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VegasCon09 Finale: Three Spocks and a Shatner August 12, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Celebrity,Conventions/Events/Attractions,Star Trek (2009 film),TOS , trackback

The Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas came to an end on Sunday, with the biggest stars of the original Kirk and Spock (William Shatner & Leonard Nimoy. plus the new new Spocks (Zachary Quinto and Jacob Kogan). And of course much of the talk was about the new movie, including an update on what Shatner thinks of it. We have a full detailed report with tons of pictures below.



Zachary Quinto
The last day of the con kicked off with the new Spock, Zachary Quinto, who quickly jumped to Q&A, and throughout was quite witty, while still answering everyones questions seriously. The actor took a mix of questions from Heroes and Star Trek and his other projects. Regarding Heroes, Quinto said didn’t like where his character of Sylar went in the 2nd season, but felt the writers found his roots again in the third and he likes the new direction for the character in the upcoming fourth season, which is currently shooting. As for his future, Quinto says he expects Heroes to be his last TV series for a while, and he wants to focus on films and the theater, noting that his next big announcement will be a return to the stage. Quinto also talked about how his new production company Before the Door, is giving him a chance to be a producer, and that they just sold a pilot.

Quinto wants to return to the stage

At couple of points during his time Quinto (who has attended many cons) agreed with the crowd that it would be nice to see other stars from the Star Trek movie in Vegas, quipping "where are those jokers?" But he explaining that they were all very busy. Quinto talked about how the new cast formed "a sense of camaraderie" on the set, partially due to how they bonded over dealing with the skepticism and expectations of the "life-changer" that Star Trek was. This camaraderie appears to be continuing as he detailed to the crowd what his co-stars are up to these days. Although he loved working with Chris Pine, Quinto did say his favorite scene with the new Kirk was when they were fighting on the bridge, noting "I kick his ass." As for his relationship with Nimoy, Quinto again talked glowingly about their friendship, saying  it was a highlight of the project and apparently they still get together for dinner regularly. However, Quinto also joked about how last year he
appeared with Nimoy at the con, but "this year Bill Shatner shows up and who gets kicked to the curb?"

Zach was asked a couple of questions about the future of Spock in upcoming Star Trek films. Regarding if he felt Spock would undergo the Kolinahr, Quinto said he didn’t think so, explaining how Spock chose to not go to the Vulcan Science Academy "because they were such meanies." He also said that the things he really liked in the first film were surprises, especially the relationship with Uhura, and he would like to see more surprises, and more regarding that relationship. However he also admitted he really didn’t have any idea and trusted the writers, saying "I leave it in their hands."

One of the funnier moments came when a girl came up to ask a question of Quinto and completely lost it and just started babbling and even crying a bit. She finally spoke, saying that she forgot her question, apparently not being able to deal with being so close to Quinto. The crowd started chanting "hug her." and so the actor hopped off the stage and did just that…the crowd went wild.

Quinto makes a girl’s dream come true

One fan asked Zach what he had to say to the die-hard fans who didn’t like the movie. For this, Zach got a bit serious, saying:

The movie made a lot of money. I don’t mean that arrogantly, but to illustrate that a lot of people saw it. So the reality that everyone is going to like it is slim to none. There is going to be people who have problems and I am sorry they have problems, but they are their problems…I feel we did our best and I feel the majority liked what JJ [Abrams] did, and that makes me happy.

The final question actually came from a Trek celebrity. Star Trek Voyager’s Garrett Wang came to the mic and started off saying that he was bummed he didn’t get to go to the film’s premiere, but he did see the film at a screening on the Paramount lot and he was "floored" by it. He then recounted how he saw it eight more times at theaters around the country and even in Amsterdam. Wang showed how familiar he was with a detailed question about the scene after Kirk and McCoy sneak onto the Enterprise and we see Spock in the turbolift look down thoughtfully. The former Ensign Kim wanted to know what was on Spock’s mind. Quinto explained that this was the first time the audience saw Spock since it was announced there was a distress call from Vulcan and he had a "sense of foreboding" for the events on his home planet.

After that it was a quick "live long and prosper" and Creation’s Adam Malin announced "one Spock down, two to go."

Garrett Wang tells Quinto how much he loves ‘Star Trek’

Jacob Kogan
The second Spock of the day was Jacob Kogan, who came out and explained to the crowd that this was only his second convention appearance, the first being a recent con in London. The young actor talked about how exciting it was to be in Las Vegas, saying:

I never knew the affect of being in this movie. I’m in it for two minutes and you still show up…it’s cool…it’s humbling.

The impressively articulate 14 year old (many fans noted that in their comments and questions), explained how he got the role of young Spock after JJ Abrams had seen him in the film Joshua and via an audition for the role of young Ben in Lost. At first he didn’t understand the significance of getting the part, recalling how adults had told him "you aren’t happy enough, you don’t understand." However he did watch the first season of the Star Trek: The Original Series and came to understand what "an honor" it was to be cast as Spock. Unfortunately this apparently has not extended to his school, with Jacob replying "alas, no" to a queries on if he was being treated differently or was getting more attention from girls at his school, except for the brief time when he came back from the shoot with shaved eyebrows and "everyone wanted to touch them."

Mini-Spock Jacob Kogan excited to be at Vegas Con

Garrett Wang actually showed up again for Kogan, but he didn’t recognize him so Wang explained who he was and told Kogan how great he thought he was. Kogan replied "I’m sure you were great too."

Shatner and Nimoy
After a break it was time for the original Kirk and Spock. As they usually do when appearing together, they each get some solo time, with additional time together on stage. Shatner began, coming out and explaining that he hadn’t been to a con in years and how he didn’t know what to say. After going off on a tangent about taking his granddaughter to a Jonas Brothers concert, The Shat pronounced loudly "I haven’t seen the movie!" He repeated his previous reasoning about not wanting to deal with the embarrassment of facing people asking him in a theater "you are William Shatner, you’re not in the movie are you?" But he noted "I’m sure everyone is wonderful."

Shatner still hasn’t seen the Star Trek movie

The actor then went into Q&A, first recalling a long story about how he used to steal Leonard Nimoy’s bike on the lot at Paramount during the production of TOS. Apparently they used to race to get to the cafeteria at lunch, but he was faster so Nimoy had to get a bike to beat him, and he wasn’t going to let that happen. Shatner explained why Nimoy needed the bike saying "he is of the arts, he likes esoteric things…I kick ass." Shatner may not have been to a con in years, but hasn’t lost it, keeping the crowd laughing with more stories, such as when he was in a hospital after a horse fell on him and he had to give a ‘sample’, saying "I am sorry to say, but Captain Kirk was peeing in a bottle, and then this nurse poked her head in and said ‘I am your biggest fan’".

Shatner – the consummate showman

Shatner spoke at length about the death of Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations and how it helped him face death and how he was using that life lesson for a speech he is currently preparing on the subject of ‘fear.’ Regarding his ad-libbed final line as Kirk "oh my", the actor said he imagined "something awesome and wonderful was coming his way…and it was death."

It was during this discussion that Leonard Nimoy came to the stage to join Shatner for their joint appearance time. Nimoy immediately noted that he thought Bill played the death of Kirk "extremely well" but he didn’t understand why Kirk had to die, and it seemed to be for "no reason". Shatner quickly retorted that it was because "the producer [Rick Berman] wanted to kill off Captain Kirk."

Spock Prime then started asking Bill about the new movie. Shatner recalled how he met with JJ Abrams, but never understood what the film was about, and how he was upset that Leonard wouldn’t fill him in on the details. Nimoy quickly retorted "if you want to know what the movie is about, then all you have to do is go see it."

Nimoy wants Bill to see the Star Trek movie

Nimoy noted he saw Generations, even though he didn’t enjoy it. Bill retorted "well I wouldn’t want to say the same to you about this movie so I didn’t see it" and at that moment it seemed many in the crowd turned on Shatner. Nimoy quickly recovered with a joke, recalling how on the SNL sketch he did recently, he said people who didn’t like the movie were ‘dickheads’.

After moving on to other subjects, Shatner was talking about what a great actor Nimoy was and how he always tried to get his friend to join shows he was on, but how Nimoy demurred. However, it was a different story when JJ Abrams called, such as Nimoy’s recent time on Fringe. Shatner then jumped up and started running around the stage mocking Nimoy ‘oh yes, JJ, anything you want JJ’, then screaming "whore!" at Nimoy, which Leonard thought was pretty funny.

Shatner mocks how Nimoy runs to JJ Abrams when called

Later in the appearance the subject of the new Star Trek came up again and Nimoy said to Shatner that he wanted "for the two of us to sit and watch the movie together." Shatner agreed on two conditions "one, you buy the popcorn, and two, you hold my hand." Nimoy went on to say how Shatner may like the film, noting:

Chris Pine honors you. You might find out are proud of this movie, proud of the way Captain Kirk, a character you created, is honored in this movie

Shatner retorted:

I might, or I might have rather played it myself…but truly I am not sure what JJ and his cohorts  could have done with a character that’s 40 years older or more if you go further back, and physically different. And what do you do with that character that wouldn’t get in the way of the new script…on the other hand, there was a marketing value to having me around

To which Nimoy replied "no question." But also noted that he personally put a lot of thought into it and couldn’t figure a way to get Bill into he movie.

Throughout the presentation, even though there was a lot of ribbing, it was clear that these two are truly the close friends with both heaping compliments on each other and demonstrating a chemistry that is stronger than ever.  As they wrapped up Nimoy said to Shatner "you’re my dearest friend," to which he replied "I love you Leonard."

Friends for life

Eventually Shatner left the stage for Nimoy’s solo time, which quickly went into Q&A. The actor took questions leading to discussions of a lot of his non-Trek projects, including his upcoming ‘Identity Project’ photography exhibit (see, his play Vincent, past films like A Woman Called Golda, narration work on NOVA, and more.

Regarding the new Star Trek movie, Nimoy said he and Zach Quinto had spent up to fifteen hours together before filming, but they focused on the philosophy of Star Trek and the Vulcans and they didn’t get into specific scenes. He felt Quinto did an "excellent job" and it was "appropriate" that Quinto’s Spock was different due to the different time in Spock’s life. Regarding the relationship with Uhura, the original Spock joked he was "jealous", but that even though it was surprising he thought it was well done. He went on to say:

It reminded us that we are not watching exactly the same people, we are watching people in another timeline. I thought that was a real intelligent construction of this movie. It feed them so they can do things like that that and not deal with those that say ‘that isn’t he way it was in this or that episode’

Spock Prime is all for the new timeline

As for if he will return to directing, Nimoy said that he "had enough" of that side of the business, with the time and politics, and that it was never as much as a draw for him as much as acting. He then used that question as a transition to talk about JJ Abrams and the new movie, saying:

When I had these conversations with Abrams and [Roberto] Orci and [Alex] Kurtzman, I realized that I was hearing people who talk about Star Trek in a way that was touching to me. They were talking about these characters in a way that I recognized, that I really really felt at home with. I thought ‘they get it.’ They really know who these people are. I found that very attractive, it was flattering, and in fact I was very emotional in those meetings. I thought this is something I should support and be there. And it worked out very well. Mr. Abrams is a director who can handle the gigantic scene with great action and also great moments between the characters, very funny and touching moments. Not a lot of directors can do both.

When asked what he has left on his Bucket List, Nimoy said that it was a profound question and wasn’t going to joke about it. He noted that he was getting up there in years, but that he does not have any ‘somedays’, as in "someday I will…". He told the crowd his life is perfect with his photography, his new acting, his family and his wife, effusing: "I am extremely fulfilled…I am just so happy."

Nimoy couldn’t be happier

Three Spocks!
As Nimoy was wrapping up, there was a big surprise as out came the two other Spocks, Quinto and Kogan, to join him on stage. This moment was actually the first time Nimoy had met the youngest new Spock, but he immediately embraced Kogan, telling him "you did a great job".

Nimoy meets the youngest Spock

Nimoy then told the crowd "get out your cameras" as the three Spocks posed for the fans.

Three Spocks

After that the two other Spocks left the stage and Nimoy talked a bit more, then gave the crowd a "live long and prosper" and Vulcan salute and it was over.

TOS guest actresses close out the show
Although Sunday was all about Shatner and the Spocks, there was one additional panel with two TOS Season 3 guest stars: Sabrina Scharf (TOS: Miramanee) and Susan Howard (TOS: Mara). Both former actresses looked great, which was noted by a number of fans who came to the mic to ask questions. Sharf was asked about the mood on the set during Star Trek’s last season, and she noted that even though the cast and crew were "worried about being picked up", she was impressed with how cohesive they were. When asked if she would want to appear as a cameo in the next Star Trek Howard said "that would be a hoot." The former Klingon also joked about seeing a Star Trek exhibit in the Smithsonian featuring Mara, noting "you know you are old when you are in the Smithsonian."

Sharf and Howard, final panel for Star Trek Vegas Con 2009

More Photos!
We have dozens of photos from Sunday, watch them all in this slideshow.

Best VegasCon Ever
I have only been going to to the Star Trek Las Vegas Con, so maybe I can’t say if it is the best one ever, but it is the best I have attended. There was a renewed energy at the con, fueled both by many first time guests and first time attendees. The night time activities, both official Creation parties and off site parties and events (like the Roddenberry, TrekMovie and TrekCast events) couldn’t be more fun.

Here is our complete coverage of the VegasCon events:

All reports have many photos, plus additional slide shows.

More to come
But there is still more as TrekMovie still has some gaming and merchandise coverage coming out of Vegas.


1. Steve - August 12, 2009

I hope Leonard is open to being in future films in a smaller role. He really added a lot to the latest film and there was a perfect setup for future appearances. That said, the new films should be about the new people but it would be great to see him in a couple of scenes as a mentor-type character.

2. krikzil - August 12, 2009

Great coverage! I was there and this was fun just reading it and reliving the moments. Shatner and Nimoy were fanstastic together — ribbing each other and having fun. I laughed so hard when Shatner was running around the stage going off on the JJ tangent and screaming WHORE in this falsetto voice. But it’s obvious that they are very good friends and care about each other. Very sweet.

Quinto was great and young Jacob pretty special. I loved it when Nimpy hugged him.

3. MissDarkFaerie - August 12, 2009

That is so awesome! I wish Zach would hug me, but I wasn’t there… :(

4. COOLPT - August 12, 2009

Wish I had been there, sounds like a lot of fun.I love VEGAS!

5. Captain Pike - August 12, 2009

I’m so glad Shatner is not bowing down before Star Trek 11 like everyone else. He doesn’t give the whole “It’s new, we have to like it or Star Trek will die.” speech.

Shatner is the best.

6. Anthony Pascale - August 12, 2009

FYI, any discussion of site issues should be at and we are aware of the weird redirect thing and are working on it.

7. Captain Pike - August 12, 2009

Not that I don’t like Nimoy or the others. Shatner is still my favourite. Because he IS Captain Kirk.
Sounds like a fun guy too.

8. Michael - August 12, 2009

I´d love to see Zachary at the FEDCON (www.fedcon) next year but I guess he´s way to expensive right now – but let´s hope and wait for 2010 :)
Seems like a great Con in Vegas – come over to Germany next year and see the FedCon – u won´t regret it.

9. Rusbeh - August 12, 2009

Shatner is simply ridiculous with his “I haven´t seen the new movie”-clichée.go to a phuckin theatre man!! i feel he is ignoring the new movie by purpose because he is still pissed that they didn´t included him in the film

10. William Kirk - August 12, 2009

I don´t understand people who would almost “force” Shatner to see the new movie. It is not his duty. I also don´t go to the cinema, when I don´t want to see a movie…

11. AJ - August 12, 2009

There was renewed energy at both cons, and this last one sounded amazing. I was in NJ, and heard that in Vegas, there were lots of young people. Both cons were over-packed as well.

It sounds as if Trek may be re-gaining its legs. I’m hoping for the best, i.e. more Trek.

12. I, Mugsy - August 12, 2009

I wonder how Mr Shatner would react if the roles here were reversed, and Mr Nimoy came out with a lame excuse about not wanting to go see the latest Star Trek? I can’t quite see him taking it as cooly as Mr Nimoy is somehow…

Mr Shatner should see it to 1) show support for the new actors as well as Star Trek’s future, not to mention 2) showing support/love to one of his oldest and dearest friends…. basically beign a good sport! It’s not as if he couldn’t have a screening wherever he chooses either and in privacy if need be. I genuinely believe he just cannot stand to see somebody else playing the character he originally defined. He has no qualms about continually mentioning that he was never asked to be int he film by JJ in public. Very unprofessional IMHO.

Mr Nimoy is – of course -the consumate gentlemen, but even so I detect a little bit of reproachfulness that his friend won’t see the new film.

Anyways I wish I could have gone – looked like a fantastic con for all concerned!

Thanks for a superb report :)

13. BOOZBA - August 12, 2009

Poor Shat…I guess he’s still a bit bitter!

14. Alex Prewitt - August 12, 2009


I wish I could have passed this on to you ion person, but I will say it now for the record. I had a great time at the con, and I echo your feelings about the renewed energy with lots of new fans joining us oldtimers.
I also want to tell you how much I enjoy the site, the great work that you and the other staffers bring to the fans every day. I’ve visited every day for the past few years and will continue to do so, eager for news of the Trek world. May you all Live Long and Prosper.

15. ger - August 12, 2009

12. I’m sure there were a lot of lame excuses coming from Nimoy when Generation was released.

16. Chris Dawson - August 12, 2009

It was a great convention.

The time with Shatner and Nimoy is always fun and a great treat to see the 3 Spock’s.

17. krikzil - August 12, 2009

#12–Nimoy has always been very blunt about NOT liking Generations, wishing Shatner had not been in it, not liking the death scene and why HE didn’t do agree to appear in the movie and so on. I totally get Shatner’s feelings about the new movie and you know what, he’s entitled not to want to see it. Also, he makes a good point – what if he didn’t like it? That would be problematic too and you’d all be jumping him for an honest opinion.

18. Brian Kirsch - August 12, 2009

Nimoy is simply the best. No question, the definition of “class”. He declined Generations because the script sucked. And as it turned out, the movie sucked. Good move. It may be wishful thinking, but the idea of Nimoy’s take on directing ST’11 (or if you prefer ST2) is very intriguing to me.

Shatner is close, with a small minus in the “class” factor. But he remains very entertaining and very good at what he does. It has occurred to me that he is now playing William Shatner as “The Shat”. When you watched Boston Legal, the character was named Denny Crane, but it was actually “The Shat”. When you see the Priceline ads, it’s “The Shat” you see, not the Negotiator. When you watch his cable show, it’s “The Shat” you see, not William Shatner. Quite a brilliant career move that is making him millions, and tons of publicity……..

19. krikzil - August 12, 2009

#11/AJ — the Vegas con is always the liviest and biggest (except for CC of course) but it was more packed than usual and lots of younger people and excitment. It was a shame that no other new Trek stars appeared — it would have really energized the new fan base I think.

20. Brian Kirsch - August 12, 2009

It would be cool at some point to include the other 2 actors that portrayed Spock in STIII. There have been more than 3 “Spocks”.

21. Magic_Al - August 12, 2009

^12. The roles WERE reversed, as Nimoy pointed out in reference to Generations. Generations was also a passing of the Trek movie torch from the original cast to a new cast, and Shatner did the job Nimoy did in the new film. A difference, and perhaps it’s a big difference to Shatner, is that Nimoy was offered the chance to appear in and/or direct Generations and he declined, and Shatner was not offered anything in the new film.

If Nimoy really cares that Shatner should see Star Trek because Nimoy saw Generations, maybe Shatner will finally have to give in.

22. blofeld - August 12, 2009

Poor Garret Wang…. Was he any kind of headliner there? Or just to get Quinto’s autograph? Hopefully he got a tray of sandwiches or something.

23. Brian Kirsch - August 12, 2009

#15 –

No lame excuses needed. He actually read the script, saw it sucked, and declined. He actually saw the movie, saw it sucked, and said so. What’s your point?

24. Brian Kirsch - August 12, 2009

#22 –

Lay off Garret, man! He’s still a part of the family! Nothing a haircut, backing away from the buffet, and a few trips to the gym couldn’t solve…….


25. The Weary Professor - August 12, 2009

From a career perspective I somewhat understand Bill Shatner’s decision not to see the movie. If he admits to seeing it people will inevitably want to know his opinion. His thinking is likely along the lines of “if Paramount wants me to do endorsements of their product then they should pay me. Leonard’s making a buck on all this.” If he likes the movie and says so, he would be giving free publicity. If he doesn’t like it and says so he would be undermining his chance to get hired for future Trek.

26. ThePhaige - August 12, 2009

I don’t buy Shatner hasn’t seen it for a second. This guys become an egomaniac with a major inferiority complex. I mean like is he an adult or a 5 year old. Sorry I used to like Shat but he just insults my lack of intelligence anymore.

27. The Weary Professor - August 12, 2009

By the way, I also have to praise Anthony and TrekMovie’s work on the con reports. Very well done indeed! Next year please consider venturing to the east coast and coming to the New Jersey con to report. Then I can shake your hand.

28. Negotiator - August 12, 2009

Kogan’s performance was a pleasant and strong point in the new movie.

Bill’s bit tends to get old, but he will always be KIRK, Prime or otherwise.
Too bad a crowd of Trekkers didn’t keep this in mind before they started to “turn” on him.

29. capnjake - August 12, 2009

i miss vulkon conventions, creation shows are always so overpriced and un fan friendly.
Glad to see Joe Motes has taken back over at Vulkon and is working on getting a show togeather for next year.

It was the Vulkon conventions back in the 90s where fans first got to experience the stars demonstarting there musical talents,not to mention see them ACT onstage (and not at an additional premium cost either)

creation could take some lessons from Joe Motes on how to run a affordable fan friendly convention.

30. starfleetmom - August 12, 2009

All you guys that are judging Mr. Shatner without having been there to hear the two of them in person…as I was…just shut it. You have no clue what goes on with these guys. You are biased, and your bias is unfounded. I wish you could have heard all the praise heaped upon Mr. Shatner by Nimoy, Luckinbill, Collins and others.

31. Kirk1701 - August 12, 2009

I think it’s wrong to think that Shatner is ‘pissed’. I think he’s hurt. Not just that he wasn’t included, but that he’s not Kirk. He ‘was’ Kirk. He said he wanted Leonard to ‘hold his hand’. That’s a joke of course, but I think it would be an incredibly emotional experience to watch your character given away like that. There’s a tremendous amount of fear there. That’s what I read. I don’t read sullen, selfish pouting, rather deep sadness. From his perspective he’s lost something gargantuan and he can’t get it back. He’ll never be Kirk again, only Kirk that was.

Having said that, once he watches the film, he’ll be tremendously encouraged and thrilled, I think. Chris was beautiful and instantly recognizable as the Kirk we love, ie Shatner. I didn’t disbelieve him once. He showed up in the Iowa Bar and we were ‘back in’.

32. toddk - August 12, 2009

any time that shatner is at a star trek event, and having fun, brings me hope that someday shat will embrace star trek

thanks anthony for giving us the latest scoop on today’s star trek.

as far as more spocks? how about baby flashback spock in star trek the final frontier, young spock from the animated series. i think that is all of them….spockout!!

33. jonboc - August 12, 2009

The Shat only need do what the Shat wants to do. End of discussion.

34. Tom - August 12, 2009

#1 Steve

I agree it would be great to see Leonard Nimoy in a small role. I think it would be great to see Shatner as well. A scene or two with the two of them would be nice and would not impede the next movie. A scene with Pine would be a nice touch as well. The Nimoy appearance worked well for this movie. I don’t think they should mess with that formula for success.

35. Harry Ballz - August 12, 2009

When it comes to Kirk being played by Chris Pine, and what a great job he did, Shatner mumbled something about how he would “have rather played it myself”????

Give it up, man!! You’re almost 80!! It’s over!

36. The Chief - August 12, 2009

Ms. Scharf and Ms. Howard look fabulous! Wow! They are still attractive ladies!

37. VegasCon 09 – Full report | - August 12, 2009

[…] 09 – Full report Categories: Public Appearances TrekMovie has a big review about the Star Trek Vegas Con, with lot of pictures and finally something more on […]

38. Andy Patterson - August 12, 2009

Sabrina Scharf looks great. And so does Ms Howard. I believe she’s a good ole’ Texas girl too.

And long live the Shatner!

39. tony - August 12, 2009

hey i was there good time already got tickets for next year hope the experience is going anyone have any info on it

40. Dr. Image - August 12, 2009

Sick about having to cancel being there.
Good pics.

LAST CHANCE, JJ, to put Shat IN this time.
Do the right thing…. or you’ll be sorry… I guarantee it.

41. Bob Tompkins - August 12, 2009


Shat was born to play 2 roles- Captain Kirk, then, late in life, Denny Crane. I’m just catching up with the Boston Legal work; my wife [who agrees with me on very few things] agrees that Shatner can chew up scenery, but he was also not given his due as an actor until he stepped into Denny Crane..

Could he play an elder Kirk today? Absent the canon of Generations, sure he could– and I would welcome it.

42. Sarah S - August 12, 2009

This looks like it must hae been really good.

43. Brett Campbell - August 12, 2009

It’s simply wonderful that despite all the ribbing and teasing that Shatner and Nimoy are such dear, lifelong friends.

God bless them both for the great portrayals of these characters that they gave us for so many years.

44. brian - August 12, 2009

Excellent reporting like this keeps me coming back to the site. Thanks Trekmovie!

45. OneBuckFilms - August 12, 2009

41 – *sigh* …

Sometimes I wonder just where the line between delusion and wishful thinking truly lies …

46. Kirk1701 - August 12, 2009

If I’m being honest, I really hate the caricature Shatner has become. I realize it was important to burst the Kirk bubble back in the 70s and 80s, and Bill has been a great sport about it. He’s really funny and I’m glad he’s been able to poke fun at himself. But I’d really like to see Bill’s Kirk get his due. A scene where we see Bill as Kirk, not tongue in cheek, or look at the old fat man holding on to a lost dream, but really give him back his power as Captain. It sounds to me like Bill would really enjoy one last crack at his iconic role. A proper send-off, if you will.

47. Flinn - August 12, 2009

Nimoy continues to show such class as usual. I understand so many Shatner fans coming to his defense, but his overrall behavior concerning Star Trek XI has been a bit childish and petty. J.J. Abrams & co. did write a scene for him that would only have been a cameo, which he explicitly said he would not do. So instead of compromising this movie, they went on without him. He could have been mature about this, but continues to come off not very well. And no, he doesn’t have to see the movie, but I hope that means he’s not interested in appearing in any future ST films of Abrams , because it’s a bit odd to want to appear in a movie series where you haven’t even seen the first one.

48. AJ - August 12, 2009


Is there any way to get an indication from Creation that these cons are good business? And sustainable in the future?

These two (NJ and Vegas) seemed to say “yes,” but I remember reading an article here awhile back that the recession was seriously threatening attendance. Looks like the fanbase is enthusiastically out there IMHO.

49. toddk - August 12, 2009

speaking of mister spock cereal

50. Rocket Scientist - August 12, 2009

A Shatner endorsement of the movie now is a little late, isn’t it? The movie made a killing at the box office without his thumbs-up. They’re not going to start issuing refunds because “Bill didn’t like it”! :-)

If he does check it out, he’d probably be tickled to find that many of his Kirk-isms were sprinkled into the movie. I had a little trouble swallowing a few of the creative choices in this film but that wasn’t one of them.

But I like The Shat. Whatever he decides is fine.

51. VOODOO - August 12, 2009

Any chance Shatner will join Nimoy in the next film?

52. CarlG - August 12, 2009

@41: Doubtless he’s utterly terrified — who wouldn’t be, in the face of such impending Internet Justice (TM)?

3x Spock = 3x awesome.

ZQ hugging the nervous fangirl was sweet. As was the Shatner/Nimoy rapport.

I really wish I could rock a hat like Zachary Quinto does.

53. Shatner_Fan_Prime - August 12, 2009

Shat rocks. Don’t care if he sees the movie or not.

And the TOS actresses…wow! Considering they played their roles 40 years ago, I was kind of afraid to see what they’d look like now. They have aged VERY gracefully.

54. S. John Ross - August 12, 2009

Nimoy could always be blunt about disliking Generations because he wasn’t in it and therefore wasn’t contractually obligated to sing its praises.

55. Chuck Haber - August 12, 2009

Although I have not yet seen the new movie, my thought is this…

If this is supposed to be an alternative timeline — in which certain canon has been violated, such as the destruction of Vulcan, etc. — why could it not have been established that, in this new timeline, Captain Kirk never died in the movie, “Generations?”

In this case, the older Kirk would still be alive and could easily have been included in the script along with the older Spock.

Perhaps they can consider this for future films?

56. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 12, 2009


It all depends on what you are trying to interpret the B.O. numbers to mean:

57. Buzz Cagney - August 12, 2009

I really liked that little fella as young Spock. He really got the inner turmoil of the charcter across. Good work young man.

58. Rocket Scientist - August 12, 2009

56. Son of a…whatever

My interpretation: Lots of people paid money to see it.

The end.

59. TheBigCW - August 12, 2009

So when is JJ going to ask Nimoy to reprise his M:I tv role as “Paris” in M:I 4? :)

60. Jack - August 12, 2009

55. Hey, Chuck — don’t think it would work. Unless he plays the Abrams Kirk coming back from a different (than TOS onward ) future — Hmmmm… Or they redo the deadly years, like Phase II did. Too easy to make it contrived — like Generations.

61. Canon Schmanon - August 12, 2009

Why should Shatner be in the next film? He can’t even find the time to see THIS one. His lack of respect toward the new production should be reason enough to ignore him in future films.

62. Chuck Haber - August 12, 2009

Hi Jack,

Yup, I guess that’s pretty much what I had in mind. Within the new timeline, Mr. Shatner’s Kirk would be the same Kirk (although much older, of course) as Abrams’ Kirk.

In such a timeline, Mr. Shatner could indeed be worked into a subsequent movie to play an older Kirk.

63. Wes W. - August 12, 2009

Quinto is the most boring public speaker there is! Shat. and Nimoy rule the world. Why did they not finish off with those 2? Why did they finish off with random TOS guests? I didnt even realize Mara was Susan Howard, and here I have been watching Dallas forever! Poor Wanger he cant find his place, now he is stuck asking questions of Quinto! How sad…

64. Andrew - August 13, 2009

If there IS a reason from a storytelling and sentimental point of view to put Shatner in the next movie, I’m afraid he may be talking himself out of it with these kind of comments.

65. Iowagirl - August 13, 2009

Exactly – it was great to see the “one-hit-wonders” Miramanee and Mara on stage. They were looking great, leaving a fantastic impression. Glad I saw them.

No, he won’t. Were you there? People reacted in a wonderful as ever way to both Shatner and Nimoy. Guests on stage as well as the fans were expressing their love for Shatner pretty vocally…:)

People who like Shatner – as Kirk, as Denny Crane or simply as Shatner himself – will always love him and respect what he’s created and people who didn’t use to like him in the past will never like him. This has nothing to do with the new film.

Anyway, I felt very privileged seeing these two guys on stage, and I’m really glad I was there.

66. elodie - August 13, 2009

@8 : Yes, Fedcon is awesome. Great mood, good people. I really look forward Fedcon XIX. I met Nichelle Nichols this year and she is really sweet. Hope meeting Zachary and Leonard Nimoy for 2010! By the way, Michael Dorn (Worf in TNG, DS9) is confirmed.

About the Spock/Uhura relationship : it killed Star Trek XI! No more Spock/Uhura, I’d rather seeing Spock with an very expressive girl than Uhura for example, Uhura roomate!
Riker/Troi rocks!

67. S. John Ross - August 13, 2009

#66: “About the Spock/Uhura relationship : it killed Star Trek XI!”

For a dead film, it jogs well.

68. Dovile - August 13, 2009

I totally agree with you on this, and that’s exactly what I’m hoping myself.

The con sounds like it’s been a lot of fun, actually, the ST cons are of the few things that make me seriously wish I lived in the US. [sigh..]

The Spocks! LOL Totally awsome! And sounds like some family name, which is probably close to the truth, kind of :)

69. Paulaner - August 13, 2009


Leonard Nimoy is in a perfect shape. He should definitely play Spock some more time, and the new JJ-verse allows him to do so. Not a starring role, just a character running along the others, in an organic way.

70. Brett Campbell - August 13, 2009

#65 – “Anyway, I felt very privileged seeing these two guys on stage, and I’m really glad I was there.”

Hi Iowagirl! It must have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience! How wonderful for you! I wish I could have been there.

Your kind words and perspectives on Shatner always mean a lot to me.

71. Mitch - August 13, 2009

I don’t care if Shatner sees the movie or not.

What I do care about is if Shatner and Nimoy are invited to be in Star Trek 12, which I don’t expect, but would love to see. I’m really surprised the topic didn’t come up in a question by one of the fans.

Despite Abrams’ one “tell the fans what they want to hear” comment when the movie first came out, I would not believe they will ask Shatner to be in the next one, even though it’s “easier” for them now that Generations is off the books.

72. Mark Lynch - August 13, 2009

I think Leonard should treat Bill to a private screening. I am assuming Leonard most likely has a reasonably good home cinema set-up. It can be done privately and Bill can personally decide what he thinks. We do not have to know if he has seen it or what his thoughts about it are.
They are private for him. But it might allow him to put this new movie behind him, because at the moment it seems to me it bothers him.

73. Holger - August 13, 2009

Nice pictures!

74. TonyD - August 13, 2009

#46 – “It sounds to me like Bill would really enjoy one last crack at his iconic role. A proper send-off, if you will.”

He had a proper sendoff…in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He saved the day and rode off victoriously into the sunset with his friends at his side. What better way to say good-bye to such an iconic, heroic and memorable character. Then he went and mucked it all up by appearing in Generations and being a paid and willing accessory to one of the stupidest creative decisions in the history of Trek.

As for whether he sees the new movie or not, at this point who cares? That boat has sailed and there’s really no more opportunity or need to try to get any publicity from him. The new guys did just fine without his participation this time around and going forward I think they’ll continue to do just fine on their own.

Shatner clearly has some issues when it comes to this new incarnation of Trek (don’t know if its ego or simply being unable to let go) and he’s going to have to deal with it in his own way and on his own terms. For his sake I only hope he can come to grips with the fact that the ship has sailed without him as he doesn’t seem to be able to grasp or accept that simple fact. James T. Kirk was a childhood hero of mine and if only for breathing life into that wonderful character, I wish William Shatner well.

75. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 13, 2009


But hardly a killing, especially in light of the potential 2009 market as indicated by Paramount’s top B.O. performer of the year TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN: $819,800,95 planetary-wide and stil climbing.

76. star trackie - August 13, 2009

#58 “TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN: $819,800,95 planetary-wide and stil climbing.”

Amazing…and very very scary.

77. Paulaner - August 13, 2009

#76 “Amazing…and very very scary.”

Pure entertainment action movies are always successful, we are accustomed to that. I liked T2 because, you know, sometimes a bit of mindless fun is needed and welcome.

78. AJ - August 13, 2009


Just shows how much brand-building “Trek” must do in the next few years.

79. Paulaner - August 13, 2009

#78 “Just shows how much brand-building “Trek” must do in the next few years.”

Yes, but brand-building is only part of the success of a movie. Quality is still vital, imo.
And now, someone will bring up the McDonald’s thing ;)

80. AJ - August 13, 2009


Good point. But look at “Transformers 2.” It’s garbage, but has worldwide appeal due to its ubiquitous toy line, and full international saturation.

Paramount needs to ramp up its marketing for Trek between now and 2001, with a focus on international exposure. Toys must be out for Christmas to correspond with the DVD release. An animated series would make sense as well, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

81. Dom - August 13, 2009

They should make a Shatner/Nimoy straight-to-DVD Trek film set on the new Vulcan colony. That way, we keep the new cast separate and up and running for the big screen films and get a little sidestep to add a little more background for the JJ-verse!

Heck! If they can’t do it live action, make a cartoon film with them providing the voices.

82. ilkers - August 13, 2009

More Spocks and Kirks but less of the Shat please… I truly can not imagine Sean Connery pulling the same tricks for James Bond. The Shat should take him as an example… Star Trek for the win!

83. Gallery update and stuff | - August 13, 2009

[…] and extensive coverage of the Las Vegas Con ‘09 with pictures over here at […]

84. Angus Burger from McDonalds is actually pretty darn good - August 13, 2009

Did anyone ask the shat about being in Star Trek XII?

85. Mitch - August 13, 2009

73–that WAS a proper sendoff, which was ruined by Generations. Had Generations not been made, there would be no issues.

But it was, and there are. Shatner’s final appearance as Kirk flat out stunk. So yeah, there’s a need for something better. Will it happen? I doubt it. The producers don’t really seem to want to have anything to do with him, right or wrong.

And Shatner was far more important to Kirk than Connery was to Bond. Plus, Connery wasn’t mistreated like Shatner was. Bond also was a book character, not a character given life by one iconic actor who held the role for 3 decades. The two are not comparable.

86. Drew - August 13, 2009

How can Bill Shatner have not seen the movie? If it wasnt for Star Trek particularly Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner would not have the successful career he has had to this day.

Come on, after 79 episodes, (an animated series) 7 movies, (video games) take 2 hours out of your time to see a very fun and energetic Trek movie.

I think Bill owes the franchise some respect. He’s always had the EGO
from hell.

87. Chris M - August 13, 2009

Fantastic to see the Original Kirk and Spock up on stage together, surely the highlight of the Vegas convention!

They are obviously extremely close friends which is wonderful to see :)

Hopefully Shatner takes up Nimoy’s to sit down and watch the new movie together. I can understand his reluctance to see the movie however when or if he does i think he will appreciate the performance of Chris Pine as Kirk.

88. Daoud - August 13, 2009

#74, 85 The “proper” sendoff in STVI:TUC was a sendoff of “Captain Kirk”, agreed. And Generations was more of an “illegal forward pass”.

The problem is, neither was a true sendoff for “William Shatner”. The “recording” scence K&O scripted for ST’09 would have worked well in that regard. Sad it didn’t get pitched well to Bill. However, it’s still a bravura idea, as the Nexus is out there. From the perspective of nu-Kirk… if the Nexus is ever encountered, “OtherKirk” is there in all timelines and in all parallels.

I’m sure also that Shatner would respond favorably to a Brando-esque Jor-El like turn. nu-Kirk has been propelled 7 years sooner into the chair of the NCC 1701. Perhaps at some point he starts having serious doubts, and serious concerns. A Fortress of Solitude type sequence, perhaps? Worked for Superman 2, perhaps it would work for Star Trek Mark 2: Something Something.

89. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - August 13, 2009


I couldnt agree more!!! Bill has shown that his ego is greater the his stardome. I think that Star Trek has done just fine with out him. Instead of whining all the time about not being in the movie he needs to work with the producers and make something work if he wants to be a guest star on the next movie. Star Trek is not all about Kirk, its about all the different casts and crews!

90. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 13, 2009

#78. & 79

Thanks, your replies (among many other respondents) are why I enjoy posting here. It shows people get what I’m trying to say.

#80. “Paramount needs to ramp up its marketing for Trek between now and 2001, with a focus on international exposure.”

If by “ramp up” you mean spend more it is difficult to see how they could spend any more without going bankrupt? If by “ramp up” you mean get smarter, I definitely agree. There’s absolutely no reason that a STAR TREK movie should not at least be able to match an ANGELS & DEMONS’ planet-wide of $483,399,501 at the B.O. As for focus, there was a reason ST’09’s official premier was in Australia.

91. Magic_Al - August 13, 2009

Kirk died in the Prime timeline but there’s no way Chris Pine’s Kirk ends up the same way. There’s no reason Shatner can’t play a future version of Chris Pine’s Kirk.

92. LOO-SER! - August 13, 2009

@91. That’s exactly what I wass thinking.
I know it’s going a bit far off into the distance, but I would love it if this new batch of Star Trek films, howmany there are, would end in a nice simple scene with Shatner and Nimoy as they are now. Just sitting being friends. That would be really lovely.

Shatner is the “Shat”.
Nimoy is a proper Gent.

93. star trackie - August 13, 2009

#89 “Bill has shown that his ego is greater the his stardome. I think that Star Trek has done just fine with out him. Instead of whining all the time about not being in the movie…”

And just exactly when does Shat, with all his TV work, charity work, web cast work, comic book work, emmy winning etc etc, find time to “whine” about not being in the movie?

Oh wait, never mind, I know the answer…it’s when someone in the media ASKS him about it. Wow. Imagine that.

94. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 13, 2009

#86. “If it wasn’t for Star Trek particularly Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner would not have the successful career he has had to this day.”

While ST is most definitely a significant part of Shatner’s financial success, I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that Gene Roddenberry is solely responsible for his career and success thereof.

Long before STAR TREK premiered in 1965, I was well aware of him from is two “successful” turns on THE TWILIGHT ZONE, one “successful” OUTER LIMITS, and likely was imprinted during his HOWDY DOODY turn. He had also appeared in a little Oscar winner, THE JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG. By the time of ST he had already been in at least 59 various TV and movie productions. And after the last episode aired, it was some years before Trek started to have a benefit to his career – during which time he continued to find steady gigs.

I think it was likely he would have got his BARBARY COAST series without STAR TREK and he would build on that and NUREMBERG to T.J. HOOKER, RESCUE 911, IRON CHEF and BOSTON LEGAL

While I’m certain at the time Shatner needed the paycheck, I can see how someone could make a reasonable argument that STAR TREK needed Shatner more than Shatner needed STAR TREK, Personally, I think it would have done fine with HUNTER but you got me if it would have evolved an other trinity into the phenomenon that it became under that of Kirk, Spock and Bones?

95. SChaos1701 - August 13, 2009


I don’t see it. How was Shatner “mistreated?”

96. Iowagirl - August 13, 2009

Thanks, Brett.

97. I, Mugsy - August 13, 2009

“31. Having said that, once he watches the film, he’ll be tremendously encouraged and thrilled, I think.”

I agree, which is why I find it frustrating. I think Mr Shatner would actually enjoy it and – lets assume there ever is a part available for him in the future (whether it be in the new films or a possible spin off TV special involving him and Mr Nimoy… [Man I’d LOVE that and it could tie up the loose ends of generations and also link up with the new films…) he needs to keep up with what’s happening in the Trek universe to a certain extent.

I still think more than anything it would be a nice gesture to Mr Nimoy to watch the new film, if just for his involvement in it.

I certainly don’t hate the Shat at all – faaarrrrrr from it! – but I do sense a ‘bad sport’ element about all this, especially the whole ‘I had tickets to the premiere but decided to enter them into a competition for some ‘lucky’ fans to win…. but AFTER the premiere had been/gone!”….

98. Drew - August 13, 2009

#94 I respect what you are saying. I do not agree completely.

You do have to give Gene most of the credit for Shatner’s arrival to Star Trek. Mind you I am sure others need to be thanked as well. I believe Gene was the one who had to convince the execs and studio personnel that Bill was the right replacement to Jeffrey Hunter.

Shatner did a few episodes of the Twilight Zone and I think one of The Outer Limits with misc guest spots on various other TV shows in the 60’s.

Big deal. He was just like Leonard Nimoy and the other struggling actors trying to find work as much as possible living off paycheck to paycheck.

Syndication after Star Trek played a pivital role for the success of the series. But the true success to Shatner’s career besides Gene are the Trek fans. Without the fans, there would be no syndication, writing campaigns, and interest to support Star Trek.

If Shatner didnt get the Star Trek gig would he have done TJ Hooker, Rescue 911, Boston Legal? Who knows. But I do know his popularity would never be what it is today if it wernt for Gene Roddenberry/Star Trek/fans.

99. RD - August 13, 2009

#77. Paulaner wrote: “Pure entertainment action movies are always successful, we are accustomed to that.”

Exactly. Which is why I ask the question, will Paramount push for Trek to join the ranks of those kinds of films? Certainly they have the right writers for it.

With poorly reviewed films like Transformers 2 and GI:Joe grossing huge numbers, will the temptation be to make Trek as much a popcorn franchise as Paramount’s two other Summer successes and attempt to gross even more?

100. Greg2600 - August 13, 2009

Where are the Con videos of Nimoy and Shanter!

101. Anthony Pascale - August 13, 2009

RE: Video

we are not allowed to videotape in the hall. Creation has their own ‘Creation TV’ which shoots some video and if they ever put any out we will show it off here

102. TJ Trek - August 13, 2009


Here, Here

I’ve seen the film 3 times already, and I could go another 3 times before I get the “I know what’s going to happen, what’s the point” syndrom. I was sceptical about the whole time travel bit, and about an alternate star trek time line… but this works. I though Checkov was awesome, and QuintoSpock was awesome, and I though Peg did a great job with Scotty (looking forward to a lot more of him in the next film).

Anyways, I loved it. Here’s to something at least as good next time around

103. Steve - August 13, 2009

I would love to see some of ShatKirk in the next film too. Generations was such a waste! Especially because he wasn’t even written as Kirk. It was more like watching a caricature of Shatner. Watch that movie next to any TOS episode or any of the first 6 movies and it is a totally different character.

104. Brian Kirsch - August 13, 2009

#99 –

Again, the lovefest for GI:Joe! I don’t see huge numbers. Maybe we’re looking at different numbers…….. especially at GIJ’s $175M budget/ROI.

Transformers, GI:Joe, and Star Trek are 3 different animals……

105. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 13, 2009


I think RD’s looking at JOE’s foreign numbers which are doing much better than TREK’s.

But I suppose you’d be within your rights to claim that it’s no NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2.

106. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 13, 2009


I think you can make a much stonger case for Nimoy not exactly realizing what he had in Roddenberry’s staunch support for him and the character, and dropping the ball a couple of times until it suddenly hit him during TWoK. But for me at least, he had face recognition from his ZOMBIES work and he hooked me in that and his OUTER LIMITS duet. He became known to me for his B-movies and the fact that I could always count on him to bring something interesting to them. It might be the biggest piece of cheese but if Nimoy was in it, there’d be something special about it.

Shatner had successful motion pictures under his belt by the time he stepped up to Trek, and I think he was very much aware that he wasn’t the first pick (He wasn’t even the second.) to helm the show. As a fan, I’ve often wondered if that contributed in some measure to his insecurities about his lines? Some might even argue that it wasn’t so much support for Shatner but rather a lack of support for Hunter and Lord that got him the part.

I still think Shatner has more than demonstrated that he had enough moxie to have been able to promote his career sans STAR TREK if he had to.

Beside we both agree he needed the paycheck. And I doubt his career would have been as lucrative as do you.

107. RD - August 14, 2009

#105 – exactly. No “lovefest” for GI:Joe. But it has earned $133.4M in 6 days worldwide and has good word of mouth. It will likely make back it’s budget in its first 10 days and everything from there will go toward profit. Despite the higher production budget, Joe doesn’t appear to have had as much marketing as Trek. I don’t really see DIstrict 9 unseating GI:Joe at number 1. It doesn’t seem to have much competition for the rest of the month either.

108. UrMom - August 14, 2009

Three Spocks? Epic!
Luv young Spocks shoes! ;)

109. 09拉斯维加斯交流展会 终章:三个Spock和一个Shatner(ZQ部分翻译) | Zachary Quinto CHN中文网站 - August 14, 2009

[…] 来源:TrekMovie 留言 (0) […]

110. William Kirk - August 14, 2009

# 103 I agree with you, the Generations Kirk is someone very different than other Kirks. I alway had the feeling Bragga and Berman wanted to do a nervous caricature, to degrade the character…

111. Brian Kirsch - August 14, 2009

#107 –

Currently 137.8M worldwide after 7 days. At this point Trek was at 104.6M domestic only. Trek also had much better word of mouth, compared to GI:J’s lackluster, at best, w.o.m.

When Trek came out, you claimed it needed to reach $300M worldwide to start being profitible on a $150M budget. Yet for GI:Joe and it’s $175M budget you claim “It will likely make back it’s budget in its first 10 days and everything from there will go toward profit.”. Why the slack given to GI:Joe?

Paramount knew they had a turkey on their hands months ago, thus the lack of expensive marketing. Why throw good money after bad. Conservatively, it must reach around $275M worldwide before the first $ of profit is realized.

As for District 9, see this:

I apologize to the other posters for this way, way, off-topic post.

112. 24th Century Rockstar - August 14, 2009

I seriously love linen summerwear (a la Nimoy) – the stuff wrinkles like crazy, but it’s like having your own air conditioning system installed in your pants. No joke – I recently attended a wedding in south Texas sporting my linens and didn’t sweat a drop!

– 24thCRS!

113. RD - August 14, 2009

#111, no slack. I still stand by Trek needed to break $300M. Joe will likely be the same because even though it cost more to make, I don’t get the sense Paramount spent nearly the same amount to market it.

As for terminology, I don’t want to get bogged down into semantics. I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. You are probably one of the few people who understand that a movie has marketing, advertising and distribution costs as well in addition to theatre owner take. The main point is every film has a budget which must be recouped. Recoup the budget then the profit earned can go to pay the other costs for which we have no real facts or figures. That’s what I meant by “profit”. Anthony indicated Trek had already completely recouped and was earning in the black before it even cleared $200M domestically. Based on that “estimate” I sarcastically say so will Joe. You and I both know it will not (even if Trek did ;-).

In terms of performance, there is no question Joe is performing behind Trek or Transformers. However, the predictions on this site was the Joe would tank, instead it’s breaking records for August releases. Also, Joe is outperforming The Hangover, which I recall you said would never pass Trek, which in day 7 had earned only $71,974,102 to Joe’s $76,253,188 , not to mention Joe is significantly outperforming Trek internationally (which really surprises me considering a very pro-American military message). Now the Hangover also had much better word of mouth, but Joe also has better reviews than Transformers which also had poor word of mouth. Moreover, white the critics on Rotten Tomatoes have generally given Joe a rating in the 40s, the general population has ranked in the 60s.

114. S. John Ross - August 14, 2009

All I know about District 9 is it looks suspiciously like it may be actual science fiction with an actual social conscience … like what Star Trek could have been, should have been, had it been made with courage (and maybe a bit more Courage, too).

Going to see it in an hour or so … here’s hoping.

115. efreede - August 15, 2009

# 95 How was Shatner mistreaded? By being told by Rick Berman that he had a choice: do Generations and have Kirk die on camera or don’t do it and have him die anyway. If you read Shatner’s autobiography, Up Till Now, you can read the conflict he had. He was so upset about dying that he immediately wrote a book about Kirk’s resurrection. If you read the autobiography you will also know that he considers Star Trek the pivotal role of his career. He freely admits that from Star Trek came many other opportunities.

116. AJ - August 15, 2009

“D9″ blew away “GI-Joe” on Friday ($14.2M VS $7.15M) with the new Bana flick in between.

117. jonboc - August 15, 2009

District 9 was amazing. And with a budget of only 30 mil, it may be the biggest winner of them all.

118. S. John Ross - August 15, 2009

#117: “District 9 was amazing.”

Hell. Yes.

Hell yes.

119. Brian Kirsch - August 15, 2009


Joe has not broken any August release records that I can find. Maybe you can clue me in?

120. RD - August 15, 2009

#119 – First I would have to clue myself in … evidently I misread something on Boxoffice mojo in the All Time or Chart Watch rankings since I can’t find it now … I must admit I was also operating off of Variety’s glowing review about how Paramount should order a sequel based on the strength of the opening weekend… so yeah, I misspoke and was wrong.

#116 – AJ, yes very bad for Joe. To be beat by Time Traveler’s WIfe at $7.7M too! Curious to see how the weekend finishes up and what kind of business Joe continued to do overseas by comparison.

Interesting reviews here for D9 … I think they did a horrible job marketing it as it looks extremely dull and un-entertaining from the trailers I’ve seen. Kind of a cross between Cloverfield and Blair Witch Project and a BBC documentary. Not the stuff I would expect for a Summer release.

121. RD - August 15, 2009

ADENDUM TO #120 ––

Just to prove I’m not totally confused, the latest Variety article indicates Joe is to-date the second highest grossing August release for Paramount:

And the original article which said Joe scored one of the best August openings of all time:

122. RD - August 16, 2009

At the risk of quoting Variety yet once again … they only have optimistic things about Joe (in fact too optimistic).

“Overseas, the weekend spoils went to “G.I. Joe,” which grossed an estimated $26.2 million in its second frame from 7,039 runs in 49 territories for a cume of $91.5 million and a worldwide total of $190.5 million in its first 10 days. Results ensure that Par has created another film franchise.”

The article makes an interesting observation about D9: “Fueled by older males, Sony/TriStar’s sci-fi thriller “District 9″ opened to a boffo $37 million” If it’s drawing older males only, that doesn’t bode well for it’s legs. Over the weekend, it dropped 11% from Friday (never a good sign), while Joe rose over Time Traveler.

But the international box office is what I find most interesting … in 10 days Joe’s earned half as much as Trek to date. Only time will tell if it has the legs to double that total over two months. Variety would have you think so.

Does this mean that audiences still have a thirst for mindless action films over films with substance this late in the Summer? If so, Inglorious Bastards should really steal Joe’s thunder … it’s better reviewed, bigger stars, equal action, and likely a much better story.

123. S. John Ross - August 17, 2009

#122: “If it’s drawing older males only, that doesn’t bode well for it’s legs.”

I saw it in the company of a young woman, and her legs are just fine.

But I do doubt that District 9 will be some kind of megablockbuster — just as much as i doubt that it _needs_ to. Low-budget, high concept. It’ll make it’s money, cover its time, earn its fanbase and endure in the collective memory of fans, I daresay, when all the flash-powder movies are forgotten in favor of their functionally identical replacements of the day.

124. RD - August 17, 2009

#123 – so much for demographic surveys. ;-)

Your observations are a breath of fresh air on a website where the comments tend to gravitate toward the extremes.

Frankly, that is the argument I have been making about Star Trek since day one. The film series used to be made on tight budgets, and returned a decent performance at the box office resulting in a high ROI and more films. Where the Star Trek franchise went wrong at the box office was increasing the budgets to accommodate requisite CGI technology, in part to compete, but at the same time failing to develop coherent scripts. The films became merely an extension of the TV mentality where stories were cranked out as fast as possible to get a film produced and into the box office, while they were simultaneously producing two TV shows – a factory that got used to the profit they were making and failed to re-invest into the product. Then they fell into the trap of relying on CGI to fill in the blanks – flash over substance.

ST09 has done marginally better than TMP in the US (adjusted), but no better than TMP’s worldwide box office returns and with a lower ROI. The sequels will undoubtedly cost a similar amount to make and may not make any more at the box office, depending on its competition (looking back I see ST09 had no real competition). I fully expect them to gross higher than the best of last 9 films, if for no other reason that Abrams intends to keep them unfocused on broad general themes to appeal to a wide audience and undoubtedly filled with lots of non-stop action. But is this Star Trek? That’s really up to the individual.

The question I have is, can Trek even become a mega-blockbuster franchise? If not, why spend the money? Why not make good solid films based around great scripts that address the things that attracted fans to the franchise in the first place and kept the franchise afloat with decent returns at the box office for at least 20 years? Forget Summer tentpoles and focus on the holiday “Oscar” season where the more thoughtful reflective films tend to hit the box office and where Trek has always performed well.

This will be Abrams’ first sequel at the box office. He seems to be very lucky with one-offs: Alias and Lost both blew audiences away with their first seasons then fell into a huge ratings decline until they were cancelled. MI:III did well, but not as well as MI:II, and ST09 was a “pilot” – not a regular “episode”. Only time will tell if Abrams’ vision of Trek will pay off at the box office, but there’s no guarantee based on his track record. I see far too many similarities between TMP and ST09 not to question whether the sequel will do relatively better then TWOK. Of course the reviews are almost twice as good which should guarantee a boost, but the real question is whether the rest of the world is ready to become Trekkies?

Someone here pointed out to me early on that ROI is irrelevant – more is more. ST09 is the second highest grossing film in the franchise in terms of adjusted box office ROI after budget recoupment. As long as that remains the case, there is absolutely no reason for Paramount to settle for less.

125. Bill & Leonard in Vegas! : TREKS in SCI-FI - August 17, 2009

[…] and discussions about the recent film and other topics with loads of other guests.  You can visit HERE to learn more and get some links to more picks with Zachary Quinto and other stars.  One of these […]

126. Brian Kirsch - August 17, 2009

# 124 –

“(looking back I see ST09 had no real competition).”

Again, I respectfully disagree. You can’t always define direct competition by genre or theme. There are crossover audiences that just want to see the newest, most hyped film. Trek ’09 had Wolverine opening large the week before. Even though it sucked, it continued to eat up theater counts for several weeks. The following weekend, A&D opened large, eating up more theaters. The next weekend, both NATM and T:S opened large. Then, the next weekend UP opened large, followed by wide releases of LOL and Hangover.

My contention is that had Trek opened at more theaters without the onslaught of big releases week after week after week, it possibly could have grossed $20-25 million more domestically at just 300 more theaters. But in today’s ADD culture what’s new is hot……..what’s 3 or 4 weeks old is not. Just ask Harry Potter ;-)

You obviously have more knowledge in the “hollywood” game than I do, on the business side at least. Can you explain to me how theaters are assigned? Is it a contract between the studio/distributer and a theater chain for a specified number of weeks? This Summer has seen some big flops languish in large theater counts for no apparent reason, while more worthy films (like trek ’09 IMO) could have benefitted from those screens.

127. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 17, 2009


I agree with you.

But am curious whose formula you are using to calculate your ABOROIABR?

128. RD - August 17, 2009

#127 – my ABOROIABR? LOL What is this the military?

I gave in and used BoxofficeMojo’s ABO since that’s what Trekmovie uses and despite no particular reason to give it any more credit than any other, it carried more legitimacy around here.

I calculated the ROI using an inflation calculator based on the Consumer Price Index to adjust the budgets which I deducted from the BOM adjusted numbers.


#126 Brian Kirsch wrote: “Again, I respectfully disagree. You can’t always define direct competition by genre or theme.”

Which is why I said in hindsight … the fact that those films did suck, meant there was less repeat viewers looking for another film and in some cases a better thrill ride, which ST’s word-of-mouth heralded. In general, there wasn’t anything really exciting for the general audiences to lure them away from Star Trek during its opening weekend. Imagine if Trek had opened the week after Transformers 2, followed the week after by Harry Potter. So what I’m saying Trek didn’t really have any competition until “UP” and by that time Trek had earned the majority of its Domestic box office. Did Trek deserve it? Of course it did, but it also had opportunity to flower rather than try to bloom in the shadow of other successful blockbusters.

Interestingly enough, TMP went up against two hugely successful films which opened the following weekend: “Kramer Vs. Kramer” and “The Jerk”, but both were adult oriented films and very different experience for audiences to TMP’s G rating Sci-Fi.

I really wish I could address your question about theatre chains more authoritatively, but I think you have it about right … theatre chains compete over releases. Relationships determine what theatres get what films. Theatres lease (or guarantee) a film for a certain term from studios, with the ability to hold over. In some cases I am sure there are promises to play in order to preserve their relationship with a studio, whether a film does badly or not, possibly even subsidized. Also, some of the theatres that did not get the film in the initial release for whatever reason, add it later while other theatres hold over theirs. Keep in mind that not every theatre experiences the same poor box office as the national average and profit from a holdover. In some cases a theatre is faced with a lease term that exceeds the profitability of the film. In that case, they have to decide whether to pull the film and eat their lease fee (or guarantee) for the remaining duration and try to put something more profitable up, if possible, or leave it running to recoup as much of the lease fee as possible, or keep it up for the studio at a subsidized rate. There may also be incentives … the longer it stays in the theatres, the greater the share of B.O. they get to keep against the lease.

129. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 18, 2009

#128., RD once queried, “ABR?”

“…after budget recoupment” – RD in #124

130. Son of a Maui Portagee - August 18, 2009


I can’t answer your question as to how the game is played now but I do know how it was played in 1979. The studios had in place a blind bid auction where the right to premiere and first run went to the highest bidder. It was “blind” because the studios never produced one frame of footage to give the bidders any inkling of what they were getting.

I also recall the high bid for TMP was a record for Paramount and ultimately a disappointment to the Theater company as they were expecting to recoup based on STAR WARS’ numbers. I believe it is a matter of historical note that the TMP “blind bid” auction was ultimately responsible for the demise of the blind bid.

131. Brian Kirsch - August 18, 2009

#’s 128 &130 –

Thanks for some thought-provoking info! Even this “old dog” can learn something new. I’m alternately fascinated/frustrated by the movie biz.. No wonder the constant turnover at the studios. I think they themselves don’t even have a grasp, other than bottom line $’s.

My point was one of timing a release and securing a large theater count. Also, again, in our current ADD culture, there is about a 3 week window to “make hay while the sun is shining”. May was a very crowded month of high budget, potential blockbuster openings. It doesn’t matter if they sucked. They were the latest thing, new and shiny, highly hyped and advertised. By June when the dust settled, Trek ’09 was old news, despite the good word of mouth. The window had closed.

That’s why I feel the timing of the sequel is crucial, as well as locking up the highest number of theaters possible, and improving the foreign appeal. Almost as important as making the sequel a good movie ;-)

As a side note, I wonder what effect pushing the release back 5 months had on theater counts/commitments. And as a further side note: do we know if any changes were made to the film during that time, or was it already “in the can”?

(Wow, I/we are way off topic, to the point that’s a whole new thread, LOL!)

132. Francisco - January 22, 2010

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