A long and profitable run for Star Trek Beyond at the domestic box office is in question as the film only took in $24.7 million in its second week in release, second to Jason Bourne’s $59.2 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Beyond barely edged out newly-released Bad Moms to secure the second place spot, but saw its earnings drop 58.2% from its opening weekend.
By comparison, Star Trek Into Darkness‘s earnings dropped 46.9% to $37.2 million during its second weekend in release, while 2009’s Star Trek earned $43 million and only dropped off 42.8% from its debut weekend. Both films easily climbed over $146 million in domestic earnings by their second weekend in release.
Beyond has only grossed $106.4 million domestically and $54.8 million internationally (Box Office Mojo’s international numbers are usually delayed), for a combined $161.2 million at the box office. The film should surpass its $185 million budget during its third week in release, but Paramount will likely expect a far greater haul to consider the film a box office success. On average, studios earn only 55% of a film’s final gross, according to Box Office Mojo. Paramount and Skydance also invested heavily in Beyond’s marketing, but the exact figure is not known.
Even with Jason Bourne’s release, Beyond will remain in 3D theatres for its second full week in release. The latest installment in the Trek franchise faces even more difficult competition next weekend as Suicide Squad opens in standard and 3D theatres with advance screenings on August 4th and its full release the following day.
Box Office Mojo rightly points out that the franchise’s fading success at the box office could portend Star Trek 4 being made on a smaller budget. However, history suggests that some of the best films in the Star Trek franchise have been made on thin budgets. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, for instance, had a budget of $12 million dollars and earned nearly 8 times that at the box office. Paramount, unfortunately, views the Kelvin Universe films as tentpole blockbusters that carry budgets of $150 million plus and are supposed to bring in a massive haul at the box office.
What this means for the future of Star Trek 4 will be played out over the coming weeks and months, as Beyond faces stiff domestic competition, but also opens in several large overseas markets.