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TV WORTH WATCHING Contest: On Opening Weekend, How High Will "Star Trek" Boldly Go?
May 8, 2009  | By David Bianculli  | 6 comments

STAR-TREK-uhura.jpgOkay, gang. We've done this before here at TV WORTH WATCHING -- predicted the opening-weekend box-office gross of a movie based on a TV show, and asked readers to do the same. This weekend's subject: the new Star Trek film.

The difference is, if I get close (as, ahem, I did, with both Get Smart and Sex and the City), I get only the satisfaction of guessing correctly. If you win, you get your choice of a few selected pieces of TV stuff that's piling up on my office floor.

Read on to get the rules, and register your prediction...


The new Star Trek film, with J.J. Abrams at the helm, I'm guessing will do very, very well. I'll start the predicting at a cool $80 million.

With Imax screens in play and so many franchise reboots doing well lately, my bet is that it will attract lots of fans, young and old, from the start. So that guess -- $80 million -- is taken.

Now, what's YOUR guess?

Here are the rules, skimpy as they are:

1) Predictions must be received by 9 a.m. ET Sunday, May 10.

2) In case of identical predictions, the one posted earlier wins. So it pays to peruse all previous guesses before making your own.

3) In true The Price Is Right fashion, the winner of the contest is the person who gets nearest to the actual tally without going over.

4) The amount used for the opening-weekend tally will be the adjusted total, announced Tuesday morning. The winner will be announced on this site then, or shortly thereafter.

5) One guess per reader. This is an honor-system sandbox in which we're playing, and the bad karma of cheating isn't worth the tacky prizes I'm offering.

Which reminds me. The prizes.

The winner will be able to select his or her choice from the following fun TV freebies:

1) A tiny Fringe note pad, with a 3-D image-shifting cover.

2) A Blue's Clues 10th anniversary note pad, shaped like a sparkly gold chair.

3) An orange headband, with purple writing, saying So You Think You Can Dance.

4) A Bart Simpson zombie keychain from The Simpsons.

Clearly, this is just for fun. So take your best shot, and add a sentence explaining your logic -- if there is any. Good luck.

Live long -- even if, in this contest, you don't prosper.



Gordon said:

I've been reading the blog awhile, but this is my first official comment.

I'm thinking that, given that it ties into a similar fan-base as WATCHMEN (hardcore fans, casual newbies, etc), but with some variance, I'm going to guess....

Opening Weekend: $66 Million

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 10:03 AM

Elisa said:

$58 Million.
Pros: I think there's enough goodwill that the people who have been following this project since its announcement will go opening weekend; the reviews are alright; JJ Abrams still has some magic to his name.
Then why so modest? No big stars; older franchise; not as radical as "Batman Begins"; school still in session; Wolverine still competitive; not action-y enough for the action crowd.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 10:05 AM

Gregg B said:

$87 Million
Here is my logic - Wolverine made $85M last week. I think Star Trek has an even bigger base than that (Hey I am going and I didn't see Wolfie). Iron Man made over 100M last year around this time, so I may be lowballing it. I'm also dragging my daughter so there might be spill over like what happened with Indiana Jones.

P.S. Also sorry to call you out on this David, but AHEM, you might want to fess up about your X-Files prediction.

(Heh-heh. Yeah, so I was 2 for 2, then tanked big time by overestimating the X-Files. And I'll call YOU out on this, though -- If my memory serves, weren't you one of the winners of an earlier contest? In which case, this time, the pressure's on you, too... -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 10:34 AM

Phillip R. Crabb said:

So what makes the Starship Enterprise run, you ask? Spock Plugs...

Thank you, I'll keep my day job.

So, Daily News gives it the ever-so-rare, and new, 5-star rating...but Roger Ebert only gives it 2 1/2 stars (well, everything can't be a "Return to the Valley of the Dolls", can it Roger)...

But I think the plastic pointy-eared conventioneers will come out in droves for a Star Trek that has even the possibility of being a 'classic'... and to be fluent for the cast and story 'reset'...like their Star Wars collegues did for the 'prequels', even though they weren't that good..

So....I'm predicting $84,000,000 and a sequel in the works..

And how many ears does Mr. Spock have (according to my 6th-grader..)? Three of course....His left-ear, his right-ear, and (rim-shot) the Final Frontier....

Sorry Dave, slow day at work... (Are you kidding? The final front ear? I LOVE your sixth-grader. Pass this one on: What time do you go to the dentist? Tooth-hurty. That's FIFTH grade, but I still love it. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 10:56 AM

tpy said:

$96 million.

This will be more than just boys' night out. I think that women will come out for this one like they did to see RDJ in Iron Man. Felicity and Alias gives JJ Abrams cache with women, and an attractive young cast diving from explosions doesn't hurt in bringing out new fans.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 10:56 AM

Ken said:

I am going to guess 50 million... don't think it'll do as well as people are thinking and I'm guessing low to have a better shot of winning contest... can't wait for Smos Bros book to hit the streets !!! My prediction #15 on the NYT Bestseller list non-fiction. (Oh, if that prediction comes true, you can have ALL the TV crap on my office floor. Thanks for the good wishes. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 10:58 AM

giggles said:

Oh, I love contests, even if only for the cheesy little prizes....(No offense, I would love the Blues Clues gimme....my kids and I were HUGE fans!) My first guess was 45. Then I read the comments and Wolverine opened waaaaaaaaay big.... So my official guessimate is...oh, I hate committing, though.....and it's Mother's Day weekend...... huuuuuuummmmmmmm....68 million.....

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 11:33 AM

Eddy said:


(Sorry, I just have to after the X-Files fiasco; I certainly hope it does better though). (Very funny -- and very clever, Mr. Lowball. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 11:52 AM

Danny said:

$79 million

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 12:02 PM

Omer Tomlinson said:

I'm saying 91 Million. I suspect from a combination of reviews and the strong base, this will be massive. No big stars? Leonard Nimoy reprises his Spock character in this (short cameo, but critical for the plot development). Good luck everybody. Thanks for the opportunity.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 12:39 PM

David said:

Hearing a lot of decent buzz for this one. I'll be the ambitious one and say $90 million.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 1:01 PM

Joe Iovelli said:


In honor of you being so close with your "Get Smart" prediction, I was going to go with 86 Million, but I see I've been trumped by an 87 million dollar guess, so I'll side with the other agent....$99 million

(Very funny. Funnier still, given your inspiration, if you missed it by THAT much... -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 1:02 PM

CGM said:

65 million.

(If this were a haiku, you'd still have 12 syllables left. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 1:20 PM

Rich said:

I've already seen it and it's breathtakingly awesome! We haven't had a decent 'Mega-Blockbuster' like this in awhile. I was awed because JJ Abrams did for the limping dead Trek franchise what Speilberg, Lucas, & Ford could't do with "Indy 4" (Last summer). The only 'X-Factor' that you need to be wary of is that there's a sizable Trekkie base that HATES the 'new revisioning' of the 40 year old franchise.

My guess is going to be $105 million. I think it could actually go higher but I'm trying to counter the 'repeat viewers' (who will LOVE this new vision and want to see it again with a friend - word of mouth) vrs the more vocal Trekkie who want's the 'touchy-feely' uptopian vision. If "Wolverine" made 80 Million then this has gotta break $95-100 as it's a FAR superior film with an enormous amount of advance good will & reviews behind it.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 1:39 PM

Jared said:

$105 Million. (Sorry -- someobody beat you to your bid by five minutes. You had no way of knowing, because I'm just now back and posting... So please amend your bid slightly, higher or lower, and I'll count it. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 1:53 PM

Dominic said:

Hi David,

I enjoy your commentary on fresh air! I'll put my guess at $92 million.

I'm actually not all that excited about the movie. I'm a fan of the original series: I look at the use of color in the show's set and character design and I'm still dazzled. Then I look at the previews for the new movie and I see little that's visually interesting... but that's just me.

Thanks for doing what you do!


(My pleasure -- especially for such astute and friendly readers. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 1:54 PM

Sam Tomaino said:

I'm going (boldly) with 95 million!

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 2:14 PM

Chris Collins said:

I'm going to guess $70 Million. I think that there's a fair number of the older fans who are turned off by the reboot and in 2002, the last trek movie only opened with 18 million and ended up with 43 million total, if imdb is to be believed. I'm not sure how much of that cash is coming back for the reboot? Who knows, right?

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 2:19 PM

Rick Barnes said:

$94 Million
I think the early positive word-of-mouth on this will push it easily over the $90 Million mark.
Plus, the weather sucks in a lot of the country, so that should help

Rick B. Memphis TN

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 2:42 PM

Ed Q. said:

Along with the 1st comment, I am a first time long time. Actually, I tracked you down (at least on the internet) once you stopped writing for the Daily News.

I agree with Chris Collins that nemesis will keep people away so I'll go with...

$67 million

(Ed, I like the idea of "first time/long time" applied to print or the Internet -- long time reader, first time commenter... Welcome! And good luck. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 3:09 PM

Eileen said:

I'm not a fan of the genre, but the buzz I'm hearing on the NYC news is that it's predicted to be the first movie of the "summer season" to crack the $100 million mark. Judging from shots of some people lining up, it just might do it.

I'm out-on-a-limb, but I'm guessing $115 million. We'll see.

Still loving this blog and all your guest critics. It's by far the most intelligent group of readers & writers on the internet -- bar none!

(Eileen, That makes me happy to hear... And makes a handful of other people very happy as well. Thanks! It's great to have you here, as a long time/long time... -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 4:03 PM

That Neil Guy said:

I'm going with $98 million. It's the logical guess.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 4:34 PM

B Tate said:


81 mil.


(Still 10 syllables left in the haiku. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 5:01 PM

Lauren said:

$89 million
Star Trek's huge fan base and the positive early reviews will help drive people to the theater this weekend, but I think some will hold out for another week or two to see how true fans feel about the film.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 5:03 PM

Bob said:

$50.1 million (sorry Ken)

I'm basing this on the weather and assuming the sun will shine in the northeast this weekend. Given the past week of rain, if that happens, no one will go inside.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 5:07 PM

Ryan Ditmars said:

I believe it will make about 93 million. I would hope it would make more than Fast and The Furious did a week weeks back Which opened at 70). It made 7 for the midnight last night which is 3 million more than Iron man which opened at 102 million last year. I have to factor in Mother's day on Sunday so i think the 93 range should be respectable.


Comment posted on May 8, 2009 5:16 PM

Jim Forkan said:

Hi Dave
I figure "Star Trek's" reboot will do better than "Wolverine," so put me down for $93 million. I was gonna say $90 mill, but someone beat me to that.
It's been getting very good press so that should spur the box office. And I hear they're already planning another "Trek" flick.(Maybe they can revisit the Gorn or the Tribbles...)
What, you didn't pick up any "Trekkie" memorabilia at ComicCon, etc.??
(When you're a TV critic writing a book, you don't leave the house. Memorabilia comes to you, in dribs and drabs. Next time, I'll give away a drib.
And sad to say, but someone beat you to the $93 million guess, too -- by a few minutes.
Try, try again, and I'll count your next try. Thanks -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 5:18 PM

Farmer said:

$37,527--before concession take. (Ouch! -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 6:10 PM

matthew393 said:

$101.7 million.

I agree with Gregg B. but I am going with a much higher total.
I think the fan base for Star Trek is much larger the the Wolverine/X-men fan base.

Also the Star Trek opening was delayed in late 2008 and this has allowed a bigger buzz to be created.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 6:47 PM

Jared said:

I'm gonna go with 78 million.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 8:10 PM

Julia said:

I'm going to pick $104 million. It's the first movie in a while that I've been excited to see on opening weekend and I don't even consider myself a Star Trek fan - I'm guessing that others will feel the same way. Plus it's the first number that came to mind.

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 9:32 PM

Laurie said:

$110 M

I'm an old broad who NEVER goes opening weekend to see a blockbuster and I'm so going on Mother's Day and dragging any of the kids who come by. (I was wondering about the Mother's Day factor -- whetherit would hurt the total, give moms something to do with the family, or give mom a place to send the rest of the family away for a few hours of peace. We'll know soon. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 8, 2009 11:39 PM

Marlark said:

$88 million. (The legendary Star Trek "47" is too small a number.) BTW, saw it today in IMAX and the movie lives up to every expectation. In every way.

Comment posted on May 9, 2009 12:56 AM

bart said:

Just go ahead and send the head band on saturday while the post office is still open because here is the winning gate: Only $61.5 million. (So it's the headband that speaks to you, eh? Hmmm. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 9, 2009 3:36 AM

TAB said:

Even if you lose, remember that the year promises releases of "Dallas," "Fame" and "Wonder Woman" feature films. It's a safe bet that Mr. Bianculli has more giveaway swag than there will be movies from TV. (I'm not sure "Fame" is even worth a contest. Besides, it's a movie-to-TV-back-to-movie deal anyway. But, sigh, you're right. By 2012, I ought to be able to walk in my office, rather than crab-walk around all the flotsam. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 9, 2009 9:00 AM

That Neil Guy said:

I'm restating my guess as a haiku.

The Enterprise Crew
Flies higher than other Treks
Ninety Eight Million

(BRILLIANT! This made me
smile -- between chapters of
the Smothers Brothers
-- David B.)

Comment posted on May 9, 2009 10:42 AM

Lance R said:

75.8 Million. I just don't think it will live up to expectations. Warming weather, graduation parties and the drama of the NBA Playoffs (King James & Kobe) will hurt the opening weekend sales.

Good Luck on finishing the book!

Lance R.

Comment posted on May 9, 2009 11:42 AM

Bob Prestifilippo said:

With so much early positive buzz, I would not be surprised if it doesn't bring in $115 Million. Put me down for a copy of your Smothers Brothers book. Their DVD is a true pleasure and I am looking forwrd to a good read on the topic. (I appreciate the thought on the Smos Bros book.. But someone else already has claimed $115, so adjust your sights accordingly. And even MY book is worth more than a Blue's Clues note pad, so we may have to negotiate if you win... But post your new guess before tomorrow morning, when the contest closes! -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 9, 2009 6:47 PM

Spork said:

Despite the rave reviews, I read somewhere that no Trek movie has grossed over $100M, plus Mother's Day will kill Sunday's chances.

My guess is $62M, even though I hope it will do much better.

Comment posted on May 9, 2009 8:56 PM

Neil (not That Neil) said:

Looking at the range of guesses, I spot a gap in the low 70's, so I'll guess $71 Mil.

The hype machine's been working overtime over there at Viacom/Paramount, but still they have an uphill battle against the economy.


Comment posted on May 9, 2009 10:04 PM

David Bianculli said:

The contest is through.

Thank you for playing, and for

reading this haiku.

-- David B.

Comment posted on May 10, 2009 9:10 AM
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