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'Beyond' Escapes With $59.6 Million Opening Weekend

UPDATE: International markets add another $30 million

So it wasn't the biggest opening weekend of all time for Star Trek, or even the second biggest.

But Paramount Pictures is not disappointed with how "Star Trek: Beyond" opened this weekend in North America, earning $59.6 million, and putting it in line with the high end of projections from analysts.

"Beyond" easily beat out its competition for opening weekend. "Ice Age: Collision Course" earned just $21 million, enough for fifth place. The horror film "Lights Out" earned $21.6 million, tying "Ghostbusters" in its second week for third place. Universal Pictures' "The Secret Life of Pets" was finally knocked out of its first place position, earning $29.3 million, enough for second place after three weeks.

"Beyond" was helped a lot by good reviews. As of early Sunday afternoon, the latest Star Trek film has impressed 84 percent of 177 critics surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes. That earned the film a "Certified Fresh" rating from the site, meaning that at least as far as critics are concerned, you should be seeing this film.

In terms of how it performed against other Star Trek movies, its only real competition — when adjusting for inflation — were the past two films directed by J.J. Abrams. This opening is well behind the $84.6 million of the adjusted opening from 2009's "Star Trek," and the $72.3 million from the adjusted opening of "Star Trek: Into Darkness" in 2013.

But it is ahead of "Star Trek: First Contact," which when adjusted for inflation from 1996, earned $47.3 million to go to make $231.1 million worldwide.

"Beyond" opened up in some international markets, adding $30 million to its haul. That's just slightly behind the $31.7 million (not adjusted for inflation) "Into Darkness" made in 2013, according to Deadline. The bigger numbers, however,won't really be available until the beginning of September when "Beyond" opens in China. In 2013, "Into Darkness" made $57 million there, with some expectations that "Beyond" could top $100 million in that country alone.

Biggest Star Trek Openings, inflation-adjusted (opening gross, worldwide gross)

1.   Star Trek (2009)    $84.6 million    $433.9 million   
2.   Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)    $72.3 million    $481.5 million   
3.   Star Trek: Beyond (2016)    $59.6 million    $89.6 million   
4.   Star Trek: First Contact (1996)    $47.3 million    $231.1 million   
5.   Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)    $41.7 million    $485.6 million   
6.   Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)    $38.9 million    $203.1 million   
7.   Star Trek: Generations (1994)    $37.5 million    $194.7 million   
8.   Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)    $36.5 million    $287.8 million   
9.   Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)    $36.1 million    $241.1 million   
10.   Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)    $34.0 million    $137.8 million   
11.   Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)    $32.3 million    $172.7 million   
12.   Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)    $32.1 million    $171.3 million   
13.   Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)    $24.8 million    $90.1 million   

Updated at 3:06 p.m. ET to add international numbers.

About the Author
Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for 1701News, Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus, and a co-founder of 1701News. He lives in Tampa, Fla.Email author