Turns out it wasn't even a contest. As far as the box office is concerned, Captain Kirk is nowhere near as popular Iron Man. Viacom's (NASDAQ:VIA) latest entry in the Star Trek franchise earned $70.56 million in its domestic debut weekend, less than half the $174 million U.S. debut for Iron Man 3.

Is this really a knock? Comic book franchises rule both the movies and TV right now. For Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Marvel Studios, Iron Man 3 marks its second-consecutive billion-dollar film. Star Trek Into Darkness was always going to play to a niche sci-fi audience, says Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova in the following video.

But for Viacom, this is a niche worth exploiting. Star Trek Into Darkness is tracking just $3 million behind its predecessor in terms of U.S. receipts. Meanwhile, overseas, Darkness is tracking $25 million ahead of Star Trek, according to Box Office Mojo. Still, Tim says if he had to choose between Star Trek and Star Wars -- i.e., Viacom or Disney -- in the years ahead, he'd opt for the vast Star Wars universe, which he believes will be responsible for the next $2 billion blockbuster when a new film in the series is released in 2015.

Do you agree? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then let us know whether you're a trekkie or a Star Wars fan, and why.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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