Last month, on the same day that Paramount announced they picked the release date of June 29th, 2012 for the Star Trek sequel, Sony announced they were rebooting the Spider-man franchise for 2012. Today Sony announced they want to take on Trek by picking July 3rd, 2012 as their release date. They also announced the next Spider-man will be in 3D. Will Star Trek follow in the 3-D Trek?
Spidey takes on Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise — 4th of July week 2012
In 2012 the 4th of July holiday falls on a Wednesday. Last month Paramount picked Friday June 29th for the release date of the Star Trek sequel to take advantage of the holiday. Well Sony wants in on the action and so today announced Tuesday July 3rd to release their reboot of the Spider-man franchise. After talks broke down for a fourth Spidey film with director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire, Sony decided to reboot the franchise. Spider-man 3 was the #1 domestic box office earner in 2007, with $336 million. The previous two Spidey films were also mega-blockbusters, with all three bringing in a total of just under $2.5 billion worldwide.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this new Spidey film is "very different from the big movies that went before it". The film is said to have a much smaller budget (around $80M) and will be "pared down to center on a high school kid who is dealing with the knowledge that his uncle died even though the teen had the power to stop it". The focus will be more in line with the recent "Ultimate Spider-Man" comics where "villain-fighting took a back seat to the high school angst."
Regardless, It is interesting that Sony has taken such a step. As of now there are quite a few open weekends in the Summer of 2012. In fact, before this announcement the only June or July date that had been set was for the Star Trek sequel. Sony could have picked plenty of open weekends, but instead chose to launch their Spider-man four days after Paramount’s second Star Trek. That being said, it is not unusual for multiple big movies to vie for that weekend. This year three big movies are opening on the July 4th weekend, with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opening June 30th and the Tom Cruise film Knight & Day and The Last Airbender opening July 2nd.
Of course, headed into May 2009 there was lots of Talk about Trek not being able to take on Wolverine, Angels & Demons Night at the Museum 2, and Terminator Salvation, but in the end the new Star Trek beat all of those films at the domestic box office and all but Angels & Demons for total global box office.
Paramount now has a decision to make. Will they stick with the current plan and go head to head with Spider-man, or pick one of the other open weekends in June or July 2012.
Spidey goes 3-D, is Trek next?
Sony also announced the new Spider-man will be in 3D, and it is just the latest film that seems to be headed that way in the post-Avatar world. A number of other upcoming big movies will be in 3D, including the next entries from the Transformers and Harry Potter franchises. It is unknown if the Star Trek sequel will follow suit, but there is a distinct possibility. Producer JJ Abrams spoke about 3D Trek last October, at the Star Trek DVD press conference:
Question: Any chance of you shooting the next Star Trek film in 3-D?
JJ Abrams: It is funny. Paramount talked to me about doing the first one in 3-D and, having it only be my second film, I was petrified just at the addition–I thought it would be another dimension of pain-in-the-ass. I thought I would be like, "oh my god, I just want to make a decent 2-D movie.” I was so worried that, instead of being a decent 2-D movie, it would have been a bad 3-D one. So I’m open to looking at it because now I feel a little bit more comfortable and, if I, in fact, direct the sequel to our Star Trek film, 3-D could be really fun, so I’m open to it. What I’ve seen of Avatar makes me want to do it, because it’s so crazy-cool looking.
Interestingly, a recent poll here at TrekMovie showed that fans were split on the notion, but a plurality was against it. Here are the results
Should Star Trek sequel be in 3D?
* Yes (34%)
* Unsure (23%)
* No (43%)
My bet (not based on any sources) is that the next Trek will be 3D. If Abrams was talking positively about it three months ago, it can only be stronger now in the post-Avatar world. Plus if Paramount wanted the first Trek in 3D, they are likely to really want the second one to be 3D. Especially if they have to go head to head with a 3D Spidey.