http://www.entertainmentearth.com/cjdoorway.asp?url=aff-home.asp

Star Trek Film Competition Update

A month ago we reported that JJ Abrams Star Trek movie was getting some more competition in the form of some ‘counter programming,’ and now there are more changes in the May 2009 schedule with a big ‘tween’  movie pulling out and a smaller comedy and a horror film coming into the picture.

 

Hannah Montana moves to April
During the summer it is typical for each weekend to have a big blockbuster type of film and a family or romantic comedy. Last month the romantic comedy My Life In Ruins slotted in to join Star Trek on May 8th 2009. The May 1st weekend was to have X-Men Origins: Wolverine along with the Hannah Montana Movie. Now Disney has moved the Hannah movie to April 10th. This is good news for Fox and Wolverine, but it is also good for Trek. Although Hannah Montana can be easily dismissed, it is a huge phenomenon amongst teens. The limited release 3-D Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour movie set a record for per/screen average ($45, 561). The Disney TV show is a huge hit and there is probably more Hannah Montana licensed merchandise released this year than Star Trek. The chart below shows that "Hannah Montana" is consistently a more popular search term than "Star Trek."


Last 12 months: Hannah v Trek in Google Trends [click for more detail]

Mos Def & Raimi jump in
Although Montana is gone, a new entry has come in for May 8th. The low-budget dark comedy Next Day Air staring Mos Def and Donald Faison (Scrubs), about at a UPS driver that accidentally gets involved with a drug ring. Although maybe that there is a slot open in the previous weekend, things could change. Also joining the May line-up is Drag Me To Hell, a horror film directed and co-written by Spider-man series helmer Sam Raimi, which is going directly up against the Pixar movie Up on May 29th (which would be Trek’s fourth weekend).

With all that, here is the current line-up for May 2009 (obviously subject to change).

What is the buzz?
Star Trek is still well positioned but it wont be a walk in the park. The key for the film will be to dominate its first weekend (which is likely) and ride out the rest of the month with good word of mouth and strong showings. Although the Da Vinci Code sequel (Angels & Demons) should provide some competition, probably the biggest competition to Trek for audience are the Wolverine movie and the Terminator movie. Both of the previous films in those franchises grossed over $425 million worldwide, but neither topped the box office for more than a single weekend. In fact Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl came out the week after Terminator 3 and ended up making over $650 Million world wide. So it is easily possible that all the May movies could do well.

One area of concern will be pre-movie buzz. Star Trek actually ended up ranking a distant fifth as the most anticipated movie of 2009 according to a poll conducted by Fandango. The other May movies are already ramping up their marketing efforts, especially Terminator Salvation. Although Trek fans are getting up to speed on the JJ Abrams film, it still hasn’t made much of a splash into the mainstream media. There are even some concerns that it is under-buzzed. Time Magazine awarded Star Trek (and its surprising lack of a panel) the ‘biggest omission’ of this year’s Comic-Con, when at the same time both Terminator and Wolverine used the event to build mass media buzz for those projects. Just look at how during July 2008 (Comic Con Month), those projects surged in internet searches and news stories.


July 2008: Trek v Wolverine v Terminator in Google Trends [click for more detail]

The good news is that word from Paramount is that there is a plan to ‘massively promote’ the new Star Trek movie and deals are being cut now to start feeding things to the mainstream media and lift the cone of silence, starting around the time of the next trailer (which should be in late 2008). TrekMovie hopes that Paramount doesn’t wait too long as there are still a lot of preconceived notions around Trek that must be overcome to bring in ‘tent pole’ audiences.  Star Trek is not Cloverfield, and super-secrecy carried all the way into mid 2009 would likely backfire.   

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest
September 25, 2008 6:31 pm

Oh, this should be nice.

750 Mang
September 25, 2008 6:33 pm

“Back off, back off!”

Kirk to Hannah Montana.

Pat D.
September 25, 2008 6:34 pm

I totally do not understand Paramount distributing another movie on the same day/

yay blogs
September 25, 2008 6:37 pm

I…HAVE HAD….ENOUGH OF YOU!!!

Stanky McFibberich
September 25, 2008 6:39 pm

I don’t think the “mainstream” will be all that interested.

September 25, 2008 6:39 pm

Seeing a TrekMovie article with Hannah Montana as the story icon is a bit disconcerting.

Xai
September 25, 2008 6:41 pm

This is where some posters enter and proclaim how “dumb” Paramount, Bad Robot, JJ, Mr. Magoo and Jar Jar Binks were to move this film to May.

Let the gripe-fest begin.

Captain Robert April
September 25, 2008 6:45 pm

“Star Trek is not Cloverfield, and super-secrecy carried all the way into mid 2009 would likely backfire. ”

They’re pushing it as it is.

SHOW US THE DAMN SHIP!!

The Enterprise
September 25, 2008 6:47 pm

Wow. Trek pretty much has zero competition. Sure, Hannah will do average among the tweeners, but I really don’t see Wolverine doing well because the last X Men movie was such a disaster.

September 25, 2008 6:49 pm

So heres what you do if you want to avoid competition with Terminator, Wolverine and Hannah Montana…

you release the film on its original release date and forget about ploys to make more money! its only going to be ignored up against films like Wolverine and Terminator because those two franchises appeal to more than just sci fi geeks, they appeal to casual movie goers aswell…

if 50 people go to the theatre to see Star Trek then 100 will see Wolverine, its a much more commercial license…..i see more Wolverine figures sitting on the shelves of Toys R Us than i do Kirk figures.

if this film bombs, then i dont wanna hear anyone at paramount come up with a lame excuse that the film wasnt all it could be….because it’ll more than likely be because they released it at the wrong time. and i highly doubt that they will admit their mistake.

Xai
September 25, 2008 6:55 pm

Tired of the nay-sayers

MDSHiPMN
September 25, 2008 6:57 pm

I too am worried.

The other movies have had a whole lot of press, posters, trailers, set pics.

Trek has been really limited in exposure.

Trek will do well, and I love Trek a lot, but I can’t expect too much.

Everything about Star Trek says “nerd” to alot of people, and those people still think they’ve allready seen all Trek has to offer.

I can’t get enough of it, they can’t change the channel fast enough.

If this movie is good, I hope it helps change some peoples’ negative view of what Star Trek is.

Xai
September 25, 2008 6:57 pm

No mistake was made. this position shows confidence in the film and believe it or not… people DO see more than one movie a summer.

Hannah left, Terminator and Wolverine are on different weekends.

OM
September 25, 2008 7:00 pm

“Tired of the nay-sayers”

…Especially because we’re right once again, huh?

Tsk.

The Gorn Identity
September 25, 2008 7:02 pm

There’s a strong possibility this entire “Hannah Montana” fad will be over by next April.

Star Trek is safe in its release date. It won’t be facing any real competition until the Terminator movie hits. I don’t see “Angels and Demons” to be that much of a challenge. The “Da Vinci Code” did okay at the box office and the sequel will probably do about the same or even a little less. X-Men/Wolverine will have a strong opening but it will fall during its second weekend once TREK opens. No worries.

For the record, I do believe Paramount should have kept STAR TREK’s Christmas release date.

Tog
September 25, 2008 7:16 pm

ENTERPRISE fly over during the Super Bowl – That would Rock!

Do you remember this — Enjoy the Super Bowl it be your last one!

Newman
September 25, 2008 7:22 pm

bahahahahaha @ Hannah Montana.

I myself feel that the Terminator movie poses the biggest threat to Trek. Especially since Christian Bale is the man.

Having said that, I’m still going to squeal like a piggie on May 8th.

Al Hartman
September 25, 2008 7:27 pm

It’s “under buzzed” because they are being so secretive about it.

I think it’s because they feel the need to hide it from trek fans so we won’t talk it down for being too different from what went before.

Why else wouldn’t they release pictures from the movie and put out trailers?

John from Cincinnati
September 25, 2008 7:31 pm

I think not having a presence at Comic Con was just sheer arrogance on Paramount’s part. Yes, word of mouth will help this movie if it is as good as the suits say it is, however, they should would want to ramp up the initial audience cluster as much as possible. The bigger the initial audience, the more mouths for the word of mouth to happen.

I agree with this article about overcoming stereotypes for a lot of people. There need to be trailers, commercials and talk show appearances people, and soon.

September 25, 2008 7:32 pm

Star Trek would have completely and totally ruled the Christmas holiday release date. I hope the move to May 8th helps it, and doesn’t hurt it.

SPB
September 25, 2008 7:51 pm

IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE…

If they’re hoping to court the “average moviegoer” into getting hyped-up for a STAR TREK film that they normally wouldn’t see, they’re doing a stupendously piss-poor job of it, in my book. TREK XI would have been THE film to see during Dec. ’08 through Jan. ’09… as it stands, it’s now just another summer tentpole flick of many for May of 2009. Throwing some crumbs to the die-hards (face posters? Oooooh!) ain’t gonna cut it.

Paramount needs to start hyping this to Joe Schmoe starting YESTERDAY. If the general public had a better understanding that TREK XI is dealing with the “early years” of Kirk and Spock, the buzz would be MUCH greater. I don’t think the man on the street even has the first clue that there’s a new TREK film coming out next summer, but everybody sure seems to know about TERMINATOR 4 and ANGELS AND DEMONS. *sigh*

Thomas
September 25, 2008 7:54 pm

It’i personally think that it’s still kind of early to be worrying about how this movie is being received because, to the best of my knowledge, I still haven’t heard much buzz about Angels and Demons or Woverine. In fact, most of the talk I’ve heard about Wolverine is that people are nervous about it based on how bad X-Men 3 was. I’ve heard almost nothing about Angels and Demons. I’m just not ready to freak out yet over how this movie is being handled by Paramount or Bad Robot.

Tim Lade
September 25, 2008 7:55 pm

The funny thing about predicting big movies is that you actually can’t. Who knows what other factors will play into Star Trek having a big weekend such as things a simple as the weather, the economy, etc. etc. etc.

Studio’s routinely try and counter program based on the fact that different people like different things. Look Dark Knight vs. Mamma Mia…two completely different movies with two completely different audiences and yet both huge money makers. I feel that the science of how exactly how well the movie will do should be left up to psychics. Noboby has a crystal ball at trekmovie as far as I know and therefore it is extremely problematic to predict anything that is six months away. Hell we could all be swallowed by a giant black hole and never see the movie.

Peace

Seasoned Trekkie
September 25, 2008 7:58 pm

#21: Totally agree. It’s as if Paramount is trying to sabotage the movie project. Maybe they’re tired of the Star Trek franchise but if so, then they should have put it up for sale to another studio a long time ago.

JohnnieF
September 25, 2008 8:03 pm

Don’t worry about tomorrow, today has enough troubles of its own. Things are going to work out just fine. If you start the “buzz” to soon, people will lose interest. Hannah Montana has a TV show and is constantly in front of the Tweeners – you should expect her to have a high Google search rate. I want to see the trailers as much as anyone, but I also want everything done right so the movie does as well as possible and maybe the whole franchise can get a fresh start. “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!”

Jason Lee
September 25, 2008 8:15 pm

I have very little opinion one way or the other on the move from December to May, other than wishing I didn’t have to wait that much longer to see it. As to the lack of hype and advertising, however, as long as they DO give it a massive promotional campaign starting no later than the end of this year, I think they could benefit from the added intensity in the final lead-up to the film’s release rather than spreading it out over a longer period of time. They just need to make sure that the next theatrical trailer is absolutely kick-ass and leaves people saying to themselves, “OMG! Trek movie or no, I have GOT to see that!”

Closettrekker
September 25, 2008 8:16 pm

#25—“Things are going to work out just fine. If you start the “buzz” to soon, people will lose interest”

Exactly.

“Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!”

Yep. Don’t even begin the campaign until the holiday season (with a full trailer), and then escalate it from there. ST will only sustain significant interest with the “mainstream” public for a short time. Big time promotion right now would only be wasted effort. The goal is for interest to “peak” the week of the opening.

Closettrekker
September 25, 2008 8:17 pm

#26—Another wise voice.

Brian
September 25, 2008 8:22 pm

Yup definitely time to generate at least a little buzz.

Xai
September 25, 2008 8:25 pm

24. Seasoned Trekkie – September 25, 2008
#21: Totally agree. It’s as if Paramount is trying to sabotage the movie project. Maybe they’re tired of the Star Trek franchise but if so, then they should have put it up for sale to another studio a long time ago.

Yep, that old business ploy… Hire good writers, a talented director, bring in Leonard Nimoy and I bet if we throw enough money at this…we can make it go away.

I have a bridge I’d like to sell you…

Darkowski
September 25, 2008 8:25 pm
I don’t know… as much as I’m excited about the new Star Trek movie, I’m kind of nervous as well for its success at the box office. I have this feeling that for Star Trek to be successful, they need to really put A LOT of work and dedication into the marketing department or else only trekkers/trekkies will show up in theaters (perhaps that’s the reason why they postponed it until next May – to have more time to market the product better). True, Star Trek is a really popular brand name, but it doesn’t mean that everyone familiar with it will actually rush to the nearest movie theater. It is said that Paramount wants to re-invigorate the franchise, but IMO they need to re-invigorate the name as well (in order to re-invigorate the franchise) (chicken or the egg?). And word of mouth isn’t enough, as it will mostly attract only the regular ST fans. Like #12 said; Star Trek needs A LOT more exposure. Find a way to target everyone (as the target market is practically everyone), not only trekkers. Make a mass marketing campaign. Put adds where the public isn’t expecting it. Make the public believe in that ST future just like the first JJ trailer by connecting real life space exploration with Star Trek. Brainwash them. Make the general public change their perception of what Star Trek really is. Make them pay that movie theater ticket! :-P P.S. I only took one marketing course, so I hope… Read more »
THX-1138 The Fandom Menace
September 25, 2008 8:25 pm

THE SKY IS FALLING!! THE SKY IS FALLING!! THIS IS A DISASTER!!

OK, let’s have a little perspective, folks. It’s September. Just how sick of Star trek promotions do you think the mainstream audience would be if they started right now? Ads in September. Ads in October. Ads in November. Ads in December. Ads in January. Ads in February. Ads in March. Ads in April, with the big push the last two weeks of April and into May. Over-exposure won’t help the movie any.

The best thing about these sort of threads are the people that come here and say “See, I told you! The whole thing is going to suck because I didn’t get to see a picture of the Enterprise in July, August, and September. They didn’t have an all revealing trailer 10 months before the release of the movie and now Star Trek is dead!”

Enlightened.

Xai
September 25, 2008 8:26 pm

14. OM – September 25, 2008
“Tired of the nay-sayers”

“…Especially because we’re right once again, huh?”

I am still waiting for the first time you were… when was that?

Tsk.

Xai
September 25, 2008 8:27 pm

#32 THX-1138

Bingo.

Joe Schmoe
September 25, 2008 8:28 pm

Having a scene that portrayed Miley Cyrus as a teenage Jim Kirk’s first major love would kill the movie for us real fans, but would bring some of the squealy girls into the movie theater.

That and the Jonas Brothers playing three musical alien brothers in a bar on Rigel.

I have two daughters, and I know that’s the only way I could get them to go see a Star Trek movie with me, ha ha ha.

Blake Powers
September 25, 2008 8:28 pm

Anthony,
as a seasoned vet of Trekmovie.com… Miley Cyrus as the pic for this article??? Dear god man, you scared me. I was worried I accidentally logged onto hannamontanmovie.com…
Seriously though, I wish I would have had a webcam shot of my face when I first logged on.
How about some HOTT pics of Zoe??

Xai
September 25, 2008 8:30 pm

Closettrekker…I hope some of these people are sitting next to you in May and not me.

;-)

Blake Powers
September 25, 2008 8:31 pm

Hannah Montana could be the illegitimate child of James T. Kirk and that Green Singing thing from Jabba’s fort in Return of the Jedi.

max
September 25, 2008 8:39 pm

I’m not worried about the competition. People go to a lot of movies during the summer. Its not a big deal. But they do need to step up the promotion soon.

September 25, 2008 8:41 pm

“One area of concern will be pre-movie buzz. Star Trek actually ended up ranking a distant fifth as the most anticipated movie of 2009 according to a poll conducted by Fandango. The other May movies are already ramping up their marketing efforts, especially Terminator Salvation. Although Trek fans are getting up to speed on the JJ Abrams film, it still hasn’t made much of a splash into the mainstream media. There are even some concerns that it is under-buzzed. Time Magazine awarded Star Trek a ‘biggest omission’ rating no panel at this year’s Comic-Con, when at the same time both Terminator and Wolverine used the event to build mass media buzz for those projects. Just look at how during July 2008 (Comic Con Month), those projects surged in internet searches and news stories.”

Hmm… posters have been taken to task for posting these same thoughts in past months by some of you. I know I was for harping about Comic Con.

Closettrekker
September 25, 2008 8:46 pm

#37—I’ll make one of my sons switch seats with me.

mm3guy
September 25, 2008 9:06 pm

Is Google Trends really a site to base your research on how popular something is on?

Bob Tompkins
September 25, 2008 9:06 pm

It’s what I’ve been preaching for months.
Mainstream awareness is low. Mainstream interest is nil.

I can just hear the following conversation on the streets on May 8, 2009..

“Whadday wanna go see at the movies?’
***
“I dunno.”
***
“Heard there’s a new Start Trek comin’ out tomorrow.”
***
“Star Trek? No way, man.That’s soooo frakkin'[sp] geeky.We a new ‘Terminator’ comin’ in a couple of weeks. Let’s just wait.”
***
“Awright. Let’s hit the skateboards, dude.”
***

Or something like that. All over the country.

September 25, 2008 9:07 pm

I thought it was the end of the world when I go on to trekmovie.com and see Hannah Montana. rofl

Closettrekker
September 25, 2008 9:08 pm
Any potential “buzz” created this early will only serve established fans who are going to see the movie anyway. As long as the promotion campaign includes attention grabbing effects and glimpses of impressive action sequences (along with the words “from director JJ Abrams” in big bold letters), mainstream moviegoers will raise an eyebrow :) —-Star Trek or not. The goal is to “peak” that interest just before opening weekend. If it starts now, then no matter how impressive the promotion is, interest among average moviegoers will wane in the coming months and the impulse ticket buyers will not be there in the same numbers as if the interest were fresh. That’s not conjecture, but a staple application of good consumer marketing. Think about it. How much is Abrams (of all people) going to be willing to give away to begin with? It makes no sense to limit the impact of the campaign in the weeks leading up to the release by letting it go now. As for pictures of the Enterprise, who is that going to benefit right now—the fans who regularly peruse trekmovie? They are going to show up in May whether they release a photo or not. The only thing it will serve to do is give some of the purists a weapon to attack the creative team with over the web. Why on Earth would Abrams subject himself to that voluntarily? Not that I believe he will withhold it for that long, but I wouldn’t release a… Read more »
Seasoned Trekkie
September 25, 2008 9:19 pm

#30: Yeah, I kinda see your point

devon Richards
September 25, 2008 9:23 pm

I have a question you folks…
Many will agree that Terminator 3, while it had its moments, came pretty close to sucking royally. And, McG’s last movie was the god-awful Angels sequel. Why are people so psyched about this new Terminator film?

Capt Mike from the Terran Empire
September 25, 2008 9:41 pm

Hey the new T4 will be great. it’s after Judgement day and it’s where John Conner saves mankind.But Trek needs to get the buzz out there. if they do not do it soon then it may be to late. They need to start the Buzz now and by relasing a trailer and Photos and getting the hype going it will help. I see Star Trek Being number 1 for 2 weeks.Then a respectable 2 for another 2 weeks.But Start the BUZZ NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pinky
September 25, 2008 9:48 pm

I am concerned that Star Trek was moved to summer because it’s a boom bang blockbuster like Transformers, The Island, Eagle Eye…. instead of an thoughtful adventure like Star Trek II.

I pray Orci and Kurtzman tried something new… and left the pee jokes out of it. Oh please…

Xai
September 25, 2008 9:51 pm

43. Bob Tompkins – September 25, 2008

You need to talk to more adults…dude.

wpDiscuz