LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "Star Trek" beamed itself up to the top of the box office, earning $76.5 million in its opening weekend.

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 studio said director J.J. Abrams' reboot of the beloved sci-fi franchise made $4 million just in pre-midnight screenings Thursday — plus a record $8.2 million in IMAX showings.

"Star Trek," which reveals the back stories of Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, received 96 percent positive reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes Web site.