Star Trek Into Darkness had a limited international opening this weekend in seven markets and the first box office figures are very encouraging. The film brought in almost $32M, and more importantly it is outperforming the opening of the 2009 Star Trek movie in each country. More details on this first limited release weekend’s results and Paramount’s international marketing below.
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Opens with $31.7 Million in 7 overseas markets
Paramount’s strategy for the overseas’ market has seen Star Trek into Darkness earn $31.7 million from the seven countries in which it has so far been released. According to THR this return is 70% higher than its predecessor made in 2009, setting new opening weekend franchise records in each market.
$13.3 million came from the U.K.’s 556 locations and reflects a 50% increase over the box office achieved by Star Trek in 2009. In Germany, the film earned $7.6 million from 627 locations which reflects an 80% improvement over 2009. Australia took in $5.5 million from its 263 locations (over 50% more than 2009) and Mexico earned $3 million from its 573 locations.
Traditionally Star Trek films have performed well in the English-speaking markets and also fairly well in Germany, so the best news for Paramount in the above figures are those from Mexico, where the film saw a 300% increase from the 2009 film. Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore was particularly happy about the Mexico figures, telling THR "That’s what we were really for. Mexico is a great Barometer. The first movie certainly laid the groundwork for anyone who is a Star Trek fan. We want this film to cross over and create new fans."
JJ Abrams and cast at Star Trek Into Darkness Mexico City (May 7) – Film very strong in Mexico and 6 other territories
Paramount’s big International Push For Into Darkness
These figures are good news for Paramount, who are anxious to see the film do better than its predecessor where the foreign market is concerned. Star Trek totaled $127.9 million in total overseas’ receipts, compared with a domestic return of $257.7. To that end, the producers have designed an aggressive marketing strategy to ensure success.
Brook Barnes, writing for The New York Times reports Paramount increased its international marketing budget for the film by 35% over that for the 2009 film. Paramount president Brad Grey told the
NYT, "Between J. J. outdoing himself and our efforts to build up our global distribution system, I’m very, very confident that the franchise is finally going to live up to its potential.”
Strategies for creating interest in the film included inviting the foreign press to L.A. for a special press day; the Delta symbol was beamed over London to signal Earth Hour; and it was announced that the film would have a staggered rollout, being released in Australia, Germany, Britain and Mexico before the United States and Canada, and holding the movie back in other countries. Argentina, Venezuala and Japan will not get the film until August 22nd, for instance.
Playing up the villainous character of Benedict Cumberbatch was another deliberate plan. Speaking to THR, Paramount’s president of international distribution Anthony Marcoly said, "In many places, we did extensive research to find out what we should showcase. Overseas, we’ve tried to get away from the Trekkiness of it all.”
Cast members and producers have pitched the film in a number of countries, which included trips to Japan by J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as an 11-city tour by Bryan Burk for which he unveiled 35 minutes of the film.
As other foreign markets follow, in particular those for which English is not the first language, it will be interesting to see if the box office remains strong. This is particularly true of China where Star Trek into Darkness is the first "Star Trek” film ever released to that market. The Chinese market is unpredictable however, and some perceived ‘sure-fire hits’ have done far more poorly than expected. Michael Cieply of the NYT reported in April, "Hollywood’s global business strategy, which counts on huge ticket sales in China for high-budget fantasies in 3-D and large-screen Imax formats, is coming unhinged." However, films such as "Oz the Great and Powerful," "The Hobbit" and "Jack the Giant Slayer” failed to meet expectations in the Chinese market.
Whether Star Trek into Darkness can beat the odds and become the franchise’s first truly global success remains to be seen.
Star Trek Into Darkness Japan Poster – Asian markets a big test for new movie
Well deserved. Best thing I have ever seen! Spock Jr., out.
“$13.3 million came from the U.K.’s 556 locations and reflects a 50% increase over the box office achieved by Star Trek in 2209.”
I’m just miffed that, as a Brit, I’m gonna have to wait nearly two centuries to see the last film… :P…
Good start for STID!! I hope that the movie will do outstanding here in The Netherlands!!
As long as Star Trek remains popular in the USA nobody needs to worry. Foreign success is inevitable however, when interest in the USA is declining. Films like Battleship were “saved” by foreign money.
Anthony, do you plan to renew your interview with Nicholas Meyer? It would be interesting to hear what he thinks about Into Darkness.
Of all things my most hated Trek-Film ever, was until today the most succesful one here in Germany: Insurrection.
i’m not that familiar with these numbers but some movies pull as much as 30m on opening weekends in the us right? so imho 30m in 7 markets in almost 5 days doesn’t seem that much to me…
the USA/Canada is a bigger market than all of these countries combined. This is only 7 markets so comparing to Iron Man’s intl opening where it opened in almost all markets is apples/oranges. The apt comparison is how ST09 did in the same markets, and this one is seeing a marked improvement. Into Darkness will never make as much as Iron Man 3 Intl or Domestic, but that isn’t the yardstick.
I don’t want to sound negative but is this the same timeframe where Iron Man 3 made 500 $ overseas?
I really don’t know how or if these movies can be compared?
Excellent! Very impressive improvements and I hope it continues.
The little franchise that could. “I think I can, I think I can,” as it chugged slowly uphill in the global market.
7. Stephan – May 12, 2013
i was thinking exactly the same. i’m also curious about a comparison of both…
10. Anthony Pascale – May 12, 2013
thanks for the clarification. i didn’t knew that about the im3 opening. but of course we star trek fans want our franchise to be as successful as iron man. maybe that’s the reason we want it compared and hope it’s close on im3’s heels :)
Let’s hope that the extraordinary success of Iron Man won’t hurt STID at the Box Office.
thanks for clarification.
So congratulation to the team behind the movie. This improvement is well deserved.
the real big news is Mexico. It was expected for STID to do well in english speaking countries. but ST09 did poorly in Mexico, Latin America, Continental Europe (except Germany where it did OK) and Asia. Mexico could be the first indication that Into Darkness will break the Star Trek stigma overseas for non-English speaking countries. If so then STID could do $250M or more internationally, putting it into the realm of a real international blockbuster (although still not in the same league as Harry Potter, Bond, Iron Man).
There was no real promotion in India. Paramount India only focused on social media and so when I went to watch, there were only 20 people including me!! At one time, the guy said they won’t run the movie if less than 6 arrived…
And this is the same place where other English movies do real good.
Wonder why newspapers and billboards were not used. Infact even in the cinema premises there was no poster at all…!!!
“but of course we star trek fans want our franchise to be as successful as iron man.”
In the future everything is possible. Don’t forget that Iron Man started as the Underdog of all the numerous Marvel-superheroes, but became the companies Poster boy afterwards.
@flo The numbers from only 7 markets in a few days are very encouraging. IM3 is reporting box office from 57 overseas markets over 14 days.
The numbers are not actually comparable. Both are sequels, yes. But ST:ID doesn’t have the Avengers as a lead in, or a $200 million (estimated by boxofficemojo) advertising campaign globally.
Lets wait and see. I’m betting it will impress.
Did anyone else think that it was not smart to have earlier openings overseas?
I mean all that secrecy for four years and then the people in the US are seduced to read the whole plot in the interwebs.
indeed! no promotions in India at all! They showed the trailers about two weeks before the release, and the movie hasn’t even released all over India. I don’t live in a metro city but it has multiplexes and been waiting for the movie so long! Turned out was not gonna be released on 10th, now have to wait and see if it’ll be released on the 17th!!
Any predictions for Domestic 4 day opening this week (Thursday-Sunday)??? I’m going to give it $115 million for the 4 day period…add in the IMAX earnings from Wednesday I’m going to say about 125 million by Monday…What do you think???
Word of mouth will be inevitable for the international market.
I can offer a german perspective: In contrast to Iron Man 3 where the reviews were mostly extraodinary positive, even from the mainstream-press, the reviews for STID were just mildly positive to average. From the mainstream-press as well as from most the most important german Trek-sites.
And already having seen STID i unfortunately have to agree, it’s good, i’d give it a B, but it could have been so much better.
21. I guess the mainstream press/critics didn’t see the same movie I did…Weak 3rd act & less than average villain
I must say for all the so called marketing hype. I’m in the U.K and all weekend the only movie ad seen on tv has been fast and furious 6. I have not seen 1 ad for Star Trek into darkness.
@21 — Actually STiD is getting reviewed BETTER than IM 3 at the moment. All of the reviews are in for that film which has like a 78% on RT whereas Trek is currently at 89%.
Once all of the other US reviews come in I don’t see the score dropping much more. It seems like if you liked the first then you will like the second.
22. I guess you didn’t see the same movie I did – absolutely loved it! It deserves all the success it’s having!
No. 23 – I’m in the uk and have seen load of TV ads for into darkness also into darkness special running on sky movies and bus shelter posters all over Glasgow and surrounding areas?
Also a Star Trek the true story documentary running on c5.
25. doesn’t deserve THAT much success but being the first big release and not much out there to compete with I’m not surprised it took in that much money though it did drop almost 60% this weekend…The villain was HORRIBLE, turned that aspect into a complete joke…Too may 1 liners too got so tired of them after awhile and didn’t believe the post Avengers anxiety that Tony had
@7 Stephen – well, Iron Man 3 opened at about $200 million overseas, but by my count that was in 37 markets.
Now, granted, Iran Man 3 did about $62 million in the UK, Germany, Australia, and Mexico while Into Darkness did $29.4 million from those same markets, so clearly Star Trek has some catching up to do, but it’s a good sign that it’s doing better than any other Star Trek film has overseas.
Could you give the link to the article/source that lists all seven markets? I want to know how much did it earn in Ireland.
#27 – Yes, I agree. The villain turned out to be quite horrible, but not in the way that you mean.
Too many one liners? Well, a lot was happening and when that is the case, most people do not talk in long drawn out sentences. They tend to actually use short, pithy phrases, even more than one actual sentence.
30. I mean one liner humour…I get the point Tony Stark is really a jerk at heart but do we have to hear that every 5 seconds…and yes the Villain was a JOKE, had they stayed with Ben Kingsley and The Mandarin actually being the main villain, really could have given Tony Stark a run for his money.
We can’t compare STiD with IM3 overseas. IM1 earns $266M overseas, IM2 $311M, Avengers $888M… ST09 just $127M, that’s the point, Star Trek is not so much popular overseas.
lol @28, Iran Man – theres a super-hero people want to see!
Its a solid start and I think we all need to understand that in 7 countries it’s made $31 million – in 7!!!!! countries, thats incredible for a franchise that has been for over 2 decades unknown to anyone but the hard-core fans.
Star Trek Into Darkness was hugely impressive, any fan who say’s anything otherwise is just too far gone into wanting Star Trek a certain way.
I’m going to say that when Into Darkness has opened everywhere that it’s international takings will be close to $500 million and domestically close to $350 million.
#32 Star Trek has never been popular overseas but the numbers so far are incouraging…If a 70% increase holds then it could make about $220 million overseas, that’s definitely progress…IM3 is only making so much overseas because of Avengers last year…Had they made and released IM3 before Avengers you wouldn’t see it making as much money as it is
@29 – I believe Ireland’s box office is tied in with the UK’s.
i’ve heard that ST09 did worse in Germany than Nemesis.
With an 80% increase in Germany, did it now do better than Nemesis? ^^
Glad my 3 Tickets helped (instead of watching the same movie 3 times, i just keep dragging my parents into every Trek movie since ST Generations ;P ).
Sorry, but I’m still disappointed by these numbers. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, if there are any “franchise records” being broken, it’s solely due to inflation and (forced) 3D ticketing.
Yeah, the Mexican numbers are great, but apart from that, it’s a lukewarm reception to say the least. It may be only seven countries, but three of them are pivotal locations: the UK, Australia and Germany.
The UK numbers are especially weak, since one would expect a film starring Benedict Cumberbatch to do much better, especially taking the London location into account.
The German numbers are even more of a disappointment. Yeah, it’s considerably up from the 2009 numbers money-wise, but attendance is only slightly up and still lightyears away from anything the first three Next Gen installments were able to achieve over here. 525.000 viewers for the first weekend is ridiculously low, especially since there probably WON’T be any word-of-mouth-induced increase during the next couple of weeks. The fans have already seen it and the teens and twens are going to wait for Fast&Furious 6 to get their kicks out of.
This film might slightly do better internationally but there are only a couple of important markets that might really make a difference: Russia, France and Japan in August. All the other markets will add their fair share but they are simply to small to make a difference. I was hoping for so much more.
It’s safe to say that this won’t be our Dark Knight, Skyfall or Avengers kinda game-changer. I expect the US numbers to finish well below 200 million as well. Please DO prove me wrong!!!
@36: Apples and oranges. The 80% increase from Germany is CASH, but attendance is only slightly up (400.000 with ST09 to 525.000 this time – first wekkend each)…
ST09 finished at about the same attendance numbers at NEM, i.e. 1.2 million tickets sold. The three other NextGen movies did a lot better (around 2.0 to 2.5 million each). The TOS-based films didn’t do well in Germany either, as the TOS characters are not that popular with the general audience than Picard, Data and Worf.
btw. I noticed that a few smaller Theaters here in Germany had STID 3D listed a few days before launch, and then 1 day before launch i noticed that all the 3D ones were gone. *wonder what was up with that*
In fact there were just 2 left in comfortable travel distance (the two who had it in 2D ) that even showed STID after that.
but every single one of them has Iron Man 3-3D listed… very odd.
has the 3D film been pulled or something?
37. Your way off base especially domestically below 200 million??? Variety already had Into Darkness tracking at $85 million and that was almost 3 weeks ago. Adding in another full day of box office (Thursday May 16) opening numbers will be north of $100 million. Yes it will probably fall to 3rd place for the Memorial Day weekend but Fast & Furious 6 will be top loaded a big opening weekend then fall off. I think Into Darkness will have good legs going into June
Internationally success wasn’t going to be over night, but this is definitely encouraging lays the foundation for an even better opening with the 3rd movie
@39: That sounds encouraging. I HOPE there will be at least a 2D screening available close to where I live. So far, they are only forcing 3D versions on us with no 2D version available within 100 km.
I have seen it twice in 3D but I would see it ten times in 2D if those were available at some point.
Don’t forget the wild card is China. There’s no way of predicting with any degree of accuracy how the film will do at that box office, but it has the potential to be huge.
@40: I SO HOPE YOU’RE RIGHT. I just don’t believe it. I fear ST09 had already reached the absolute limit a Star Trek movie could do. But then, who did expect it to do even these numbers back then?
About that “third movie” and its potentials, I’m also quite unsure. When Star Wars returns with annual flicks as of 2015, any future Star Trek installment will be facing huge competition and a potential genre fatigue will spread. If anything they should use the third one to introduce a new TV show based on the new timeline…right in time for the 50th anniversary.
26: i was talking about this weekend only.
@42: I haven’t mentioned China because it’s not listed at the IMDB. Maybe it won’t even be released there?
Star Trek has actually been popular overseas,or don’t the UK,Germany and Australia count? Or is this just about the movies?
I enjoyed it. Now on to the other summer movies I’m looking forward to,lol!
i don’t think “genre fatigue” is a real thing.
if anything there is little interest in SciFi these days because there is not enough good SciFi on TV anymore.
Stargate is gone,
BSG is gone (damn it, not even Blood & Chorme made it)
Trek only repeats the old stuff over and over (even my mom complained when i switched Voyager on a few days ago that SHE knew every line of the episode… MY MOM!!! )
People aren’t bored of TREK or the Genre, they are bored of repeats of the old stuff and move on to new shiny CIS episodes …or whatever.
Also repeating TNG over and over on TV doesn’t produce any interest in a new odd TOS-Reboot Movie.
I think Star Trek XI ran for the first time on Pro 7 a week or two ago (just in time before the next one), i’d guess that was first contact for many casual viewers with this *new* Crew.
(not sure about that, i don’t watch much TV anymore).
@45 – Yes, it’s the first ‘Star Trek” film to be released in China. (The above article refers to it towards the end.) Cumberbatch has a pretty solid fanbase there so that has to help. But whatever they end up making there will be a plus.
I think you are being overly pessimistic. Yes, your arguments about inflation and the 3D upcharge do carry some weight. However, in regards to Germany, a 32% increase in audience on opening weekend is hardly “slight”. Secondly, what does it matter if the extra cost to see it in 3D accounts for a healthy amount of the money increase? Either way, it points to increased financial success.
How did it start that the US is the last country to have movies open? We made the damn things, shouldn’t they open here a week earlier then the UK?
Paramount wanted a movie not designed for Trek fans thats what they got a poorly conceived action film set in the 23rd century which borrows some Trek elements from earlier movies. Good luck with repeat viewings overseas it will drop suddenly as its just not as good a movie as ST09 & the teen audience it was designed for are already looking toward other movies so Paramount not only managed to upset many Trekkies but also lost some of their core audience from ST09 at the same time by insisting on a flawed marketing approach to crafting the story. This might work on other franchises but ST is not just any franchise is it!
Because international box office money is becoming a greater force.