Variety: Into Darkness Tracking For $85M Open + Budget Revealed + Film Gets PG-13 Rating

The producers of Star Trek Into Darkness always say it is a bigger movie (and that means budget too). So it is good news that today it is being reported the film is set for a franchise record-breaking opening weekend. Details on that below plus the movie has officially got its expected PG-13 rating, find out what the MPAA parental guidance says too.       


Variety: Into Darkness Set For $85M+ opening weekend

Today Variety is reporting that early insider tracking indicates that Star Trek Into Darkness is "gearing up for a stellar $85 million opening (weekend)." And that is actually a low end, the report goes on to say:

Analysts suggest the 3D actioner could exceed $90 million, depending on word of mouth. Pre-release buzz has been building steadily for the film starting as early as December when Paramount released the film’s first teaser trailer.

The 2009 Star Trek movie had a domestic opening of $70 million  and went on to make a total of $385 worldwide. As noted before here at TrekMovie, about two-thirds of the global total was from domestic sales. Paramount has been upping their international marketing for Into Darkness (as has been seen here at Variety also notes the international push, saying:

Despite its U.S. projection, one of “Star Trek’s” biggest hurdles will be overseas, where the first feature struggled to beam up audiences, earning just $125 million. Sequels usually fare better, however.

Variety is also reporting that the budget for Into Darkness was $185M, which is more than the $150 million for the 2009 movie but still below other summer tentpole movies. TrekMovie sources indicate that much of the additional money went to the 3D conversion and to shooting about a third of the movie in IMAX. 

If Into Darkness does open to an $85-90 million weekend, and international marketing efforts pay off, then this movie could break through past $500M. I suspect Paramount would be happy with anything exceeding the take from the 2009 movie.

Will "Into Darkness" set a new franchise record for opening weekend – Variety thinks so

Into Darkness Gets PG-13 Rating

Earlier this week the MPAA issued a number of ratings for summer movies, including Star Trek Into Darkness. As expected the movie received a PG-13 rating. Specifically the parental guidance notes the film contains "Intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence." The rating has also been added to the official website:

Since the introduction of the PG-13 rating in 1986, three of eight Star Trek releases held the PG-13 rating (First Contact, Nemesis and 2009’s Star Trek) rating. All the other films held a PG rating (and in fact in 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture was originally given a G rating, but that was later upgraded to PG for the director’s cut).

That being said PG-13 has become the new normal for Hollywood blockbusters. Every single 2012 live-action movie in the top 20 for box office performance was either PG-13 or R rated.

Star Trek Into Darkness’ parental guidance is also notable for how it differs from other summer 2013 movies (also rated PG-13). For example Iron Man 3’s parental guidance states "sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content." And R.I.P.D. gets "violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex references." So apparently Into Darkness is not as sexy as some of the promos might suggest (at least relative to other summer 2013 movies).

"Into Darkness" gets warning for violence but a pass on sexual content

Thanks to Geri for tip



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April 25, 2013 5:51 pm

How many times is everyone planning on seeing it? :D I’m going for at least 3.

April 25, 2013 5:51 pm

I hope the movie will break box records of previous Trek movies. Guess it will depends on word of mouth & the reviews as well.

April 25, 2013 5:53 pm

@1. I will see it maybe twice & if it was really good, then maybe two more times.

April 25, 2013 5:55 pm

How expensive is 3D conversion? Can’t wait to see this in IMAX! “Oblivion” was amazing in that format as well.

April 25, 2013 5:57 pm

#1 Imax 3d at least once and twice more in standard at different cinemas. Already booked in for #1 on 10 may.

Dalton Ammons
April 25, 2013 5:57 pm

I am seeing it May 15 at one of the fan sneaks in IMAX 3D. That weekend I will see it again and then a few weeks later for a 3rd time and then one final time just before it has finished its theatrical run. A total of 4 times is my projection.

I really hope the foreign box office does better on this one that the 2009 film. I was shocked at how poorly it did but then I don’t think any Star Trek films have done good overseas. Hopefully the better job of marketing it combined with the exposure foreign audiences have had on DVD and Blu-ray to the 2009 film will help. I want it to do great so another film will be a no brainer.

April 25, 2013 5:59 pm

#1. i’m seeing it twice.

April 25, 2013 6:00 pm

I already have tix for 2 showings; may go 1 or 2 additional times if it’s super good.

Darren Phillips
April 25, 2013 6:11 pm

Maybe once the slimy old bean-counters get their 13 pieces of Silver, they’ll bloody wise up and put a new Trek series or 3 (TOS,TNG, and ENT era) back on the telly WHERE IT BELONGS!!!

April 25, 2013 6:13 pm

What!!! the Undiscovered Country (the best Star Trek film in my opinion) made less money than The final frontier, and is the second least profitable Trek-Film. That can’t be!
And it got a PG rating, while it was the only Trek-film with Gore? (Arm cut of with a phaser gun)
Strange world

April 25, 2013 6:13 pm

@1. Got two tickets for IMAX one after another. 132min run time will probably mean I’ll be running out the exit and walking straight back in again!

April 25, 2013 6:14 pm

Oh wait, just have seen that the statistics is just about the opening weekend.

April 25, 2013 6:15 pm

I have tix to the 5/15 fan sneek and I’m sure I will see it at least twice, depends on how many time I can drag my other half to it!

April 25, 2013 6:15 pm

Well, i have seen this crapfest called Episode 1 four times, so to break that record i have to see Into Darkness(which probably deserves my money more than episode 1 did) for about 5 times.

April 25, 2013 6:19 pm

If spoilers really start hitting (especially after the Europe opening) – it could harm this movie. Same deal with any bad reviews (what I have read has been good) More and more I do not understand the marketing genius behind this release schedule. Why take any chances of Harrison’s ID or non-ID and just let the hype build and build until a global release day?

As for the number of showings, IM3, MoS and Trek right now I plan on very close to the same:
Viewing 1 (2D) – me.
Viewing 2 (3D) – me + daughter (if ok for her)
Almost sure that there will be 1 or 2 additional viewings of Trek to bridge the gap to the Blu-Ray release.

So far the wife has said she is in for Man of Steel, and she is non-committal for Trek, she is out for IM3.

April 25, 2013 6:23 pm

Let’s hope that The Fast and The Furious won’t kill the optimistic predictions for the Box Office of STID.

April 25, 2013 6:24 pm


First Contact was more violent though, with face-melting and necks being broken and such.

I could have sworn I had a Star Trek VI poster that said the movie was PG-13, but I must be wrong.

Classy M
April 25, 2013 6:24 pm

The film was shown to press and cinema reps in the UK today and seems to have been well received. Tweets from those lucky enough to see it said,

“Just saw Star Trek Into Darkness. Not perfect, but huge amounts for both Trekkies and non Trekkies to enjoy. And Benedict C is superb.”

“At first Star Trek Into Darkness preview. It rocks. Benedict Cumberbatch fab villain. Great job by JJ Abrams. Gives me hope for Star Wars.”

“Star Trek Into Darkness! Marvellous. That is all.”

In addition, Total Film gave the film 4 stars.

That buzz seems positive so far. Long may it last.

April 25, 2013 6:26 pm

I’ll be adding to the international market with tickets to see it (in 2D) with my husband in tow on 9 May. I’ll most likely go again to see it in 3D that weekend, again with my husband, if I can wrangle it. He’s not a trekkie, as a matter of principle. He’s a whovian instead. After that, it will depend on how much I liked the movie and how much I can put up with the condecension of my family as I trot off to repeat viewings…

STID still hasn’t got a rating here in Australia, but I’d be expecting an M classification. That’s what the 2009 Star Trek got, and it’s what IM3 has.

April 25, 2013 6:28 pm

“First Contact was more violent though, with face-melting and necks being broken and such.”

Not really. There was action, but it was mostly bloodless. There was a hell of a lot blood in The Undivscovered Country. I regarded the Face melting more as a special effect than real gore.

April 25, 2013 6:34 pm

A21. Exverlobter

I’m not sure if this story is apocryphal or true, but I recall reading somewhere that the Klingon blood in ST:TUC was pink rather than Human red to enable it to get the lower classification.

April 25, 2013 6:37 pm

I miss PG movies.

April 25, 2013 6:37 pm


that’s very promising to hear :-)


April 25, 2013 6:40 pm

I hope it earns tons and tons of money!

April 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Back in the day, films were not marketed anywhere near they are now. Someone mentioned ST VI having a small opening, well, the promotional budget was non-existent. These days films are made by accountants for the benefit of stock brokers.

April 25, 2013 6:42 pm

“The Motion Picture was originally given a G rating, ”

How ironic, because this is the only film where you can see the actors penis (those costumes are too tight)

April 25, 2013 6:44 pm

“Back in the day, films were not marketed anywhere near they are now. Someone mentioned ST VI having a small opening, well, the promotional budget was non-existent. ”

NOt sure about this. Trek was during that time pushed by articles in the Time Magazine and so on.

April 25, 2013 6:44 pm

@13 Trek VI may have taken in fewer tickets than V, but it made more money – the budget for the Final Frontier was nearly double than the budget of VI. VI made money at the box office – it was a struggle for V to break even.

April 25, 2013 6:54 pm

Saw the last one 9 times on the big screen.
Unsure about this one… certainly twice.

April 25, 2013 7:07 pm

Rose will be so disappointed that full frontal nudity is still evading Trek….

April 25, 2013 7:09 pm

I’m assuming the 85 MM is domestic box office. Any estimates on foreign opening box office?

April 25, 2013 7:13 pm

You would think that after the last movie there would be a larger established audience. The last movie made $78 mil or so on the first weekend and many non-Trekkie type people were caught off guard how good it was leading to its long life in the theater. It’s interesting how this time around even with far more people aware of it that it would only make that much more.

April 25, 2013 7:15 pm

Wow, good luck to it.

Also, there is a new Bones character poster out, released today on the Huffington Post entertainment site.

April 25, 2013 7:29 pm

That story is total crap, and comes from Berman, who was not in a position to know. I interviewed Meyer and the ILM folks at the time and the blood color was a plot point, not a ratings issue. They would have needed some SERIOUS volume of blood in any color to have gotten anywhere near an R rating and everybody knew it, so that wasn’t ever a legit concern.

Violence in TUC is pretty low-key IMO anyway, with the zero-gee thing seeming more a novelty than a hard-hitting sequence … McCoy treating Gorkon is as close to ‘gut-wrenching’ as anything gets and even there they could have gone further.

April 25, 2013 7:46 pm

Inflation adjusted figures are meaningless unless you also adjust for population grown…

April 25, 2013 7:48 pm

Well, I’ll be helping the opening box office 3 or 4 times on opening weekend. If the film is good, which I expect it will be, I’ll keep right on going and buy more tickets. :) I have a personal record to beat anyway.

April 25, 2013 7:56 pm


Meyer, Denny Martin Flinn and Mark Altman have all told that story. I’ve heard Meyer tell it both ways (that it was a necessity for the rating and that it was a script idea).

April 25, 2013 7:58 pm

I’ve read the few reviews online so-far (all spoiler-free and positive). I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that they’ve been pretty favorable.

I’m not spilling any beans, I hope, but they seem to be saying, resoundingly, the opposite of what people here were worrying about. That this isn’t, despite dark moments, a dark, dystopian revenge flick — all the Trek optimism is ultimately there (and that’s a weakness, a couple of reviewers say) along with fan nods and in-jokes.

The consensus so far seems to be: very much a Star Trek movie.

We’ll see how it turns out.

April 25, 2013 8:02 pm


The only blood in TUC was pepto bismol. First Contact had the red stuff. It had Data snapping Borg necks, Worf chopping off Borg arms, Picard digging through assimilated crew member’s chests, the Queen’s face melt, etc. TUC has the assassination and that’s about it.

April 25, 2013 8:11 pm

Mmmm alice eve :9 delicious, have my may 15 3d imax tickets in my safe

April 25, 2013 8:12 pm
April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Gizmodo Australia reviewer calls Into Darkness best looking sci-fi of our time. You know that line will be on the promos.

April 25, 2013 8:18 pm
38, To the best of my knowledge, Meyer started telling the story with that error-ridden memoir of his I’ve thumbed through in a bookstore but refuse to spend money on. Maybe he was leveraging off of old Flinn recollections (He has been dead for quite awhile now) or some print reference that traces to Flinn, who as I recall wasn’t wholly truthful or accurate about things in the CFQ coverage of TUC. As for your third source …I’m flabbergasted that Altman or Ed Gross would have ever put something like that down on paper. I found most of their work in the 90s to be very reliable and largely free of spin (if you ignore the Berman quotes in the Altman articles, that is.) The specific quote from the ILM VFX supe was something like ‘it was always about volume of blood, not color,’ and then a reference to the fact they weren’t ever going to try to do a WILD BUNCH Sam Peckinpah style bloodbath. I don’t remember if any or all of that is in the finished article or not, there were about 4000 words cut from the article because Paramount didn’t supply more than a few pictures (everything else came from VFX vendors) and the mag had to maintain their image-to-text ratio. Anybody got a Cinefex 49 handy? 40, in the scooby doo version of TUC, you do see human blood when they pull the mask off the shooter and you see it is Col. West. So… Read more »
April 25, 2013 8:18 pm

@35. kmart
“Violence in TUC is pretty low-key IMO anyway, with the zero-gee thing seeming more a novelty than a hard-hitting sequence … McCoy treating Gorkon is as close to ‘gut-wrenching’ as anything gets and even there they could have gone further.”

@ 40. sean
“TUC has the assassination and that’s about it.”

My parents would disagree. After the arm of the Klingon got cut off i had to turn off the TV when i first watched it, because the film was “too violent”
However, they had nothing against First Contact. The Neck-thing did not bother them, as the Borg are machines (well technically not, but you get the point). Parents were also not disgusted by the Thousands of Droids that got dismemberd in the Stars Wars Prequels.
However the Bloody Klingon Assasination was indeed a concern for them

April 25, 2013 8:20 pm

I have my IMAX 3D tickets, but I’ll see it 2D at least once. Visual effects always look 10x better in 2D.

April 25, 2013 8:29 pm


The only REALLY SERIOUSLY disturbing thing I recall in any TREK (if I ignore the Abrams film and TUC’s virtual character assassination of Kirk, that is) was in the TMP novelization, which is a really hard ‘R’ in the transporter malfunction, which has organs materializing on the outside of the bodies. As excited as I was to read the thing, I just had to pull up, because I just couldn’t imagine how they’d get any of that on screen (and of course, they didn’t even try … not when you were delivering a “G” rated movie, that’s for sure.)

I think I’d also characterize Sisko and Dax in the catch-Eddington ep of DS9 as being very disturbing to me as well. Then again, if I had been running Trek during that era it would have been about The Maquis and privateers operating during that era, not the usual Federation stuff, especially since I was not on their side in terms of how they handled any of that.

April 25, 2013 8:34 pm

“was in the TMP novelization, which is a really hard ‘R’ in the transporter malfunction, which has organs materializing on the outside of the bodies.”

The funny thing is, that this was actually shown… on Galaxy Quest.

April 25, 2013 8:35 pm

@1 I literally saw Trek 09 10 times in the theater. Yea, seriously…10 times. While I dont think I’ll be able to do that this time around, I’m sure I’ll see it way more than twice.

Josh B
April 25, 2013 8:36 pm

I’ll be going at least three times as it stands right now, one of those being an early premiere showing May 15th @ 9:00pm!! If it is as good as I think it will be, then I’ll probably see it no less than 5 times. Even if it sucks (surely it won’t) at least I know my money will be going toward the next movie :)

Can’t wait to stand in line with my fellow Trekkers Wednesday night!!