A topic that has been on my mind for a number of months now is Star Trek and if anybody really cares about it anymore? I mean the most recent entry into the franchise Star Trek Beyond wasn’t necessarily a box office bomb but it was far from a success. With a $185 million dollar production budget and normally for a movie of this size I’d usually double the budget for marketing costs but I didn’t find that Paramount did a large marketing push so for this I’ll say it is about half the production budget. That roughly gives us a budget of $278 million dollars that the studio needed to make in order to break even. Now if you look at the world wide box office you’ll notice that the movie has brought in $336 million so you’d be forgiven for think “Ty you bloody idiot it made money, your concerns are stupid.” Well reader I’d like to counter that by letting you in on the fact that normally one third of a movies box office intake goes to the theatres. In this case that leaves Paramount with about $224 million which is under budget so they clearly lost money on this movie. There are also many other factors that are probably detracting from the actual money the studio earned from this but for the sake of keeping this simple I won’t get into that.
Now the question is why did this movie fall flat in comparison to the previous entry’s in the series? Well personally I would attribute this to the first trailer they released for the film in December 2015. There’s nothing more damning that a bad first impression and the first trailer did exactly that. It portrayed the film to be this loud, annoying Guardians of the Galaxy rip off which many fans myself included found to be very off putting. The studio heard everyone loud in clear as the rest of the marketing campaign was actually appealing and did a good job of representing what the movie was but there was still a stigma from that initial trailer. There was bad word of mouth being spread up until the embargo lifted on reviews and it was revealed that critics loved the movie. Which definitely took me by surprise and when I finally saw the movie myself I agreed with them, it was the most fun movie to be released since The Nice Guys in May. This lead to me kicking myself in the ass for spreading bad word of mouth about it since it was so good. While yes this was in my opinion the biggest contributing factor the the poor box office of the film it’s not the only one. I think that the MASSIVE return of Star Wars contributed as well while yes there are more differences than similarities when you really look at the franchises but to the average movie goer they can appear as more or less the same. Audiences most likely thought to themselves: “Yea I don’t need to see this I just saw a giant space opera type film so I think I’ll skip it” Which is understandable considering the average person goes to see 1-3 films a year and they’re going to be very specific in what they see.
So with all of that in mind I ask is Star Trek dead? Well I think it’s in limbo right now. It has a chance of survival due to how well received Beyond was by fans and critics. Yet it is has a strong chance of dying out due to the huge gap between films and the piss poor marketing of this newest film. If the fourth film in this franchise comes out in 2018 there is a good chance the franchise will see an incline in not only profits but also popularity due to the great word of mouth to come from Beyond. Wait any longer though and we’ll see an even further decline in box office returns. The reason I would support the idea of doing a forth film is because of how well everyone reacted to the newest film once they actually saw it. Also a lot of the creative team that was behind Beyond will be involved with this fourth entry which is great.
There is another factor that makes me beg the question of whether Star Trek is still a viable franchise is that the current films don’t really capture what was so special about Star Trek to begin with. Star Trek was always a social commentary and always contrasted things happening in the real world. This is something noticeably absent from the current series of films. I’m not saying I want the great action to be removed in the next instalment but I’d like to see the next film get back to the roots of the franchise and subtly tackle a real world issue we are dealing with today. The possibilities are endless.
One other saving grace for Star Trek is the new series Star Trek Discovery which is set to premier in May 2017 on CBS All Access. The reason I haven’t talked much about it in this post is because we don’t really know much about the series. We know some people who are starring in it, who is show running and the rough time that it takes place. Thats simply not enough information to be able to definitively say: “This can save Star Trek” or “This doesn’t look promising for the franchise. So maybe once there is a trailer and more information I will do a follow up to this and let you know my thoughts.
That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter but what I’d love is for you to share your thoughts with me. Whether that is leaving a comment below or starting a conversation with me on twitter or instagram @nerdycasual. Also down below I’ll link the first trailer that was released for this film so you can judge for yourself on whether it is a good piece of marketing. As well as a link to the Rotten Tomatoes page of the movie so you can read the thoughts of people more qualified than me. Thanks for reading everyone, take care.
Teaser Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRVD32rnzOw
Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/star_trek_beyond/