Paramount/Spyglass Entertainment’s Star Trek scored the second biggest North American launch of the year-to-date as it towered over the charts on an estimated $72.5m to ensure box office maintained its record breaking trajectory.

Including Thursday evening previews J J Abram’s franchise reboot stood at $76.5m – a new opening record for the series – and looked well positioned to capitalise on strong word of mouth and favourable reviews heading into its second weekend showdown with the launch of Sony’s Angels & Demons.

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Leonard Nimoy and Simon Pegg are among the cast in the eleventh theatrical instalment from the USS Enterprise, which charts the origins of the familiar crew and pits them against Eric Bana’s renegade Romulan warrior.

The film set a new IMAX opening weekend record as it grossed $8.3m from 138 screens, averaging $60,000 per screen and beating the previous mark set by The Dark Knight by some $2m. Combined with the $35.5m overseas lanch the film already stands at more than $108m worldwide, climbig to $112m including previews.

Star Trek shunted Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine into second place as the prequel took a heavy tumble, dropping 68.3% on $27m for a $129.6m running total. Wolverine’s $85.1m debut from last weekend remains the biggest North American launch so far in 2009. Globally the film has grossed $253.3m in two weekends.

Most of the other titles in the top ten moved down one place. Warner Bros’ romantic comedy Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past added $10.5m for $30.2m and Screen Gems’ thriller Obsessed grossed $6.6m for $56.2m in fourth place, just above Warner Bros’ high school comedy 17 Again on a $54.2m running total.

Summit Entertainment’s crime caper Next Day Air starring Donald Faison, Mike Epps and Mos Def opened in sixth place on a lacklustre $4m, while DreamWorks-Paramount’s drama The Soloistin seventh added $3.6m for $23.5m after three weekends.

Regent Releasing and Here Media’s historical drama Little Ashes starring Robert Pattinson opened on $77,000 across 12 screens in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago.

Next weekend sees the global launch of Sony’s Angels & Demons starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer and Stellan Skarsgard. Summit Entertainment opens The Brothers Bloom starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo in limited release.

Estimated Top 10 North America May 8-10 2009

Film (Dist)/Int’l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date

1 (-) Star Trek (Paramount) PPI $72.5m $76.5m

2 (1) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox) Fox Int’l $27m $129.6m

3 (2) Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (Warner Bros) New Line Int’l $10.5m $30.2m

4 (3) Obsessed (Sony) SPRI $6.6m $56.2m

5 (4) 17 Again (Warner Bros) WBPI $4.4m $54.2m

6 (-) Next Day Air (Summit) Summit Int’l $4m –

7 (6) The Soloist (DreamWorks-Paramount) UPI $3.6m $23.5m

8 (5) Monsters Vs Aliens (DreamWorks Animation-Paramount) PPI $3.4m $186.9m

9 (7) Earth (Disneynature) BBC Worldwide/Greenlight/WDSMPI $2.5m $26.1m

10 (9) Hannah Montana The Movie (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $2.4m $74.1m