With the premiere of “Star Trek: Beyond” less than a year away, fans are finding out Thursday they are going to have to wait a little longer to see the third installment in the rebooted universe.
A couple weeks, at least.
Paramount Pictures says it has pushed the premiere of “Beyond” back to July 22. That means its new opening weekend competition will include the Guy Ritchie film “Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur” and the animated series “Ice Age: Collision Course.” The move also takes “Beyond” out of direct competition with “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.”
It’s not quite clear what Paramount is seeing in the tea leaves to make the move, especially since “Secret Life” and “Mike and Dave” appear to be weaker competition against an industry stalwart. But it might show that Paramount has a lot more confidence in director Justin Lin and the writing abilities of Simon Pegg, pitting the film against the big budget fantasy that will star Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law and Annabelle Wallis. It’s reportedly costing $109 million for Madonna’s ex-husband to make the feature, which could really give Paramount and Star Trek a run at the box office.
“Star Trek: Into Darkness” pretty much premiered alone in May 2013, with Lin’s “Furious 6” not coming out until a week later. Even the competition for “Star Trek” in 2009 were films no one likely remembers today.
Paramount, however, seems to be ready for war — and for whatever reasons is not afraid of Warner Bros. or “King Arthur.” Then again, Ritchie doesn’t always get huge box office openings — his Sherlock Holmes films more an exception rather than a rule. For example, his latest feature, “The Man from UNCLE,” opened with just $13.5 million, and has only grossed $44 million domestically.
“Into Darkness,” by contrast, opened with $70.2 million, on its way to $228.8 million domestically. So maybe it’s not a gutsy move after all?