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Christmas 2007 Big For Box Office + Star Trek May Release Early

Although it was never officially announced, the new Star Trek movie was originally penciled in for summer of 2008. However, director/producer JJ Abrams wanted more time and got the film moved to Christmas 2008. Some fans have wondered if the move will hurt the film’s chances at the box office, but a look at recent history proves otherwise.

2007 another big Christmas at the movies
Even though it fell on a Tuesday, Christmas Day 2007 proved to be a popular day for the movies this year with a total domestic take for the top 12 films of around $60 million (and $229 Mil for the entire Christmas weekend of 12/21-25). This makes it one of the bigger weekends of the year, putting it on par with many weekends over the summer. The subsequent New Year’s weekend brought in $249.2 Million domestically for the top films. The top earning film for the extended Christmas weekend was National Treasure: Book of Secrets which brought in $65.4 million. The Will Smith movie I Am Legend which opened on the 14th has also been a big hit, so far bringing in over $400 Million. In recent years the big Christmas movies have all ended up bringing in over $500 Mil in total box office sales.

Last 5 big Christmas movies world wide gross

2007   National Treasure: Book of Secrets   $281.2 Million (22 days/on track to $500M+)
2006   Night at the Museum   $573.6 Million
2005   King Kong   $550.2 Million
2004   Meet the Fockers   $516.6 Million
2003   Return of the King   $1.1 Billion

Star Trek highly anticipated – little competition
The new Star Trek movie is clearly the ‘big’ movie for next Christmas. It has shown up on almost all the mainstream media’s ‘most anticipated movies of 2008’ lists. For example The Guardian UK cites a ‘fan base the size of the Delta Quadrant’ and E ranks it as 10th most anticipated while MSN ranks it 5th. Even though 2007 had a strong Holiday season, the film industry trade The Hollywood Reporter believes that 2008 “should be stronger.” THR also cites Trek as one of the entries expected to bring in the money, citing the franchise’s ‘built in fan base.’

Trekkies can all remember that in 2002 Star Trek Nemesis (the only bonafide Trek flop) was crushed like a bug by Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. But this time not only is Star Trek higher profile (which mean it comes with more marketing and buzz), but will have less competition. The other big film opening on Christmas Day is Disney’s family comedy Bedtime Stories starring Adam Sandler, but The Hollywood Reporter believes that Trek and Bedtime will appeal to different audience segments. A bigger threat could have been Angels & Demons (the sequel to the 2006 hit The Da Vinci Code) originally scheduled to open Friday December 19th, but that film has been delayed to Spring 2009 due to the WGA strike. The Day The Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves should provide some competition, but that films opens on the 12th so Trek should still be dominant Christmas weekend for the action film audience.

With a budget of over $130 Million the new Star Trek movie will have to do better than any Trek film since Star Trek IV. However, that does not mean that Star Trek will need to earn like the above films or Paramount’s monster hit for 2007, Transformers (with over $700 Mil worldwide). A source at Paramount tells TrekMovie.com that Paramount are being realistic and know that the film is rebuilding a fan base. Hopes are for the film to do as well as another recent franchise reinvigoration, Batman Begins, which brought in $371 Million in 2005. By the way, adjusting for inflation the highest grossing Trek film is Star Trek The Motion Picture which made $130 Million worldwide in 1979 which works out to $377 Million in today’s dollars.

Will Christmas come early?
As mentioned before, the delay of Angels & Demons has created an a potential opening on the weekend before Christmas. TrekMovie.com has learned that there are discussions going on at Paramount to move the release of Star Trek up to the 19th. One issue is that Paramount already has a release schedule for that weekend, Revolutionary Road starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Although expected to be a big draw, as a period drama it may not be a direct competitor for the same audience. And of course Paramount could move both movies around. Another possibility under discussion is to open a day or two earlier. This kind of ‘early open’ is becoming more and more common these days. This year Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Spider-Man 3 and Transformers all opened a day or two before their originally announced premiere dates.

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Locutus of Alberni
January 12, 2008 4:28 pm

RIght on! Sooner is good (unless, it’s not ready!!!)

jonboc
January 12, 2008 4:31 pm

Hope it does come out early. It would be nice to not have to piss off the family by bugging out on Christmas day!

NCC-73515
January 12, 2008 4:37 pm

What if all the Trek we saw since The Cage was an illusion created by the talosians? The entire history could easily be rewritten, this time showing us the TRUE events :D

Joel
January 12, 2008 4:41 pm

Isn’t it nice to finally have a Trek film that’s one of the most anticipated films of the year? As much as movie tickets cost, I can easily see it topping Voyage Home for highest grossing Trek movie without a doubt. Can’t wait for the trailer next week, and whether it’s the 19th or Christmas Day, I’ll be there.

josepepper
January 12, 2008 4:52 pm

Meet the Fockers 500 million!!!!

You gotta be kidding me

man, Americans are stupid, pea brained mother fockers

The Haggard
January 12, 2008 4:53 pm

They could show it on St Patrick’s Day, at 3am in a dark alley at some out of the way small town, with wild animals guarding the entrance… AND I WOULD BE THERE!

Harry Ballz
January 12, 2008 4:54 pm

If it opens BEFORE Christmas Day all the better for the chances of a small group of us meeting up and seeing it in New York!! Yowza! :)

the king in shreds and tatters
January 12, 2008 4:55 pm

Oceanic 815 crashed on Talos IV!

tadayou
January 12, 2008 4:56 pm

Even though it might be a bit geeky, I like that the movie is scheduled for Christmas and therefore preserves that little tradition of Star Trek movies opening in December.

Guess that’s what you call continuity ; D

Skippy 2k
January 12, 2008 5:00 pm

I plan to be there opening day, I liked Christmas as the only day my work actually closes and my family usually gets together Christmas eve. Alot of times we do something the next morning but not much on C-day, if it opens a few days early though I guess I could just call-in… ;-)

KevinA Melbourne Australia
January 12, 2008 5:05 pm

The sooner the better, Xmas will be in the way unless ST has been attended to. Much prefer Dec 19.

asc1138
January 12, 2008 5:06 pm

josepepper – Just like you!

SPB
January 12, 2008 5:19 pm

RANDOM (ON-TOPIC) THOUGHTS:

-NEMESIS wasn’t exactly “crushed like a bug” by THE TWO TOWERS… that distinction belongs to MAID IN MANHATTAN. TOWERS simply stomped all over the dead, mutilated carcas.

-Although period films haven’t exactly done gangbusters of late, DON’T count out a new one featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s first team-up since TITANIC. The “chick flick” crowd is gonna be drawn to that one like a magnet, at least for its opening weekend.

-The last TREK movie that I recall being highly anticipated and/or having positive advance buzz was FIRST CONTACT. And that was 12 years (!!!) ago. The advance silence that greeted INSURRECTION and NEMESIS was deafening.

-A remake of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL featuring Keanu Reeves is my idea of Hell. I’ll stick knitting needles in my eyes before I expose my orbs to that train wreck.

-As much as I love STAR TREK, and as much as I’m holding out hope for TREK XI to be a big success… there ain’t NO way in blue blazes it’s gonna come anywhere near BATMAN BEGINS’ $371 million take. That is one tall order to accomplish.

-TREK XI has GOT to be better than TRANSFORMERS… right? (Please, God.)

January 12, 2008 5:30 pm

#5 ; I’m not surprised at the box office totals any more. I haven’t dug into a typical data-filled issue of Variety for $$$ info in ages, but I would love to see how many actual -seats- are being filled as opposed to the money coming in. Sure, the totals are important, but if the number of seats is flat or down but just cost $12+ a pop, that could say something as well.

Rick

CmdrR
January 12, 2008 5:36 pm

Early Christmas present would be nice!!!

ps- which ep played in remastered form this weekend? Wasn’t supposed to be “Who Mourns for Adonis?”? I miss the Friday night movies and snide comments that help build up my stamina for staying up until 4am (thanks again WSB, you %$#%es.)

Harry Ballz
January 12, 2008 5:41 pm

#14 SPB “as much as I’m holding out hope for TREK XI to be a big success… there ain’t no way in blue blazes it’s gonna come anywhere near BATMAN BEGINS’ $371 million take”

Now, you see, that’s funny….I’m about as cynical as they come and only a fool tries to predict the future, BUT….best guess? I’ll be shocked and surprised if Trek XI doesn’t break the $400 million box office income gate barrier. If Paramount is investing $130 million into it, I’m sure they’re looking for at least triple that amount back, being a “tentpole” movie and all…. :)

NCC-73515
January 12, 2008 5:57 pm

Mr. Sternbach is here? Wow… if that’s you, I feel honored to be on the same site with you :D

Irishtrekkie
January 12, 2008 5:58 pm

star trek make 400 million ……here is hoping …………..so how many times will i have to go see it then ? i figure if i see it 1,000,0000,0000 times that will be enough…………………….oh right yea i guess other people might want to go too

January 12, 2008 6:22 pm

“The new Star Trek movie is clearly the ‘big’ movie for next Christmas. It has shown up on almost all the ‘most anticipated movies of 2008′ lists in the media of the last few weeks. […] With a budget of over $130 Million the new Star Trek movie will have to do better than any Trek film since Star Trek IV.”

That’s honey in my ears. It’s plain and clear that Paramount is trying to revive the franchise. The fan base is there and Trek never died. All it needs are new creative minds and fresh ideas.

Magic_Al
January 12, 2008 6:24 pm

There are a lot of parallels between this movie and TMP. It’s a relaunch after an extended break in Star Trek production, it has a big budget with all-new production design, and it has a big-name director.

There are big differences: an (almost) all-new cast and a profoundly different market. TMP was embraced by fans who thought Star Trek had been killed to early, while today’s movie has to win back fans who think Star Trek went in the wrong direction for too long.

Will the new movie make as much as TMP’s inflation-adjusted take? That’s a hard act to follow. If it does well enough for there to be a sequel, will the next movie be bigger than ever or drastically scaled down in budget like TWOK was?

NCC-73515
January 12, 2008 6:35 pm

Please make sure history never forgets the name Star Trek :D

sebi
January 12, 2008 6:45 pm

I understand the need to report on what the Mainstream Media™ is thinking about this subject, but as a fan I couldn’t care less how much the movie makes. Just enough to get another one made, I guess. ;)

Mickey MET
January 12, 2008 6:47 pm

#9

If I recall. . .

TMP: was a holiday movie
II: TWOK was an early summer movie
III: TSFS was a summer movie
IV: TVH was a holiday movie
V: TFF Was an early summer movie
VI: TUC was a holiday movie
VII: G was a holiday movie
VIII: FC was a holiday movie
IX: I, to be honest I really don’t remember
X: N was a holiday movie

So to boil it down, there doesn’t seem to be much of a “tradition” as you suggest. In fact, I think some of the better movies were summer released with an exception or two. . . .

As for releasing it on 12/25/08, if this Christmas is any indicator of what next Christmas will be like. . . I like the idea of releasing it a day or two early.

Thomas
January 12, 2008 6:59 pm

I don’t care if the movie opens on the 19th or the 25th. I’m just looking forward to seeing a new Trek movie. It would be nice if the movie were a success, though. The only other movie I know of coming out st that time is some Adam Sandler movie called “Bedtime Stories”.

January 12, 2008 7:07 pm

Folks,

Releasing STAR TREK on Christmas Day IS NOT the smartest choice of dates.
Much of the fanbase, and indeed the rest of the moviegoing crowd, will be busy with the business of Christmas. The misconception here is STAR TREK is STILL STAR TREK, no matter how you renovate it and the general moviegoing audience could care less. I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t do MI3 numbers AT BEST. It’s not Bond. It’s not LOTR and it’s not SW. This gives the film maybe two weekends at best to play before box office drops off to next to nothing as the holidays conclude. The film’s high budget really puts pressure on the film to perform and traditionally, TREK has never performed to the studio expectations of this new film. Ever. Especially foreign.
TMP opened on December 7th, 1979, which gave the film almost the entire month of December to play through.

Paramount should open this film at Thanksgiving.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the trailer…but if see Area 51 anywhere near the Enterprise, all my hopes are dashed. For “Little Green Men” (the episode) it worked great. INDEPENDENCE DAY…fine. STAR TREK…no.

Harry Ballz
January 12, 2008 7:14 pm

Paramount considers the new Star Trek tentpole
Some won’t believe, no matter how much you cajole
It’ll be a blockbuster
The critics will bluster
The fans, they’ll be so happy, they’d sell their soul!

JBS
January 12, 2008 7:30 pm

There is no way I can attend on Christmas day (I have kids and all that implies, and I’m the one in charge of cooking a big holiday meal, and I usually passout early after having a beer after cleaning the kitchen – it’s a busy day). It usually takes a couple days before I’m finally free to do something like go see a movie. Earlier would be better.

January 12, 2008 7:41 pm

27. Robert Meyer Burnett – January 12, 2008

Paramount should open this film at Thanksgiving.

Agreed. I need something good to do when I’m visiting my in-laws.

Jupiter1701
January 12, 2008 7:57 pm

This movie probably needs to make about $400 million just to break even. How so? Well, I’ve read in various places throughout the years that a movie needs to do about triple it’s production budget in order to break even. The local theaters take their cut, plus there is marketing, distribution and other expenses.

I just don’t see that happening with this movie, with that kind of budget.

Granted, there are DVD sales, television rights, etc. to consider. And in the end it all adds up, albeit over a period of many years. Still, when a movie loses say $100 million dollars at the box office, it makes one wonder how they ever get their money back — even over a period of decades.

bobfred
January 12, 2008 8:01 pm

.3 what about enterprise?

Harry Ballz
January 12, 2008 8:07 pm

Jupiter1701

everything you’ve stated is “dead on the money”….

Don’t worry, Paramount will, in the long run, get their money back! If this relaunches the franchise, lays the foundation for a series of movies and television…..what, you don’t think so?

SPB
January 12, 2008 8:13 pm

#20 – Anthony P. –

“And SPB…the article states that Paramount DO NOT expect Transformers numbers for Trek. ”

Duly noted… but I wasn’t expecting TREK XI to make the same money as TRANSFORMERS. I was simply stating that I want the film, as a whole, to BE better than TRANFORMERS. With all due respect to Robert Orci, who haunts these boards from time-to-time, I couldn’t stand a single minute of that film.

But I did very much enjoy M:I III, so hope prevails.

Josh
January 12, 2008 8:18 pm

I think that this movie will allow Trek to venture to strange new worlds, create new civilizations, while remaining true to the old. And of course: bodly go where no one has gone before.

I hope that if another series does arise from this, that it doesn’t go Enterprise. Maybe something post-Dominion War. Or hell, something set way in the future. Though, they need to have Admiral Janeway seeing the new ship off. It was a nice tradition handing off each new series with the previous one it overlapped. Like how DS9 began on the Enterprise-D and how Voyager took off from DS9.

It will be good.

And for anyone who says “hahahaha itll suX0rz lawlshitzpantz”

“The hell they did.” -Spock

STXI will be one of the top movies of the year.

January 12, 2008 8:23 pm

What mystifies me is that Paramount wants this to be a tentpole, yet aside from Leonard Nimoy (who is one of the biggest celebrities in Trek but not mainstream Hollywood), there are no really big actors in it.

Even Batman Begins had Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

Transformers even had Jon Voight, for what that’s worth (definitely worth more than Eric Bana and Bruce Greenwood, the latter two being fine outstanding actors notwithstanding).

Aside from Leonard Nimoy in front of the camera and J.J. Abrams behind the camera, and aside from the brand name Star Trek, there is not one single performer with box-office draw recognition in this.

Harry Ballz
January 12, 2008 8:31 pm

#37 TrekNerd “there is not one single performer with box-office draw recognition in this”

Maybe people will go because they hear it’s a damn good film!?

GaryS
January 12, 2008 8:40 pm

If they make a great movie ,
Paramount will have something to promote .
If you build it they will come.

January 12, 2008 8:41 pm

“Maybe people will go because they hear it’s a damn good film!?”

The answer should be in the form of a Ballzy rhyme.

Redjac
January 12, 2008 9:01 pm

Thanksgiving used to be the time most of the Christmas season films were released. Now, more recently it seems big films have been coming out Christmas day…take AvP: Requiem for example. That one tanked. But again, I think quality played a big part in this turkey…

Harry Ballz
January 12, 2008 9:11 pm

#40 TrekNerd “Ballzy rhyme”

See #28 in answer and thanks for asking!

manrum
January 12, 2008 9:13 pm

if the enterprize is not same, was and lenord nemoy that I am there, does not see, little matters will be set, unless i saw it in reviews me first assumed that it never does not gain money, because trekies does not see it and the people geeks satisfies to think of the Trek when the free sector is however smaller than it $150 million banks it during a good tuesday, and it IDO for coupon.

Harry Ballz
January 12, 2008 9:22 pm

#41 Redjac “more recently it seems big films have been coming out Christmas day…..I think quality played a big part in this turkey”

A turkey on Christmas day?? Who’d a thunk it?

SPB
January 12, 2008 9:23 pm

#43 – Manrum

I think I speak for everyone here when I say… HUH???

Litenbug
January 12, 2008 9:31 pm

At least we won’t have the Christmas ham.

Litenbug
January 12, 2008 9:34 pm

#43 manrum
please at least spell the name of the starship and the actor’s name correctly while you sort out the rest of your english.

Litenbug
January 12, 2008 9:36 pm

40. TrekNerd – January 12, 2008
“Maybe people will go because they hear it’s a damn good film!?”

The answer should be in the form of a Ballzy rhyme.

There once was a starship built above Frisco…

never mind

manrum
January 12, 2008 9:46 pm

#43 and #47

i’m sorry i can’t offer high-flown language, not even though all here assembled may deride me; pathos from me, in any case, would make you laugh if you had not stopped laughing long ago.

i love star trek, but i’ve no remarks to make about the stars or planets, i merely see how mankind toils and moils. Earth’s little gods do not change at all, are just as strange as on their primal day. They call it reason and employ it only to be more bestial than any beast.

*this is mr. roddenberry’s vision, and not my own. I hope only that the new film can live with the vision.*

Financially, the film must make money around $421 million for the movie to succeed.

elmachocombo
January 12, 2008 9:53 pm

I too wouldn’t mind an excuse to get away from the in-laws. Thanksgiving would be a good call. Or at least a few days before the 25th. Then, if all goes smoothly at Christmas, I’ll tuck in the kiddies, kiss the wife, hide a can o’ Guinness and some beef jerky under my coat and sneak out to see it again. Then I can drool all over myself in private. Ooooooooooh, my beloved Starship Enterprise, my precious. Yeah. I can’t have a full-on nerd fit in the presence of others. Too embarrasing. Sounds like manrum’s had a few too many Guinness already. Friends, don’t let friends drink and type!

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