Update: Star Trek takes No. 1 with $79.2M, exceeding expectations

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

[Update: Star Trek did even better than estimates: The final tally reported on Monday showed the movie beamed up $79.2 million from Thursday through Sunday, or $2.7 million more than Sunday's estimates; for the three-day weekend, the movie took in $75.2 million, not $72.5 million, as previously estimated.]

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek exceeded expectations at the May 8 weekend box office, beaming up a whopping estimated $76.5 million, the Associated Press reported. That includes $72.5 million for the Friday-Sunday period and $4 million from preview screenings on Thursday.

Paramount Pictures had estimated that the movie would make about $50 million for the weekend but figured that strong reviews helped carry it to the bigger opening. The film, which had a $140 million budget, should gross more than $200 million total this summer, even against such competition as Terminator: Salvation, coming on May 21, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, arriving in theaters July 15, the AP reported.

The fact that Star Trek's haul improved from $26.8 million on Friday to $27.4 million on Saturday is a good sign, suggesting the film will have "legs," analysts said.

Last week's top grosser, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, came in second place, with an estimated $27 million. The prequel has made nearly $129.6 million in two weeks.