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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

As of this writing, STAR TREK BEYOND is facing some incredibly positive early buzz from critics. So far, it’s sitting at a 93% Fresh rating, with 43 critics currently being accounted for. Now, that’s only about a quarter (or even one-fifth) of the number of reviewers that usually submit reviews to RT, but early reviews tend to be a solid indicator of how a film will be received from the critic community as a whole. 

It’s with all this in mind that TheWrap is projecting the opening weekend numbers for STAR TREK BEYOND at around $60 million. This is quite the step down from the first STAR TREK rebooted film back in 2009 (which took in $75.2 million on its opening weekend) and is also a step down from STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (which grossed $70.2 million in the same timespan).

That being said, most seem to be feeling rather positive about the whole thing. Yes, $60 million is a substantial step down from its predecessors, but BEYOND is coming off the heels of INTO DARKNESS, while a solid film in my eyes, wasn’t so well received by fans. That one certainly seemed to wane interest in BEYOND. Additionally, this is the first film in the rebooted franchise not to be directed by J.J. Abrams, who has since gone on to helm STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Normally, a changing of the guard wouldn’t be reflected at the box office, but Abrams is as mainstream of a name as one can get, so it’s bound to have some effect on the opening numbers. 

So why the positivity? Yes, the film may have a slow start, but if the aforementioned positive buzz is any indication, STAR TREK BEYOND is bound to have solid legs to stand on in the weeks following the release. Those who originally decided to pass on the film may be swayed by word of mouth, and as such, result in an overall successful run. Paramount certainly seems to have faith in the film, as they allowed critics to check out and review the film over a week in advance of its release, and they even greenlit a sequel.

All in all, one can only take this to mean positive things for the franchise.

What do you think of projections of a $60 million opening? Do you think TheWrap is being too conservative? If not, does $60 million bode well for the film? Let us know in the comments down below!

STAR TREK BEYOND hits theaters on July 22, 2016.

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SOURCES: TheWrap, Box Office Mojo (1), (2), Paramount

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.