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TrekMovie Takes An In-Depth Look At The ‘Star Trek’ Competition in May 2009 December 17, 2008

by Rosario T. Calabria , Filed under: Editorial,Sci-Fi,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

According to the original plan, the new Star Trek movie was set to open in just a week, but earlier this year Paramount decided to move the film to May 2009 to take advantage of the more lucrative, and more competitive, Summer movie season. Today TrekMovie examines some of the heavy competition, including taking a look at some new previews. [Spoilers] 


Past Trek summers
Summer is the season for big movies and so it is a big vote of confidence on the part of Paramount to give “Star Trek” the tent pole treatment. In recent years Trek films have been ‘medium sized,’ coming out in the Thanksgiving to Christmas season. However Trek was a bigger film franchise in the eighties and three of the four films from that decade (II, III, & V) were summer releases (with mixed results). "Star Trek II" had the top opening weekend of 1982 and went on to be the 6th highest grossing film of the year, while "Star Trek III" ended up ranked 9th for 1984. However “Star Trek V” was a disappointment, ranking as the 25th highest grosser for 1989 after getting crushed by films like “Batman,” and the third “Indiana Jones” movie (along with its own bad reviews).

Of course, the real key to success is being a good film and so even with strong competition a film can do well. "Star Trek II" opened in the same month as "Poltergeist" and "E.T." and ended up between the two in the top 10. But it is always good to keep an eye on what else is out there.

May 2009 – Genre fest
The month of May 2009 will see the release of several high-profile movies, including other Sci-Fi films or genre films and also a lot of ‘counter programming’ of family films and comedies each weekend.

May 2009 – films in wide release
May 1 "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"
(Fox – action / adventure)
"Ghosts of Girlfriends Past"
(New Line- fantasy comedy)
May 8


"Star Trek"
(Paramount – sci-fi adventure)
"My Life in Ruins"
(Fox Searchlight – comedy)
"Wild Child"
(Universal – comedy)
"Next Day Air"
(Summit – comedy)
May 15 


"Angels & Demons"
(Sony/Columbia – thriller)
(Universal – comedy)
May 22  "Terminator Salvation"
(Warner Bros. –  sci-fi action)
"Night at the Museum II: Escape from the Smithsonian"
(Fox – family adventure)
May 29  "Up"
(Disney/Pixar – animation)
"Drag Me to Hell"
(Universal – horror)

Box office battle of the weekends
Today film’s earnings are judged on a combination of box office receipts and home sales (DVD, TV rights, etc), but box office still dominates. It cannot be over-estimated how important the opening weekend is for big summer movies, especially when positioned close to strong competition. For example, "X-Men 3," the highest grossing film in the X-Men franchise, made $102.8 million in its opening domestic weekend, which was 44% of its total $234 million domestic take. However, follow-up weekends can also be critical. "Batman Begins" opened at $48.7 million, but that was only 24% of its total domestic take of $205 million. It is rare for summer films to win two weekends in a row, but follow up sales over the weeks following release make or break a film, making both word of mouth as well as the competition, of key importance.

Although there are quite a few movies in May, the main competition for the genre audience will primarily come from  the other franchise films: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", and "Terminator Salvation". Trek will also have to do well against the Tom Hanks "DaVinci Code"  follow up on May 15th." So lets take a closer at those three films.

May 1: X-Men Origins: Wolverine [Budget: n/a]
This fourth film in the franchise, directed by Gavin Hood ("Rendition") from a script by David Benioff ("Kite Runner"), leads up to the events of the first "X-Men" movie. "X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE" tells the story of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and his violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe whose appearances in the film series have long been anticipated.

Prior Films in the Franchise


Watch the trailer in high definition at MySpace

Wolverine and the X-Men

In The News

Photo Gallery

With the exception of the surprise Comic-Con screening, 20th Century Fox has been relatively silent in their promotion of ‘Wolverine’. That has changed in recent weeks, with the studio finally releasing some material, mostly images, and then finally debuting the first trailer attached to "The Day the Earth Stood Still" last Friday (and reluctantly putting the trailer online this week). Except for Jackman, this film is from a new and less tested team and so it may not perform as well as the previous films in the series. Jackman (Wolverine) will be hosting "The 81st Annual Academy Awards" in February so he could get a boost from that and there is a new animated series scheduled to premiere next summer, titled "Wolverine and the X-Men" which could help. However, although the last two X-Men films have done well, both had big drop-offs in their second weekends, which would be good news for "Star Trek."

May 8: Star Trek [Budget: $135-150 million]
This one you know, Paramount’s big releaunch of the Trek film franchise with an origin of The Original Series era with a bit of time travel thrown in. Directed by JJ Abrams from a script from the "Transformers" team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman the film features a cast of young semi-stars, led by Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, joined by some more familiar faces such as Winona Ryder (Amanda), Bruce Greenwood (Pike) and of course Leonard Nimoy (elder Spock).

Prior Films in the Franchise

Here is the trailer, if you forgot:

In our last competition update in September, TrekMovie noted that the secrecy behind the "Star Trek" was running the risk of cutting into the promotion of the film, but with all the promotional activity in October and November, the buzz on Trek is already outpacing "Wolverine" and the film should fare well in its opening weekend. One extra bonus in Trek’s favor is that it looks to be the only May film to get the IMAX treatment, so it will have no competition on those screens, giving it a bit of a boost. A key factor is foreign markets. This is the first Trek film to get a truly global premiere. Past Trek films have been hit and miss overseas, but for this film to be a success it will have to do better than any Trek film has ever done, including non-English speaking markets. JJ Abrams already started to address this with his recent tour of Europe and more international efforts are expected from Paramount.


May 15: Angels & Demons [Budget: n/a]
The team behind the global phenomenon "The Da Vinci Code" returns for the highly anticipated "Angels & Demons," based upon the bestselling novel by Dan Brown. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard religious expert Robert Langdon, who once again finds that forces with ancient roots are willing to stop at nothing, even murder, to advance their goals. Ron Howard again directs the film, which is produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and John Calley. The screenplay is by David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman.

The film follows Langdon who discovers evidence of the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati – the most powerful underground organization in history – he also faces a deadly threat to the existence of the secret organization’s most despised enemy: the Catholic Church. When Langdon learns that the clock is ticking on an unstoppable Illuminati time bomb, he jets to Rome, where he joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and enigmatic Italian scientist. Embarking on a nonstop, action-packed hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even to the heart of the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra will follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that mark the Vatican’s only hope for survival.

Prior Films in the Franchise


High Definition

In the News

Photo Gallery

"Angels & Demons", Sony’s prequel follow-up to 2006’s highly successful ‘Da Vinci Code’ could cause trouble for "Star Trek" because it comes out just a week after. "The Da Vinci Code" opened to an impressive $77.1 million and "Angels & Demons" is adapted from another of Dan Brown’s novels, and as such, carries with it another strong and devoted fan base. Yet another reason why the first week’s gross is so important–the audience may move on to another film. However, "Angels & Demons" is more of a thriller and should be targeting an older audience than Trek. One area where "Angels & Demons" is a bigger threat is the global markets. "The DaVinci Code" made over 70% of its money outside the US and Canada and this film should be a strong performer as well, especially Europe.

May 22: Terminator Salvation [Budget: $185-200 million]
In the highly anticipated new installment of "The Terminator" film franchise, set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale (aka Batman) stars as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind. The film is directed by McG ("Charlie’s Angels") from a script by Paul Haggis ("Quantum of Solace") and Shawn Ryan (creator of the edgy FX cop show "The Shield").

Prior Films in the Franchise

Teaser Trailer

High Definition: 480p, 720p, 1080p

Trailer #2

High Definition: 480p, 720p, 1080p

In The News

Set Visit Reports

Photo Gallery


While buzz has only now begun for ‘Wolverine’, the same cannot be said for "Terminator Salvation".  Warner Bros. has been much more effective at getting the word out for the upcoming film.  Director McG has been out in the press frequently giving interviews, there have been various set visits and overall reports from the film have been very positive.  While we always knew that Halcyon planned for "Terminator Salvation" to be the first of three new films, the production company surprised many last week when they announced that they had already begun development with McG on the sequel.  The decision was made due to the positive studio, fan and media reaction to recently released footage.  In most cases, having the franchise on TV and film would seem to be a good thing, but the problem with the film’s TV sibling "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" is that the series is experiencing poor ratings, and may not be around by the time "Terminator Salvation" hits the big screen next summer. Regardless this film will can cut into ‘the legs’ of "Star Trek" going into its third weekend and beyond, especially in foreign markets where past Terminator films have performed well.

What’s the Buzz?
There are various ways to measure the buzz, we’re going to take a quick glance at two different measures. First up, IMDb’s MOVIEmeter Top 25 Films of 2008 measures "search behavior of over 57 million users of"  Only two films that we’re interested in are in that top 25 list; "Star Trek" at #22 and "Terminator Salvation" at #17.  That corresponds nicely with the assumption that these two sci-fi action films will be going after very similar audiences.  What’s also encouraging is that only 7 of 25 films on the list are from 2009 or beyond, indicating that buzz is building for "Star Trek".

Now let’s take a glance at Google Trends (showing both search volume as well as news story volume) focusing on ‘Wolverine’, "Star Trek" and ‘Terminator’ over the last 30 days–click for details:

With the exception of a strong spike around November when the second trailer was released, buzz has been relatively stable and "Star Trek" has maintained equal or stronger buzz than its two main rivals.  You’ll notice the spikes at the end of the graph for both ‘Terminator’ and ‘Wolverine’.  Those correspond to the movie trailers released for both films.  They look strong, but when you take a glance at a graph charting the entire year, they pale in comparison to the spike "Star Trek" received in November when the first full-length trailer was released–click for details:

That implies that the trailer didn’t only reach hard-core Trek fans, but a wider general audience.  There’s also been a heavier presence in promotional material for Trek.  None of the aforementioned films have tie-in campaigns in place, while "Star Trek" already has a presence at Intel’s website, a planned comic book release and a toy campaign.

Bottom Line
Firstly, although this article is about competition, there do not always have to be winners and losers. Quite often multiple films with close release dates end up successful (for example "Transformers" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" opened within a week of each other and both ended up in the top five in 2007). That being said, assuming Paramount continues to give the new "Star Trek" movie the big promotional treatment and assuming it has good word of mouth, the next Trek is well positioned to be one of the top film’s of 2009. Trek should be certain to win its opening weekend, especially with the pattern of past X-Men film drop-offs. The key to success will be to see how it splits the box office "Angels and Demons" in the second week and how deeply "Terminator Salvation" cuts into the legs of Trek for its third weekend and going into June. Right now it looks like Trek’s biggest challenge will be overseas markets, especially going into its second and third weekends when it goes up against franchises that have had more success overseas.

All in all May 2009 looks like a great month for movie and genre fans, and "Star Trek" can be at the top of that list.



1. DancesWithKlingons - December 17, 2008

Could care less about another X-Men movie.
T4, why bother! T3 was lame.

Star Trek LIVES!!!!

2. Darkwing - December 17, 2008

should be a good opening to the month. do well trek, may the force be with you, i mean, er…

3. Andy Geisel - December 17, 2008

I think it’s partly positioning and partly a result of the film being pretty behind in production and post-production. From what I gather, I don’t think they’d have been ready for a holiday 2008 open and could use the extra time to finish the film for Memorial Day. Probably better that way. If Paramount’s got a ton of $$$ invested (and they arguably do), they need to do everything they can to make sure it’s a hit.

4. Anthony Pascale - December 17, 2008


You can have your own opinions but not your own facts. The STAR TREK film ended production on time and the film is almost finished, they have stayed on the same schedule since the change of date. The decision was 100% about Paramount filling out their summer season in 2009, especially following the wga strike. JJ Abrams and Bad Robot were not part of the decision and he and his team have continued on with their original schedule, although they are not killing themselves to have it done, but it should be totally in the can within a few weeks or even days

5. Decker Unit - December 17, 2008

If Angels & Demons is as bad an adaptation as The DaVinci Code, it should cause no trouble for Star Trek

6. Decker's Stubble - December 17, 2008

Wolverine on Omaha Beach? Shaving Private Ryan?

7. CmdrR - December 17, 2008

That’s the stuff that keeps board rooms boring. I KNOW they must do this kind of analysis, but the movie-loving kid in me just screams: “Ride a horse, shoot a bad guy, kiss a girl but not too much, and give us a fun time at the movies.”

I also have no interest in T4 — way too confused already. Angels and Demons and the Pixar thing look like they may be worthwhile. I find it interesting that ST will be facing off against three comedies. So… the guys are thinking: “Do I want to get ___d or do I want to see some great action on screen?” For all the posturing, I don’t think ST will have mass appeal for most women. I’m not counting our wonderful company of Quinto/Nimoy droollettes, but rather the general audiences. Every movie has hunks. Why would they choose a noisy space opera over a silly comedy? I dunno. We’ll see. I hope I’m wrong.

8. Richard Daystrom - December 17, 2008

The only thing that helps any movie is word of mouth. If the Star Trek is good they will come.

9. RTC - December 17, 2008

Terrific analysis, Rosario, well done!

10. CmdrR - December 17, 2008

Nia Vardalos and Mos Def… Um, maybe it’ll be a good weekend for Trek afterall.

11. VOODOO - December 17, 2008

Decker Unit #5

The Da Vinci was a pretty bad film and it still grossed $758,239,851 worldwide. The last Star Trek film grossed $67,312,826 before quickly disappearing from theatres.

It could case a major problem for Star Trek.

If I were a betting man I would say that “Angels and Demons” will be much bigger worldwide than Star Trek.


12. AirForcePA - December 17, 2008

The terminators in the first T4 picture look like Borg in alcoves…hmmm…a bit of Trek inspiration???

I’m not going to lie though…as much as this article tries to play down the Wolverine movie, I think it looks pretty awesome!

13. Dom - December 17, 2008

I’ll definitely go to see Star Trek and Terminator. No question about it. I’m not some nerdy obsessive who thinks Star Trek deserves special attention. Chances are I’ll see both more than once. I’m pretty sure my parents will see Trek in the cinema, while I’ll probably show then Terminator on DVD!

No interest in Angels and Demons. I love religious thrillers, but Dan Brown has made up loads of nonsense about the Catholic Church and real organisations such as Opus Dei to fit his badly-written stories! William Peter Blatty did the research necessary for a book and film like The Exorcist, while Dan Brown is simply producing fiction dressed up as fact. Even worse, the BBC reported Brown’s depiction of Opus Dei as fact a while back!

Not sure about Wolverine. I like the X-Men, although I think the first two movies are way overrated and the presence of Brett Ratner on a film is enough to put me off, even if I love the franchise!! I’ll wait until I hear more about Wolverine before I decide whether or not to go the straight-to-DVD route, which is what I suspect will happen!

I’m hoping Star Trek will do well. I think it’ll attract a bigger age range than Terminator and Angels & Demons. Wolverine could be a threat with the younger age group, though!

14. Brett Campbell - December 17, 2008

I dunno … I think “Night at the Museum II” will crush all these competitors to dust… ;D

15. Dr. Image - December 17, 2008

In other words, there won’t be any competition.

16. falcon - December 17, 2008


You’re comparing apples and oranges. “The DaVinci Code” opened on May 19, 2006. The last Star Trek film, “Nemesis,” was released on Dec. 13, 2002. So they were nearly four years apart. Secondly, there was quite a bit more buzz about “The DaVinci Code” because of Dan Brown’s book and the tandem of Tom Hanks starring and Ron Howard directing (the team behind “Apollo 13″). The Trek buzz had begun to wane thanks to Voyager (and Enterprise had only premiered a year before), and lots of folks believed Trek had reached its saturation point. So there was a lot working for “DaVinci” and a lot working against “Trek”. I don’t think you can take that situation and equate it to the competition between Trek XI and “Angels and Demons.” It’s two totally different things, and the first time the two “franchises” have gone head-to-head.

17. Brett Campbell - December 17, 2008

16 – Also, while I am not much of a TNG or any of the spin-offs fan and more of a TOS purist, I am also a huge Tolkien enthusiast.

Pitting “Nemesis” against “The Return of the King” was not a prudent marketing move, even if it came out a week or two earlier than the final LotR installment.

18. Andy Patterson - December 17, 2008

Very impressive article. Graphs, statistics and more. I look forward to Wolverine but still wish Star Trek had been this Christmas.

19. Gavvo - December 17, 2008

Wolverine is going to squash trek

20. Viking - December 17, 2008

Armchair analysis aside, I think T4 might be a keeper. I’m sure we’ll do the Netflix thing with all of them, but Trek is really the only one that we’ll see on the big screen. I have an opening night attendance streak going that literally dates back to 1979, and I EXPECT to see another in a long string of entertaining movies. Capiche, Messrs. Abrams and Orci? LOL :-)

21. Gavvo - December 17, 2008

and so is T4

bad move sandwich Trek between two established franchises…

22. JB - December 17, 2008

I thought ST was getting a pretty big budget til I saw the figures for the last X-Men and Terminator films. Amazing.

23. sean - December 17, 2008


The first NATM made nearly 600 mil, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

Am I the only one slightly bored at the T4 trailer? TSCC is so good, and apparently no one is watching. Giant Terminators don’t really interest me.

24. sean - December 17, 2008


I’m not sure that’s true. Wolverine on his lonesome + very bad X-Men 3 makes it an uncertain property. Also, are we to believe Liev Schrieber turns into Tyler Mane? Seriously?

25. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - December 17, 2008

Terminator 3 sucked because it was poorly conceived (so much so that the Sarah Connor Chronicles ignored it). Terminator 4, as I understand it, is going to be consistent with T2 and SCC, so I’m excited about seeing it. (Only marginally less excited than seeing STXI makes me.)

26. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - December 17, 2008

T3 was so horrible they erased it from continuity. I was feeling hopeful about T:Salvation, but after watching that trailer…ugh. Looks like it’s just trying to capitalize on the Transformers crowd and misses the point of the Terminator movies NOT being pure action films, but powerful dramas that happen to have action in them.

27. Jai1138 - December 17, 2008

I know there are wizards at Paramount paid handsomely to balance budgets against carefully calculated box office returns but unless the new TREK is a genuinely good film (as early reports suggest) and unless it can avoid being marginalized as geek-stuff (and early mainstream press like EW suggest alot of interest) and, most importantly, and ethereally, it can somehow click into the popular imagination of wherever we are in the spring/summer of 2009, then the movie probably won’t make much more than $150-175 domestically and maybe another $30-50 million internationally.

Personally, I’m hoping for the best. Despite my trepidations about the possibility of an “alternative reality” plotline, nearly everything about it suggests something really special. Here’s hoping for around a $350 million worldwide take and 2 damn good sequels.

28. Gavvo - December 17, 2008


I’m basing my opinion on what I think mainstream audiences will want.

Doesn’t matter how crappy previous movies are. People like what they like.

So when you put Terminator and Wolverine up against Star Trek, I don’t see Trek winning.

29. Gabriel Bell - December 17, 2008

Anthony, another great article from your staff. You guys continue to raise the bar and come up with great ways to “follow Trek” during this period of “fallow Trek.”

Great job, Rosario. A very, very interesting read. Thank you.

30. Ed G. - December 17, 2008

@21….and Trek is not an established franchise?

31. Greg2600 - December 17, 2008

I have no interest in those films. The X-Men movies have been a huge letdown IMO. WTF is that Wolverine at the D-Day landing? Huh? Terminator, frankly, I don’t understand why they keep making them? Like AVP, they are just beating the horse to death. No Arnold, no watch! Angels and Demons is likely as boring as DaVinci Code.

32. John Ozdundar - December 17, 2008


Nemesis was against “The Two Towers” in 2002, not “The Return of the King”. Sadly, It opened a mere five days before “Towers”. “Nemesis” on Friday and “Towers” on Wed.

Both opened well at the theatres I worked at, but “Nemesis” had no room to breathe and was forgotten by it’s second playweek.

I am really concerned that “Angels & Demons” will do something similar in “Star Trek” ‘s second week, even if the film opens huge.

I’m guessing a $50 – 65 mil opening weekend. More likely closer to the $50mil. By the second weekend something between $16 – $24 mil. Great numbers for Trek, but not necessarily enough for the fuss of a reboot nor against modern blockbusters. But I will be first in line for the midnight!

33. The Last Maquis - December 17, 2008

Wolverine looks F’ing Rad!!!

T4, uh…..not sure.

Trek, we’ll see.

34. Anthony Pascale - December 17, 2008


I agree, Rosario did a great job. . I wrote the previous ‘competition watch’ articles but thought that I should bring in Rosario, our regular ‘sci-fi saturday’ guy to handle this one, as he is our resident expert in what is going on out there.

It is our goal here to go beyond the usual ‘just link to what other sites are doing’ and try to bring unique content and analysis whenever possible

35. Bob Tompkins - December 17, 2008

It is almost beyond reckoning that the Da Vinci Code had that big of a gross. We saw it when it was released and my wife actually snoozed about halfway through it. It actually sounds like the crew ripped off Nick Cage’s National Treasure movies to make this on, after Cage & Co. ripped off [and improved] the Da Vinci Code.
Talk about art imitating life… imitating art …or something.

An X-Men movie with just one X-Man? What other movies has Huge Jackass ever opened that made loads of money? Australia looks to challenge Star trek Nemesis in box office take with 3x the budget. It’ll do Hulk sized business, if that.

Terminator without James Cameron OR Arnie [except perhaps a digital cameo] on board? Look at the ratings for Sarah Conner Chronicles for an indication of the staying power this one will have- one weekend and out!

Star Trek will live or die by word of mouth after the first weekend, which should be ginormous. If word of mouth is good, then the Memorial Day weekend should be just as huge.
From what I’ve seen and heard, plus the fact that the buzz has finally reached my sons, who are now coming with my wife and myself to one of the first showings, I have a lot more confidence that Trek will be alive and thriving after May 09.

36. BK613 - December 17, 2008

In addition to the LOTR movie, Gangs of New York opened that weekend not to mention the fact that the second Harry Potter film was only on its 6th week of release. And Di Another Day (a Bond film) was on week five. Given all this, who Paramount thought would show up for this movie (besides fans) is beyond me.

37. Dennis Bailey - December 17, 2008

Gotta love the trailer for “Wolverine And The X-Men:”

“There’s a war comin’, and it ain’t gonna be pretty!”

Well duh! Who writes this stuff? LOL

38. BK613 - December 17, 2008

Well any excuse to move that QM thread off the front page. :-)

Seriously, great job on the article guys!

39. The Shat in the hat - December 17, 2008

Have to say Origins could be a real threat but the way it’s all been handled,it looks like Trek should please all. The date change show’s that the $$$$ peeps are pretty sure of it!

Surely nothing can go wrong?


40. VOODOO - December 17, 2008

I for one do not like the positioning of this film at all. The original date of X-Mas 2008 seemed much friendlier of a opening than May of 2009. IThere would be almost zero high powered genre competition at the moment.

If released around this time Star Trek would have had the entire stage to itself.

I fully understand that opening a film in the summer is a more high profile event, but what is wrong with a film being released during the winter months? The 007 franchise was re-launched a couple of years back with “Casino Royale” I don’t think anyone is complaining the nearly $600,000,000 it made worldwide.

Star Trek stands a chance of being drowned out by some truly powerful competition. Nearly all the the franchise films Star Trek will be facing have a much better recent track record than Star Trek.

Wolverine – (5/1) This film will benefit from being the first major “event film” of 2009 and will have a strong opening weekend. While I do agree the film will fall off significantly in it’s second week, there may still be enough interest from a younger generation of fans who have had the series fresh in their minds from 2000 until present day to take away a good portion of Star Trek’s opening weekend.

Star Trek – (5/8) How will the public react to the return of Star Trek? This is a series that has been thought to be irrelevant by the masses for a very long time.

The film will have nearly an entirely new cast trying to fill in iconic roles. Will the public accept a new James Kirk and Mr Spock? Will it be the next “Batman Begins” or the next “Superman Returns”? Will the actors be considered the next Daniel Craig or the next Timothy Dalton? Only time will tell what the general public thinks of this new era of Star Trek.

My best guess is that the film gets off to a pretty solid opening weekend and then fades out of the top five films by the end of it’s third weekend. The competition is going to be fierce and this film will initially play to an older audience much the same way the last ” Indiana Jones” film did , but with a much smaller built in audience.

Angels and Demons (5/15) While “Angels and Demons” will not be direct competition for Star Trek there will be some crossover. “The Da Vinci Code” opened with $77,000,000 in it’s first weekend domestically and was much bigger worldwide. It has far broader appeal than “Star Trek”

Bruno (5/15) Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow up to Borat is sure to take away some of the younger viewers in “Star Trek’s” second weekend. While I don’t expect “Bruno” to be a major blockbuster, I do expect it do well and take away some Star Trek’s buzz.

I could see “Star Trek being number three this weekend, with the possibility of “Wolverine” beating it out for the #3 slot. Star Trek being # 4 at the box office in it’s second week is not out of the realm of possibility.

Terminator IV + Night at the Museum (5/22) These two films could easily knock “Star Trek” out of the top five in it’s third frame.

The Terminator films are currently seen as being “cooler” than Star Trek. The addition of Christian Bale gives the series back some of the credibility many feel the series lost with T3.

Terminator IV will open big.

Night at the Museum II will also post very strong numbers in Star Trek’s third weekend. Don’t forget the original made $250,000,000 in the U.S. alone and $574,000,000 worldwide. It was the #2 film of 2006. It may open bigger than T4.

Star Trek will most likely be #5 or #6 at this point, but it will have that extra day around the holiday to pad it’s numbers.

By 5/29 Star Trek is easily out of the top five with the debut of Pixar’s “Up”” and has made the vast majority of the money it is going to make.

Is throwing the new Star Trek film to the wolves over a very busy early summer the best idea? Will it be the next X-Files? Do you even remember that there was an X-Files film that came out almost in direct competition with “The Dark Knight” this past summer? Most people don’t and the failure of Fox to position “I Want to Believe” for a solid opening weekend may have killed future X-Files projects.

I for one think the film would have been better served to have a major part of the winter movie season all to it’s self. Granted, I’m sure the marketing people at Paramount know a hell of a lot more than I ever will, but from my uneducated opinion I think Star Trek should have had it’s debut in the winter months where it would have faced far less competition.

My best guess is that the film will make between $130-$150 million in the United States assuming that it has a big marketing campaign and that it is a quality product. If my numbers are correct “Star Trek” would be the 5th or 6th biggest Star Trek film adjusted for inflation.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this film will be a little bigger than I am suggesting and that we will have TOS era films for years to come. I just hate the fact that the competition is so strong. As a matter of fact I can’t really remember a stronger cluster of films to open a movie season.

41. Xai - December 17, 2008

regarding May 15: Angels & Demons…

I’ve read both this and “the Code”. I enjoyed both, although they follow a very similar formula as all of the Dan Brown novels I have read. “DaVinci” as a movie was so-so for me because it couldn’t be as rich in info as the novel. I don’t see this movie taking too many customers from Trek, even if it’s dam good.

42. Sisko's Shrimp Gumbo - December 17, 2008

Competing against Wolverine, T4 and Angels & Demons?

Or competing against The Spirit, Valkyrie, Revolutionary Road, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?

I don’t see why Par thought it needed a half-year to remove Trek’s stigma

43. VOODOO - December 17, 2008

John # 32

“Nemesis” did not “open well”

As a matter of fact it was beaten out at the box office by a new Jennifer Lopez chick flick named “Maid in Manhattan” in it’s opening weekend and it went downhill from there.

Who would have ever thought at the height of the Shatner/Nimoy films that a new Star Trek film would have been beaten out by a chick flick that belonged on the Lifetime network in it’s opening weekend?

44. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine, and is happy TOS is back, but isn't crazy about the changes to the Enterprise - December 17, 2008

So let’s see:

May 1, Wolverine wins the weekend

May 8, Star trek wins weekend, with Wolverine 2

May 15, Angels & Demons wins, interesting to see who comes in @ 2; Trek Bruno or A&D. Don’t count Bruno out.

May 22, NATM2 will crush T4. Family films are cash money in the bank, and I have four experts in my house that will make me take them. Mortal lock. T4 comes in disappointing 3rd.

May 29, Up will soar. Pixar. Nuff said.

So Star Trek is lined up for one week at #1, with word of mouth being critical. This is the strongest argument for a Shatner cameo. A well executed thrillfest that updates the franchise will win its opening weekend, but it has a real mountain to climb in busting out into the mainstream, non Trek (i.e. “Trek is geeky”) public, for the rest of May. Springing Shatner on everybody would make the movie an event. The curiosity/cultural happening of the Shatner/Nimoy reunion would definitely help the ticket sales. The shenanigans up til now are irrelevant. Continuity is irrelevant. Box office wins. And it looks like Trek will need all the help it can muster, mister. This could easily go sour.

45. Xai - December 17, 2008

Shatner is the cure?

Sorry, he couldn’t do it. He would’t know the difference between the real script and the “fake”.

That ship sailed a long time ago.

46. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine, and is happy TOS is back, but isn't crazy about the changes to the Enterprise - December 17, 2008

Upon further review, VOODOO said what I said, but better. More words anyway. I share his skepticism. I think Wolverine will fade faster than you think. I agree that Bruno will be very big.


As has been posted numerous times here over the years, it is always best to adjust box office grosses for inflation. The winner, and still champeen in all time Star Trek movie ticket sales is (cue Blaster Beam!) Star Trek The Motion Picture!! Eat that!

47. MORN SPEAKS - December 17, 2008

I predict $125 million domestic total, but I think if it were released this Christmas as originally intended, it would have made $175-$200 easy.

48. Xai - December 17, 2008

42. Sisko’s Shrimp Gumbo – December 17, 2008
“Competing against Wolverine, T4 and Angels & Demons?

Or competing against The Spirit, Valkyrie, Revolutionary Road, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?

I don’t see why Par thought it needed a half-year to remove Trek’s stigma”

Stigma? The movie was moved to the summer tentpole position because it may have the nacelles to do very well in the box office, not because of some falsely percieved ills.

49. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine, and is happy TOS is back, but isn't crazy about the changes to the Enterprise - December 17, 2008

#45 I don’t care what Shatner says, I am pointing out that JJ’s movie needs all the help it can get. Shat is an obvious, easy little bonus just sitting out there. It cannot hurt the box office to put his puss up on the screen. I hope I am wrong, but I much fear trouble in the fuselage Frederick for our little film.

50. Xai - December 17, 2008

Angels & Demons, I predict won’t carry through. Same author, same director, etc but do enough people know it’s the prequel to “Davinci”?

Wolverine is no Batman, especially without fellow X’ers

T4 may be strong, but IMO, the T series has lost punch, even with Bruce Wayne to the rescue.

And may I point out…. even in a sour economy, people can and DO see more than one movie in the summer.

51. Mirror Jordan - December 17, 2008

All of those movies are must-see for me, with the exception of Wolverine. I’ll probably go see it, but it won’t be an opening weekend affair. Once they get their buzz going even stronger, I’ll probably change my mind.

52. Xai - December 17, 2008

We (not just #49) are awfully pessimistic of “our little film”. Scared to put it next to something else for fear of tarnish.

I am a fan, my wife and adult kids aren’t. My ticket is a given, theirs isn’t. Dropping William Shatner in the mix bowl won’t increase the box office enough to offset his pay or get them in the seats.

53. CarlG - December 17, 2008

My prediction is that the majority of May will be split between Star Trek and Wolverine. Dan Brown is pretty much yesterday’s news, and people who’d want to see Ghosts of Girlfriends would probably not be that into a Scifi flick.

Thank God T4 and the Pixar movies are at the end of May — they look like the real competiton. I know I want to see all 3 films!

Is it May yet?!

54. DaveM - December 17, 2008

#40 – The positioning of X-Files last summer did have some impact on the success of the film, but Fox played a bigger role in approving Carter’s script and giving him only a a few months to get it written and shot to avoid the timing of the writer’s strike.

If he couldn’t get it done before the writer’s strike, there would be no X-Files movie. So we ended up with a substandard script that followed a new story that no one was interested in.

When folks asked about the resolution of the alien invasion plot line all Carter could say was go see this one. If it makes money, the next film will deal with the alien invasion plotline. Well the film tanked thanks to Fox. So guess what? There will be no further X-Files films unless some unheard of miracle comes to pass.

Beyond this gripe, you assessment is pretty much spot on with mine.

55. Bob Tompkins - December 17, 2008

54- Fox absolutely messed up by releasing the X Files 2 in the summer. It was a movie that was more appropriate in the October doldrums and needed a bit more marketing. It wasn’t really a bad movie; it simply got lost in the Dark Knight’s media blitzkrieg.

56. New Horizon - December 17, 2008

54. DaveM –

I liked the X-Files 2 story. I could care less about the alien invasion plot at this point. I wanted to see where the characters were at this point. It was nice to see them living normal lives, facing relationship issues, and trying to rediscover who they were…only unable to go back….such is life.

I’ve heard that there is still hope for a third. Apparently the movie might have done well enough under the circumstances.

57. Gavvo - December 17, 2008


You’re probably the only person that feels that way.

Though there’s nothing wrong with that…

58. Scott - December 17, 2008

Good grief.

That competition looks like John L. Sullivan versus the Women’s Temperance Society. Trek’ll clobber ’em.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more lackluster slate of summer films — and I kinda like ol’ Wolverine.

Scott B. out.

59. THX-1138 - December 17, 2008

Gotta tell ya’, I just have zero interest in X-Men or Wolverine and never have. Nothing wrong with those movies/comics/stories, they just never struck a chord with me. The Terminator thing might be good just because I liked the Terminator movies (yeah, I even kind of liked the third one. I know-lame.) Let’s see if Bale can spark some residual interest from TDK.

And I just did not like the second X-Files flick. I was hoping for a cool monster but I got some half-baked body parts farm movie. They didn’t even go for the obvious (and I think necessary) shock potential that X-Files used to like to push on TV. And that scene at the end in the boat totally jumped the shark.

60. Scott - December 17, 2008

Oh, and can you imagine if they’d stuck with the original launch date? We’d be less than two weeks away from seeing this flick.

May will be here before we know it.

Scott B. out.

61. Bob Tompkins - December 17, 2008

57, I’m with 56 on this topic.

Remember, Godfather Part 2 only grossed about 1/3 as much as the original Godfather movie and they went ahead with a third——well, maybe that isn’t such a good comparison………….

62. Sean - December 17, 2008

I think it was a stupid idea to move Star Trek to summer. It’s competing with Wolverine, Bruno, Angels & Demons, and Terminator: Salvation. If it were still a Christmas release it would have been competing with NOTHING. Paramount is shooting themselves in the face with this move, not to mention pissing us all of by delaying it five months from it’s previously announced release date. It’s no wonder Trek is on the verge of death.

63. Jefferies Tuber - December 17, 2008

Another major thing that STAR TREK has going for it is that Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and the rest are young stars on the make. This gives the celebrity magazines, like People and Hello!, a reason to cover all of its actors in the months leading up to and following release of the picture. Quinto & Pine’s ascendancy is news. Hank and Bale, not so much.

When T:S comes out, look for plenty of reminders about the dispute with his family in London. McG is not as well respected as James Cameron, so critics will tend to trash the movie. To me personally, the trailer is a dead ringer for REIGN OF FIRE, Christian Bale’s dud of a post-apocalyptic dragon movie. Overall, the visual image of humans scurrying like rats through a nuked flat landscape to avoid admittedly cool mechas is enough for a video game, but not a movie.

THE DAVINCI CODE was about something, a secret story about Jesus that threatens The Vatican’s power. ANGELS & DEMONS is about… what? There’s no urgency to see it, really. Rosario makes a good point about the international on TDC, but her I believe the “news” aspect of STAR TREK actually is more comparable to TDC than is A&D.

I’ve never seen statistics on the effect of multiple viewings by committed audiences–ie, Trekkers who’ll see this 2+ times in the theater. It would be interesting to see the estimate of repeat revenue on the very comparable Episode One: THE PHANTOM MENACE [$115M budge, $431M domestic, $924M domestic].

When you consider the gaps: 16 years between RETURN OF THE JEDI and THE PHANTOM MENACE… 18 years between THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY and STAR TREK, it is quite possible that STAR TREK will deliver a tide of viewers and become a cultural event like TMP in 1979

64. Doug in Afghanistan (for six more weeks) - December 17, 2008

“X-Files: I Want to Believe” was actually quite good. I am perplexed it did so poorly at the box office.

65. Jefferies Tuber - December 17, 2008

s/b $924M worldwide above

66. Steven - December 17, 2008

With the anticipation for these films, it looks like Summer 2009 might be the biggest one yet! God-willing, “Trek” will come out on top!

God bless!

67. James Heaney - Wowbagger - December 17, 2008

After weathering thirteen years of consistently declining profits and audiences, I’m far more likely to jump on board with the pessimists… but that is a *really* lame stack of movies. I think I saw four movies last May. There’s only one on that schedule that I have even a decent chance of seeing (Trek, which I will see at least three times).

Though I’ll no doubt see “Up” in its second weekend. Pixar. ’nuff said.

There’s good news on that list for Trek, despite the now-automatic reflex to assume the worst. Fingers crossed, ladies and gents.

68. Charles Trotter - December 17, 2008

Regarding ‘Angels & Demons’ — you forgot to mention the fact that reaction to ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was mixed (lukewarm, at best) and that ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is a far more well-known work than ‘Angels & Demons’. Both of these facts will contribute to ‘A&D’ earning a bit less than ‘Code,’ methinks. It should still make somewhere in the $50 to $55 million range in its opening weekend, though.

‘Wolverine’ will probably also suffer from the lukewarm reaction to its previous film, namely the extremely disappointing ‘X-Men: The Last Stand.’ That could take a decent chunk out of Wolverine’s box office. In addition, the ‘X-Men’ films didn’t have just Wolverine, they had a wide range of popular mutants and thus appealed to a wider fan base. ‘Wolverine,’ however, will appeal mostly to fans of the Wolverine character, though other characters like Deadpool and Gambit should also draw in fans of those characters.

I’m not saying fans of X-Men are not fans of Wolverine, I’m just saying that ‘Wolverine’ probably won’t benefit from those who are fans of, say, Iceman or Storm or Colossus. However, ‘Wolverine’ will still likely have the biggest opening of the “big May four” based on the franchise’s success thus far.

There’s a possibility ‘Terminator 4′ could suffer a bit from the poor reception of ‘Terminator 3′ and the current season of ‘TSCC’. But if the buzz keeps building for T4 like it is, I doubt that will be a problem.

I am glad to see that Star Trek has generated a lot of buzz. I am really hoping it earns somewhere around the $70 million which ‘Transformers’ made in its opening weekend rather than the $40-$50 million range Paramount is targeting. Before the new trailer was released, I would have pegged Trek for a $35-$45 million opener, but after seeing the trailer and all the great buzz generated by it, I would bet on a $55-$65 million opening… unless someone really screws something up with marketing, etc.

Here’s how I see each of these movies opening:
X-Men Origins: Wolverine — $75-85m
Star Trek — $55-65m
Angels & Demons — $50-60m
Terminator: Salvation — $65-75m

69. Charles Trotter - December 17, 2008

By the way, the fact that the Dragonball movie generated more searches on IMDb than Star Trek frightens me. Hopefully it’s more curiosity than interest causing that.

70. Brett Campbell - December 17, 2008

32 – Yes, you’re right. I thought I remembered “Nemesis” as a 2003 release, but if it was ’02, it was up against “The Two Towers.”

Stiff competition in any case. And I couldn’t remember the correct release date for “Nemesis” for two reasons:

1. I’m getting old.

2. I couldn’t care less about TNG films.

71. Brett Campbell - December 17, 2008

23 – I had no idea the first NATM grossed that much.

I was only kidding in my post 14, but perhaps it really will clobber a lot of this competition.

It never ceases me how well some movies do unexpectedly.

How much did “Hollywood Chihuahua” take in? I’m probably going to be sorry I asked.

I used to be quite a film fan when I was younger, but I hardly ever go to them these days. Not many of them interest me.

I believe the last one I saw in a theater was “Prince Caspian.” And I can’t even remember what the last one was that I saw in a cinema before that.

72. Brett Campbell - December 17, 2008

That should read “ceases to amaze me” although some of them are so bad that they do simply cease me.

73. THE GOVERNATOR - December 17, 2008

If Star Trek is good and has good reviews along with a big marketing campaign and lots of media attention, it will probably come out on top. In the end, I think it will be really, really close.


Wolverine looks like crap. I am looking forward to seeing how the new Terminator turns out, but with McG running the show, its hard to imagine it being anything out of this world. Star Trek looks pretty awesome. Also, the trailers for Wolverine and T4 look like your average action flick trailers. Nothing special about them. However, Star Trek’s trailer looks incredible as well as creative. Of course, trailers don’t always give a good prediction as to how well a film will be, from what I’ve seen so far, Star Trek looks like it will be the best of all of them. If its not #1, I think it will be at least #2. And even if it isn’t on the top, it looks to be the best of them all.
Anyway, I’ve got my fingers crossed.

74. LustForNewStuff - December 17, 2008

Wow, half of those movies were sequels or remakes.

It’s our fault y’know. Hollywood only makes stuff it thinks we’ll pay money to see, and it looks like they think we’ll only pay to see stuff we’ve already seen a million times.

Are we, the moviegoing public so lame and bereft of taste that we only want to see the same old stuff we’ve seen before…are we really so dull and boring that we can’t handle anything new, and must see more of the same over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and again and again again and again?!


I guess we are. I’ll certainly be going to see Star Trek, but I think I can manage to find something else to do other than sit through more Wolverine, yet another Terminator or more Dan Brown cr@p.

75. Canon Father - December 17, 2008

Considering the cinematic dreck that has come out this fall, I really wish it had come out now. What a terrible movie season this has been.

76. CEO of Amalgamated Paper Clip & Flange Corporation - December 18, 2008

Bale/John Connor shoots a terminator head with a .223 from a distance of 4 inches and no dust even flies up. Not too good Mr. McG.

77. AJ - December 18, 2008

T4 has star-power in Bale as John Connor, and I’m sure WB will want that milked.

“Wolverine” as a character in the trailer, just seems out of place without the other familiar characters. Most “Joe Sixpack” viewers won’t remember the X-men films. Hosting the Oscars (WTF?) won’t give HJ a drop of cred with the core audience. It’s been losing viewers for years, and kids won’t watch it even if “Dark Night” pulls in all the required statues

“Angels and Demons” has Tom Hanks, and that always helps, even if the screenplay is bad. I am sure the story has been reduced to the least common denominator so as not to offend any Christian faiths.

Star Trek XI has no established actors. Neither did Star Wars (Except for Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness, whose salad days were long behind them). But if the story’s good, the heroes are pretty, and the FX are state-of-the-art, it should do well. I am a bit worried that they are looking for a ‘PG-13′ from the MPAA. Many parents may leave their pre-teen tykes at home. But against the other genre films in this article, it’s not really a point of competition.

78. Penhall - December 18, 2008

All those movies will do well, Trek included. There will be plenty of money to spread around next summer. I think Terminator 4 will prob be the most successful of the bunch, though.

79. elmo - December 18, 2008

Agreed with penhall. Terminator will probably destroy trek in terms of long term sales. As will angels and deamons potentially, you can brand it a thriller for the older audience, but a lot of people read those books.

So basically trek has 1-2 weeks tops to make the bulk of its cinema revenue.

80. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - December 18, 2008

I don’t think Terminator will steal Star Trek’s thunder — they’re apples and oranges, even considering that they’re technically in the same genre. Spaceship-oriented sci-fi and apocalyptic future sci-fi do not cut into each other’s game. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just two tasty morsels within a few weeks of each other.

Angels & Demons isn’t in the same demographic, I don’t think.

Arnie wouldn’t help T4, only sink it — that old, stiff, bloated bag of pus that doesn’t deserve to be my governor couldn’t save a sequel to Kindergarten Cop. Christian Bale as John Connor is where it’s at

81. chasco - December 18, 2008

Need to stop describing this Trek movie as “origin of The Original Series era”. It ain’t – we know that now.

82. Craig - December 18, 2008

I can’t wait till Terminator and Wolverine are released 2 movies that I’m definately going to see. Where as “Star Trek” has to earn it IMO with good reviews by long time fans not mass media hype

83. Wrath - December 18, 2008

I have always had a problem seeing Trek as a big hitting Summer blockbuster. Should have left it for Crimbo Paramount…

84. Charles Trotter - December 18, 2008

#71. Brett Campbell

I’ve never heard of ‘Hollywood Chihuahua’. However, ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ opened with $29.3 million back in October and has since grossed $92.3 million in the US. Internationally, it’s earned $21.9 million, bringing its worldwide total to $114.2 million.

BHC is currently in the top 25 films of the year, coming in at #24. ‘Four Christmases’ is currently at #25, though that is going to change in a few days. Sad, I know.

85. Ryan Spooner - December 18, 2008

“T4, why bother! T3 was lame.”

If you’re going to use that logic to determine if a film will be any good or not, the following must also be true.

Star Trek, why bother! Nemesis was lame.

Oh and the term is “couldn’t care less” not “could care less”.

86. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

71 – Okay. “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” That’s even more oo-la-la.

Potatoe, potahtoe. ;)

87. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

I meant #84. It’s early.

88. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

81 – If people are confused over that, you can’t blame them. That’s the way it was termed and pitched to us for months and months.

89. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

Dan Quayle helped me to spell at my post 86!

90. De Baisch - December 18, 2008


“The X-Men movies have been a huge letdown IMO. WTF is that Wolverine at the D-Day landing? Huh?”

It’s been established in the comics that Wolverine is very old and has been part of several events in 20th-century history. His participation in the D-Day invasion of Normandy has been mentioned a few times. However, he was a paratrooper, not part of the beach landing.

91. S. John Ross - December 18, 2008

#8: True, that. And that, more than anything, is what will help me decide whether to see the new Trek Film at the theater, or wait for it on video, or just not bother. If my Trek-lovvin’ friends (the ones who know my tastes well) say “Yeah, S. John; you’ll dig it like crazy,” then I’ll be there with bells on. Not literally. With the bells.

Wolverine … hmmm. Trailer looks decent (more encouraging to me than the Trek trailer), but I feel badly burned after X3, so that’s another one where I’ll be waiting for reviews from sources I trust, rather than lining up for it sight-unseen. As with the Trek film, I very much hope it rocks … but I have no reason, yet, to trust that it must.

Wild Child: I’m not exactly the target demographic, so a polite no :)

Next Day Air: Dunno. Music-video-director makes madcap crime comedy. Dunno. I like Mos Def, but I’ll need some serious convincing about this one.

My Life in Ruins: I have no particular reason NOT to trust Nia Vardalos to amuse, and my concerns about this one are few, so depending on what else I see/hear about this, this is probably gauranteed to be at least a rental for me, and if I hear great things I may be there opening night, instead of at Trek (exception made if my friends see midnight Trek the night before and come clawing to my door shrieking about how awesome it is).

Terminator … My problem with Terminator is … honestly, I’ve really never cared about it as a “franchise,” so any given Terminator work has to sell itself to me pretty hard. I think T2 was a masterpiece and I’m enjoying Sarah Connor Chronicles, but the latter is my current notion of Terminator, and I feel disinclined, at the moment, to see anything contradict (or even avoid) it. And it’s another music-video-director movie.

Up: Doesn’t really matter how much I like the others, I will abandon anything for Pixar. They’ve earned it, they’ve never tarnished what they’ve earned, and I am so. very. THERE. on opening night.

92. Captain Balki - December 18, 2008

I love star trek as much as the next geek but I have to say that this film may make 120-150 million if lucky.

Of course it will make 1st at opening weekend and will probably make 70-80 mil, but after that opening weekend it will be lucky to make 20-40 million a weekend. Im sorry but after the nostalga wears off after the first week, your not going to get dates and the average joe movie goer to see this movie more than once.

93. garen - December 18, 2008

I never saw the DaVinci Code. I wont see Angels and Demons. But somehow, even though its included here as one of he top three competitors……i still think its being underrated. For some reason, people ate that movie up, despite its poor reviews and, from what i heard, poor buzz/word of mouth. Angels and Demons could be a much bigger fo that previously expected.

94. Denise de Arman - December 18, 2008

Hugh Jackman’s muscles are droolicious…yum…

95. S. John Ross - December 18, 2008

Looking over those numbers … it doesn’t surprise me that Star Trek IV would be one of the most successful of the franchise, because it _succeeded_ at doing what the new film is making noise about attempting: it was accessible to broad audiences. Heck, I took my Mom to see it, though she’d never seen any Trek before (or since, as far as I know) because after seeing it, I knew she’d like it. And she did, very much. And, like the new film, it had a hokey time-travel plot and you could smell the cheese on it from a mile away.

The two main differences *seem* to be (can’t tell for sure, yet) that STIV achieved broad accessibility by being very character-oriented, at times working almost as an ensemble comedy, or even (with adorable Catharine Hicks) a romance … while new Trek *seems* to be aiming for accesibility by being a kind of yuppie-aesthetic action movie. The second difference is that I don’t recall the film’s director taking every opportunity in front of a press camera to point out that it isn’t for the die-hards … (but then again, the director in question was Leonard Nimoy) :)

If the new film _doesn’t_ succeed on that level, it’ll be interesting to see where they point the blame.

96. CanuckLou - December 18, 2008

Comparing the movie line up now and in May its hard to approve Paramount’s decision to move Trek from its original date.

Hope it works out OK.

….and the adventure continues….

97. Bronto Dan - December 18, 2008

I kinda would have liked for the fiom to come out this holiday.

1- We could see it a lot earlier
2- there would have been no other movie to compete against!!

There nothing interesting coming anytime soon… well for me anyway…

98. Allenburch - December 18, 2008

The progressive and positive sparkle of “Star Trek” is outshining the dark and brooding competition.

99. Mirror Jordan - December 18, 2008

Yeah, I think Trek could have made a killing against crap like The Spirit and Valkyrie. The blame will probably fall on the release date should Star Trek fail, but I’m optimistic regardless. We’ll get at least one good weekend in May.

100. Charles Trotter - December 18, 2008

#97. Bronto Ban — no movie to compete against? There are currently five new releases opening on Christmas day.

1.) Bedtime Stories — Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Courtney Cox, gumballs, chariots, and a bug-eyed hamster … sure to be the #1 movie of the weekend, sadly.

2.) Valkyrie — Tom Cruise and a group of superb British actors playing Germans plotting the assassination of Hitler. Should be good despite the lack of believability that will result from Cruise playing a German officer without a hint of a German dialect.

3.) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — Brad Pitt is born an old man and ages backwards. Will probably be the best movie released for X-mas; the reviews have been great thus far, plus it’s directed by David Fincher!

4.) The Spirit — Frank Miller’s adaptation of Will Eisner’s classic comic hero, featuring Gabriel Macht, Scarlett Johansson, and Sam Jackson. Should be entertaining, but people may think it looks too derivative of Sin City and with the competition its facing, probably won’t do incredibly well.

5.) Marley & Me — Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson get life lessons from the worst behaved dog in the world. Looks cute, but families will most likely see Bedtime Stories, instead.

Now, granted, some of these movies probably wouldn’t be opening on Christmas had ‘Star Trek’ not been moved. Benjamin Button, especially, would have probably opened earlier this month, since it’s also from Paramount. ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘The Spirit’ probably wouldn’t have been bumped up, either, to avoid competition from ‘Trek’. So…

Okay, you’re right, if ‘Trek’ had stayed in its X-mas slot, there would have been no competition, lol! Oh, well… hopefully Paramount knows what it’s doing. :)

101. Charles Trotter - December 18, 2008


“Bronto Ban?” Who the hell is Bronto Ban? Gah, learn to type! :-P

102. screaming satellite - December 18, 2008

anyone want to convert the star trek figures into todays money – both the budgets and overall grosses?


103. Nelson - December 18, 2008

re post 95- I was thinking the other day, and not to be negative, but based on what I am reading, one could almost think this new Star Trek could be pretentious! It’s trying to be real and avoiding the “cheese” that JJ felt TOS had.

TOS was a great little TV show that tried to tell a good action story with a little message in almost every adventure. Now I don’t actually think the new film will be pretentious, just almost sounds like it’s trying to rise above the other versions. Whether that will translate to great box office numbers, we’ll see. I sure hope it will be a great film and does well.

104. LoLa - December 18, 2008

Check this out:

105. AJ - December 18, 2008

104: Niiiice.

Thanks for the link!

106. Mirror Jordan - December 18, 2008

104: Good article.

As for the final question in that article…I say both. Those two movies are clearly the best coming out in May.

107. Matt - December 18, 2008

To #1. DancesWithKlingons – December 17, 2008

“Could care less about another X-Men movie.
T4, why bother! T3 was lame.”

I LOVE Star Trek, but you could argue that ST11 is pointless because Nemesis ‘was lame’, and if you look at T3’s box office, any studio would kill for a franchise with that kind of turn over. Given that Nemesis only returned $7 Million world-wide, I feel lucky we didn’t have to wait 20 years for a new ST franchise.

I’m getting all dizzy up here on my soap box, so I’m gonna’ have to get down!

108. S. John Ross - December 18, 2008

#103″ “It’s trying to be real and avoiding the “cheese” that JJ felt TOS had.”

Oh, I know he’s said as much, but given that his attempts at avoiding “cheese” involve a Romulan villain (named Nero, no less!) hatching a time-travel plot, it seems (to me at least) that the Real Seal is the film’s first inevitable award. Many of the flashes in the trailer, likewise, hint at a high dairy content, for example the wacky “future fashions” ala the Bill & Ted’s sequel. While it’s still too early to predict it 100%, I think we may be in for a full day’s supply of calcium and vitamin D.

And I for one am fine with that … a little cheese goes well with some Trek (and it’s practically inevitable a time-travel story) so I’m left just to hope that it’s GOOD cheese. Cheesy, I can live with … but make it yummy please.

109. Ivory - December 18, 2008

voodoo #40


Your analysis is very quite impressive.

110. 24th Century Rockstar - December 18, 2008

#40 – Very insightful.

I find it interesting that the three big sci-fi\fantasy genre releases (Terminator, Wolverine, Star Trek) are, to a certain extant, efforts made by their respective creators\writers to rectify irresponsible management by their previous project leaders. I think that fervor of “We NEED to get this right” is going to make for not only competition, but some fantastic genre films this year.

I’m speaking from my own excitement of course, but Terminator, X-Men, AND Star Trek may have very well raised the bar on their own standards by this time next year!

Feel free to argue or elaborate on some of these ideas guys!

– 24th CRS

111. Charles Trotter - December 18, 2008

I really hope the buzz continues to build for Trek throughout the new year. I’m really, really hoping it gets to that $70 million mark in its first weekend.

By the way, great work on this article, Rosario. I enjoyed it. :)

112. sean - December 18, 2008


Angels & Demons was written before the Da Vinci Code and well before Nick Cage’s Indy ripoffs were even a glint in the studio’s eye. I agree Da Vinci Code was a clunker, but they couldn’t rip off something that didn’t exist yet.

113. Peter N - December 18, 2008


A vote of confidence in the new Star Trek movie? Wow, let me buy your ticket on opening night!

Very interesting article and thoughtful analysis. I have not kept up on T4 info nearly as much as for STXI but I have really enjoyed watching T:SCC this season (what was up with that mid-season cliffhanger?). I will be curious to see how/if those two facets of the franchise link up; that will be my primary motivation for going to see the new movie. I hope we at least hear Arnold….

114. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine and can crunch numbers - December 19, 2008

#102 You asked for it, you got it.

Here are the adjusted grosses in 2008 dollars. TMP rules.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture $232,027,836
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home $209,371,691
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan $190,035,299
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock $161,135,418
Star Trek: First Contact $147,411,187
Star Trek: Generations $128,170,231
Star Trek VI: The Und. Country $125,941,589
Star Trek: Insurrection $105,954,929
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier $93,110,113
Star Trek: Nemesis $52,709,331

115. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine and can crunch numbers - December 19, 2008

Oh, btw, my numbers are domestic only, and the source is

116. Brett Campbell - December 20, 2008

104 – Nice article link, but what a lousy and unfair comment about Shatner from the [p]reviewer.

117. stiff arsed brit - December 20, 2008

yes TMP is the tops! and will be this time next year as well……

118. Rosario T. Calabria - December 20, 2008

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Charles Trotter
We’re pretty much on the same page in terms of our opening weekend estimates for Trek. I’d probably leave a little more room on the low end and, at the moment at least, set the ceiling a little lower. Probably something like $45-60 million. That would put it, on average, about where the other Trek’s opened (adjusted for inflation) on the low end, and a little bit above the best Trek opening (adjusted for inflation) on the high end.

That’s gotta be the goal for Paramount, I’d say. Of course, we’ll have a better idea of how it’ll fare once we get closer to release. If I had to narrow my range down, I’d probably say something like $53-57M. $70M+ sure would be nice though (and we’ll know if that’s possible later in the game). Let’s just hope that however it opens, it’s a great movie accessible to both the hard-core Trek fans and the casual movie audience and has good legs.

As to the rest of the movies I included. To be honest, May (and much of 2009), is looking to be a really great year for sci-fi/genre movies. I’m really looking forward to Terminator Salvation and think that movie’s going to rock. I’m still very much engaged in T:SCC this season and I really like the show, but I only wish it would be doing better in the ratings. As to the others: Angels & Demons also should do quite well. X3 was a bit disappointing, so I’m not sure what to think of Wolverine yet, but the trailer is good.

And although it’s completely unrelated to this article, I can’t wait for Watchmen in March (as long as that darn trial doesn’t mess thing up).

2009’s certainly looking like a good year. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.