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Star Trek To Get Some Big Fat Greek Competition

It looks like JJ Abrams Star Trek movie has finally got some direct competition, albeit some ‘counter-programming’ competition. Cinematical is reporting that Fox Searchlight has picked May 8th as the US open date for the romantic comedy My Life in Ruins starring and co-written by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

 

Wikipedia’s summarizes My Life In Ruin’s plot thusly:

Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is a Greek-American tour guide, who leads an assorted group of misfit tourists around Greece. Tourists who would rather buy a T-Shirt than learn about history. In an hysterical clash of personalities and cultures, everything seems to go wrong. Until one day when a very special tourist, Irv Gordon (Richard Dreyfuss), shows her how to have fun and take a good look at the last person she’d ever expect to find love with….Her quiet and sexy Greek bus driver


Poster for Life in Ruins

One can quickly see that this film is targeting a different audience than the sci-fi effects-heavy Star Trek movie. During the summer it is typical for each weekend to have one action blockbuster and one smaller romantic or family comedy. For example the biggest movie of the year, The Dark Knight actually opened alongside two other films, the family comedy Space Chimps and the romantic musical Mamma Mia. The second biggest movie of the summer, Iron Man, also had its own romantic comedy companion, Made of Honor.

May 2009 shaping up
Star Trek will open in the second weekend of the Summer 2009 season. Right now it looks like each weekend of May will have one big ‘tentpole’ and an additional romantic or family comedy, with the exception of the last weekend with the Pixar film Up, which could count as both a family comedy and a tentpole. The new X-Men and Terminator movies as well as the DaVinci Code sequel (Angels and Demons) should give Trek some good competition. But most successful films actually only get one #1 weekend at the box office. For example, last summer Transformers brought in over $300 domestically, yet was only the top film in its first weekend. If Star Trek is good (and most importantly, if it is well marketed), then it can easily end up a hit, regardless of how well the other May films do.  See below for a list of the May 2009 movies so far.


Line up for May 2009

Boy Wizard afraid of Kirk and Spock? (and Autobots?)
Trekkies may think we had it bad when Paramount moved the Star Trek movie back 4 1/2 months from Christmas 2008 to May 2009, but Harry Potter fans just got dealt a bigger blow. Last week Warner Bros. moved Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince from Thanksgiving 2008 to July 17th 2009, a weekend already occupied by Land of the Lost, starring Will Farrell. When picking a summer slot, it appears that Warner wanted to steer clear from May movies led by Trek and the June movies led by Transformers 2.

 

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Ed G.
August 20, 2008 6:54 pm

yawn….no competition

That One Guy
August 20, 2008 6:58 pm

How will we compete with Hannah Montana?!?!

Well, we’re doomed.

So far, so good. No one wants to see another X-Men, and Hannah Montana obviously does not stand a chance.

jbgestl
August 20, 2008 7:01 pm

That’s the kind of competition we want for Trek.

MrPointy
August 20, 2008 7:10 pm

Man, The Hannah Montana Movie will destroy the shit out of everything on that list.

I’m calling $1billion box office from that thing.

CanuckLou
August 20, 2008 7:20 pm

Christmas this year is sure looking good right now but no matter Trek will rule! At least for one weekend.

…the adventure continues…

Spockanella
August 20, 2008 7:31 pm

2: No one wants to see another X-Men? Speak for yourself, youngling! Hugh Jackman….drool…

tomcatjosh
August 20, 2008 7:32 pm

Montana Will Not Blow Trek Away.Montana Is For Girls.

Sean
August 20, 2008 7:33 pm

I don’t get it. If Paramount wanted Star Trek to get better box office numbers, why put it in direct competition with Wolverine, Angels & Demons, and Terminator Salvation?

The original release date wouldn’t have had any competition at all. This just infuriates me even more about this STUPID delay.

August 20, 2008 7:36 pm

I could give a wet fart about this.

August 20, 2008 7:38 pm
The Hannah Montana Movie is no different than the Lizzie McGuire Movie released back in 2003. It opened on the same weekend as X-Men 2; naturally, X-Men kicked Lizzie’s adolescent butt: X2 got $85.6 million for the weekend, McGuire got $17.3 million. Hannah Montana will probably earn a tad bit more given the bigger fanbase, but not by much. Plus, there’s inflation to consider. I predict The Hannah Montana Movie will open with about $25 to $30 million, coming in second place behind Wolverine, which should muster a cool $80 million to $100 million, unless it totally sucks. Then again, X-Men 3 totally sucked, and that earned $102 million in its opening weekend. The disappointment of that film will likely reduce ticket sales, though. As for My Life in Ruins… yeah, no competition. Vardalos’ last movie, Connie and Carla, debuted back in 2004 with only $3.3 million, coming in at #13. My Life in Ruins will be lucky enough to earn $10 million. The real competition against Star Trek is Wolverine; if Trek doesn’t open big enough, Wolverine may manage to get two weekends at the top, leaving Trek in the #2 spot. That wouldn’t be good at all, especially since Wolverine, like all big tentpole movies, will lose at least 50% of its business in the second weekend. That means Wolverine could very well earn about $35 to $50 million in its second weekend, depending on word-of-mouth; Trek has to be able to beat that in its opening weekend.… Read more »
Mig
August 20, 2008 7:40 pm

Based solely on this, and no movies opening prior to May. I predict that for the weekend Star Trek opens the box office will look something like this:

#1 Wolverine — $40 million
#2 Hannah Montana — $22 million
#3 Star Trek — $18 million

August 20, 2008 7:40 pm

While I understand Paramount’s decision to do this, it makes me uneasy. At Christmas, it would have had almost no competition for weeks. It was have ruled the box office completely unchallanged.

Now that it will be in May, it may only rule for one weekend, instead of a few weeks in a row. Even if Star Trek is a great film, some people will opt to watch X-Men on the second weekend instead of the first to beat the crowds. Those people who enjoy X-Men more than Star Trek, will see it instead, where as, if Star Trek was the only thing in December, that same X-men demographic would see it, because of their general love of comic books/sci-fi.

I’m not saying that Star Trek is doomed, but it just seems to me that it would have more of a chance in December, when nothing would be stealing it’s thunder for weeks.

Sarah Ann
August 20, 2008 7:44 pm

Here’s hoping JJ has something really REALLY good cooked up.

Spockanella
August 20, 2008 7:51 pm

9. I’m always curious why folks who claim not to care about a particular subject still feel compelled to make a comment…seems contradictory. Or maybe just contrary.

Hope you do your own laundry. :)

August 20, 2008 7:51 pm

#11 Mig — Hannah Montana is unlikely to earn that much in its second weekend. The Hannah Montana concert movie that came out earlier this year earned $31 million in its first weekend and lost 67% of its business in the second weekend, coming in with $10.3 million. The Hannah Montana Movie could manage $35 million in its first weekend, but after that, it’ll drop like a rock; I would predict no more than $13 million in its second weekend.

Wolverine probably will earn about $40 million, but I think you’re predicting Trek waaaay too low. The buzz for this movie is just too high for Star Trek to open with a measly $18 million. If it earns less than $30 million, I’ll be surprised. Of course, if in the unlikely event it did only earn $18 million — or anything below $25 million, for that matter — you can kiss future Star Trek projects goodbye for the next, oh… 10 years or so.

krikzil
August 20, 2008 7:53 pm

Now I’m wishing it had been left at Xmas time. Hanna Montana will be huge. I don’t get it but she’s got a fan base that won’t quit. I think Wolverine will do well too unless it’s an absolute mess. There’s too much going on, it’s not going to allow ONE film to dominate.

Spocko
August 20, 2008 7:55 pm

How will we bear it! Every Star Trek fan will have to stop and ask themselves “Do I wanna see Star Trek or My Life in Ruins on May 8th?”

…Gee…that’s a tough one.

Xai Ping
August 20, 2008 7:56 pm

Anthony, may I suggest #9 be removed and sent to bed without his supper.

Xai Ping
August 20, 2008 7:57 pm

Best get the big, fat Greek bus outta the way…

Xai Ping
August 20, 2008 7:58 pm

…unless it’s got warp drive, that thing ain’t gonna fly

August 20, 2008 8:08 pm

I have a good feeling. People (like me) will go see Wolverine opening weekend and then it will have the typical dropoff. I have a sneaky feeling the trailers for Trek will blow people away and prove that this flick isn’t just another Star Trek movie. Trek will open at #1 and make i feel a little more then 18 million opening weekend. i think closer to 30-40 million. but it all depends….. the buzz (outsdie of us folks checking TrekMovie ever 2 hours) really needs to start now. the preview that was on Cloverfield seems so long ago now.. in short, lets get a new teaser out there. show us the action. show us the trek.

Mig
August 20, 2008 8:14 pm

Charles, I expect the Hannah Montana movie will receive much more exposure and a higher gross as a result when compared to the concert. Granted that depends to a large degree on marketing. As to the success of Star Trek, well I personally think it’ll be a major major bomb. Just not enough interest from the ordinary person.

FREAKAZOID
August 20, 2008 8:30 pm

Not care about Wolverine?!?!? It opens the week before Trek and I have every intention of seeing Wolverine as much as Star Trek! Actually, I’m gonna have to wait until the second weekend of Trek because my best friend is getting married that weekend. I wonder if he realized they had picked the weekend Star Trek is opening for the wedding! maybe that can be the bachelor party!!! **heh heh heh**

August 20, 2008 8:32 pm

i just don’t think it will be a major bomb. look at Transformers! how many hardcore Transformers nuts are out there? quite a few, but not in the numbers that movie pulled in. the trick is bringing in the non-megafan audience and Trek really has a job to do convincing the summer movie audience that is something new, special and awesome and not typical Trek.

August 20, 2008 8:36 pm

I predict a repeat of Star Trek V being toppled by more mainstream blockbusters. For non-trekkers to give Star Trek a chance, there can’t be competition like that. Most non-trekkers will go see the other “cooler” movies instead.

Star Trek would do extremely well in my mind at Christmas.

I hope I’m wrong, but I just can’t see ST competing with those movies.

capt mike
August 20, 2008 8:40 pm

#22. You are way to cynicle. I believe Trek will make at least 45 to 50 million. The thing is it will be marketeted and there will be at least 2 great trailers. I think J.J Abrams will do a great job in the marketing dept. This is not like the last 2 tng movies.This will have a new feel to it and will be different enough and there will be strong word of mouth. So all the doomsayers please keep to your self.If you think it will be bad then for you it will. I for one think it will be great and with a great group of young actors and nimoy himself plying spock and with so much going on and a great story it will be a hit. Hey it may do better then anyone expects. So lets keep a positive attitude and spread the word on seeing trek and it will be a hit. So with a great group of hot and talented young actors and a proven writer and director in Abrams and true pureist like Cawley and Of corse Nimoy and all the other original actors approving then we are all in for a treat. Don’t let the bombs like the last 2 tng movies keep the bitter taste in your mouth. Ric berman will be no where near this film.

Beam Me Up
August 20, 2008 8:40 pm

Lol, that will be out of theaters in a week.

jimj
August 20, 2008 8:44 pm

I still say move it back to Christmas season about a month or two ahead of time, with a LOT of hype…it would get people’s attention that way. I agree that i think it’s gonna suffer because of these other movies, good story or not….because common “Joe movie-goer” has a preconceived notion about Trek.

jimj
August 20, 2008 8:46 pm

but #26 makes a good point in his comments, too!

Ky-Malairn
August 20, 2008 8:47 pm

Isn’t Nia Vardolos’ 15 minutes up yet? If not, it’s gotta be like 13 or 14 past the hour. Greek wedding was a success because the story, although based on this wacky Greek family, connected with audiences who saw elements of their own heritage. Hence everyone was in on the joke. Nia’s tv spin off and her subsequent film did not have the same hold.

I predict Trek will win the weekend. There seems to be a buzz building in the fanboy community, not just Trekkies, who are curious about JJ’s interpretation of the classic series and this without a full bore campaign. It’ll do much better than that arbitrary 18 million dollar figure someone here floated.

capt mike
August 20, 2008 8:53 pm

What you havt to remember is that this movie will not be marketted as just another trek movie.It will be market as a new and fresh trek and at the same time true to trek. it be marketed as new and fresh but at the same time With the new Actors and most will be reconised from other kool movies. Especialy Quinto from Heroes. You know they will all make the rounds on the talk shows. Like letterman and leno and the others. You will see a lot of promotion on The new trek and it will be marketed as a new trek. So again it will be a Hot movie with kool young stars with Nimoy himself being in it and making it kool for everyone. Trekies or non trekies alike will like it.

capt mike
August 20, 2008 8:58 pm

# 29. Thank you. Im a movie buff of all kinds and I like to think i know what movies will be hot or cold. The way I see it The new trek will be hot.Maybe just my opinion but when you look at the facts of the new trek on what we know and all that we have seen so far it will be a hit. we don’t have people doing this movie who have no clue like berman. we have a proven director and producer like Abrams and his bad robot staff on deck. Also with Paramount in full support if trek. Yes it does suck on trek moving from Christmas to Summer. But to me that tells me Paramoung realy feels this will be a big hit and Well they have been making movies for a long time and that is the buesness they are in and I like to think They know what there doing.

Xai Ping
August 20, 2008 9:04 pm

A bomb?

I know everyone’s welcome here… but where’d those posts come from?
Once again we have people predicting a bad movie based on nothing.

SChaos1701
August 20, 2008 9:08 pm

It’s funny how people say that a movie that they haven’t seen 1 second of will fail.

HoochaHoocha
August 20, 2008 9:09 pm

Just goes to show, sometimes Paramount is damn shortsighted sometimes. I understand they wanted Star Trek to be a big summer blockbuster, and that it’s a sign of confidence in the film they placed it as such, but come on, did you really think Trekkies and sci-fi fans in general wouldn’t go see it at Christmas? Are busness politics really that superficial? It’s being challanged by genre films for the entire month of May. Stupid bastards–thinking with their wallets instead of their brains…and possibably making less money than they could have in the process!

capt mike
August 20, 2008 9:13 pm

# 35 In moving the Movie to the summer. It will do Much better buesness.

August 20, 2008 9:30 pm

Well, the grosses for Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, and Angels & Demons will likely be hampered by the disappointment of the previous films. X-Men 3 sucked, Terminator 3 disappointed (and in some cases enraged) even the most hard-core Terminator fans, and The Da Vinci Code was pretty… blah. So, the fact that the previous films were less than stellar should prevent the grosses for these films from being outstanding and thus give trek a bit of an edge (not that it will need it, just saying).

Ky-Malairn
August 20, 2008 9:32 pm

Charles,

But if the box office for the 3 films you mentioned will be affected by the previous installments, couldn’t the case be made that Nemesis will act as a similar poison?? (just saying)

Xai Ping
August 20, 2008 9:37 pm

35. HoochaHoocha – August 20, 2008
I don’t work for a movie studio, but see the logic in placing a movie with a great deal of potential in a May tentpole position.
Paramount KNOWS the sci-fi and Trek fans will show up at any time of the year, it’s the general audience they seek and Summer is a great time as well as Christmas. There’s nothing wrong with this May release in this movie-goer’s eyes. Wolverine and T-8 will get their $$, but I think you’ll see this Trek open very well and hold on as a first or second for weeks to follow and then on to a very successful DVD launch.

It’s time for the Trek fans to calm a little and quit reviewing a movie they have not seen yet. Or better yet, as a fan… stand up for what you enjoy and quit blasting it before the launch.

.

Xai Ping
August 20, 2008 9:40 pm

#38

Nope… different animal and Trek fans (although whiney) will come see and the general public will be hooked from the larger than usual ad plan. It’s time to re-sell the future folks…. wait for it…

capt mike
August 20, 2008 9:42 pm

#38. It won’t and here is why. New Director and Producer. berman is gone. New direction with the original crew being played by very talented actors and of core haveing Nimoy himself to keep with the real Tradition and great fx as well and Having paramount Realy pushing the new movie. T4 Will be big because it will finaly deal with the post Nuclear Attack and the War against the machines. X Men Well that remains to be seen. Da Vinci Code is a joke but will do some buesness.

Ky-Malairn
August 20, 2008 9:51 pm

Captain Mike,

I had to play devil’s advocate on that one, even though I do agree that there will be a new car smell to Trek this time out.

Although, here we go again, the same case could be made for 2 of those 3 movies. T4 is a brand new writing team and director. Christian Bale is hot right now and you’re right, the war against the machines is what people have been salivating to see. X Men is in a similar position. Wolverine is the most popular character and no one associated with the trilogy (I’m talking writers and directors) is involved. Angels is the only one of the bunch with carry over from the previous film.

The Realist
August 20, 2008 10:01 pm

So in other words Trek has no competition?

August 20, 2008 10:09 pm

#38 Ky-Malairn — good point. That being the case, all these movies are screwed. :-P

Nah, I joke, I’m sure they’ll all do good business. Trek and Terminator will probably benefit from the fact that their previous movies were 6-7 years ago. Only three years have passed for Da Vinci and X-Men, though.

I definitely think Angels & Demons will get the short end of the box office stick between these four movies. Star Trek will probably come next, followed by Terminator Salvation. Wolverine will likely be the big hit of the month.

I'm Captain Kirk... I'M CAPTAIN KIRK!
August 20, 2008 10:12 pm

LOL… This is perfect… No competition for Trek!

Ky-Malairn
August 20, 2008 10:15 pm

Charles,

Yeah, I gotta agree with you. These are all big franchises and will make their money back easily. Even the worst of them are pretty much guaranteed a big opening weekend.

I don’t think the execs at Paramount are rubbing rabbit’s feet much on this one. They have projections. They know what they can count on from the fanbase, the ordinary movie going public and the foreign markets. They also know what to expect with the DVD release. They wouldn’t blindly gamble 200+ million on a film without some assurances on how they were going to get it back.

Geez, if Superman Returns can scratch out a profit then there’s hope for our team.

August 20, 2008 10:24 pm

22. Mig – August 20, 2008

You’re right, the Hannah Montana Movie will get more exposure than the concert movie. The concert flick only opened in 683 theaters; The Hannah Montana Movie will likely open in more than 3,000+ theaters. That said, it’s a safe bet that everyone who all the die-hard Montana fans went to see the concert film in the first two weekends. Despite the increase in the number of theaters, the fan base will still be about the same size. So, I’m predicting the 2009 movie won’t open with much more than $35 million; I’m thinking $38 million, tops. In its second weekend, it will likely drop a heavy 65% … so, it should only get about $13 million in its second weekend (Star Trek’s weekend). Wolverine will probably get around $35 to $40 million that weekend, while Trek hopefully debuts with about $45 million.

August 20, 2008 10:31 pm

46 Ky-Malairn — $200+ million? Whoo, that’s way above the current budget estimates ($135-150 million). Of course, when you include distribution and marketing, it probably will come to over $200 million. I agree, though, I’m pretty sure the folks at Paramount know what they’re doing… at least, I hope. :)

I still think it would have made more money as a Christmas release, though. There was far less competition, so general audiences wouldn’t have had to choose between Trek and X-Men and Terminator. For the record, movie tickets here are $10 now, so it’s a good bet that people here and in similar areas will only be going to see one movie that month (if any). To tell you the truth, I really don’t think the movie they choose will be Star Trek — but it all depends on the marketing, I suppose. We’ll see how things turn out. :)

John from Cincinnati
August 20, 2008 10:36 pm

Star Trek is going to be the movie of the year in 2009. Everyone is going to be talking about it and seeing it. Quote me.

Cyberghost
August 20, 2008 10:51 pm

My life in ruins, stupid movie ahhhhhhhhh I think I will to to bed.

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