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” took third with $3.1 million off 3,175, declining 46% and counting $22.9 million at the domestic B.O.

Fourth place belonged to Sony/Screen Gems' thriller “Obsessed” which drew $2 million from 2,602, down 50%, and totaling $51.6 million in its third Friday.

The day's second wide release, Summit Entertainment's urban action comedy “Next Day Air” grossed $1.4 million in fifth from 1,138 locales.