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“Star Trek Beyond” After One Month at the Box Office: Well-received, But Not Profitable

This week marks a month since Star Trek: Beyond’s release on July 22nd. While the film has been praised by general audiences, fans, and critics alike, it has failed to replicate the box office success of the previous two films of the Kelvin Timeline, only earning $146.8 million domestically and $84.2 million internationally for a total gross of $231 million. This article seeks to examine why the film, seemingly so enjoyed by millions, did not do better at the box office.

Beyond has been out for 31 days as of Sunday, August 21st. While fans have informally rated the film higher than Star Trek Into DarknessBeyond’s box office haul is nowhere near its predecessor. We believe that the following factors have influenced Beyond’s performance at the box office: poor audience word-of-mouth, inflated expectations, subpar marketing, and difficult competition.

A Positive Reception

As fans and general audiences reacted positively to the film, many expected Beyond to generate a significant word-of-mouth factor that would have seen the film continue to do well at the box office in the weeks following its initial release. This did not happen.

We will examine how studios determine a film’s audience appeal later in this article, but let us first focus on critical and audience reviews. Beyond was mostly praised by the Star Trek fanbase, as a return-to-form for the franchise. However, based on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, Beyond was not reviewed as well as its two Kelvin Timeline predecessors.

Over at Rotten TomatoesBeyond has been certified fresh and has received positive reviews from 83% of critics. Audience reviews have been on par with the critical response, with 83% of moviegoers reporting to Rotten Tomatoes that they liked the film. Beyond received an average score of four out of five from respondents. At Metacritic, the film received a metascore of 68. Out of 516 audience respondents, the average score out of ten was 6.8.

By way of comparison, Star Trek (2009) is certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes with 95% of critics giving it positive marks while 91% of moviegoers said they liked the film. At MetacriticStar Trek has a metascore of 82 and a user score of 8.0.

Into Darkness is certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes with 86% of critics giving it positive reviews, and 90% of viewers responding that they liked it. At Metacritic, it has a metascore of 72 with an average rating of 7.8 from nearly 1,500 viewers.

Domestic Box Office

(For the purpose of this article, all of our data has been taken from Box Office Mojo, and some figures have been calculated based on their data.)

Domestically, Beyond has earned $146.8 million after 31 days. Comparatively, Into Darkness grossed $211 million and Star Trek $222.7 million after the same amount of time in release. Beyond has earned 31% less than Into Darkness and 34.1% less than Star Trek.

While this is not the final number for the film’s domestic gross, Beyond has been removed from 50% of screens it debuted on. Beyond debuted on 3,928 screens across the United States and remained on that many until August 5th, when it slowly began to be removed from cinemas. As of August 21st, Beyond is only on 1,966 screens across the country. Additionally, when Suicide Squad was released on August 5th, Beyond was removed from most of the IMAX 3D screens. The loss of the IMAX 3D higher ticket price factored into lower box office revenues.

We can only use the examples of the previous two Kelvin Timeline films to forecast the longevity of Beyond’s stay at the box office. Star Trek closed 17 weeks after its theatrical debut, and Into Darkness closed after 21 weeks. Operating on the assumption that Beyond will close sometime between those two timeframes, it will leave theatres between November 6th and December 11th.

After their first 31 days in theatres, Star Trek only earned roughly an additional $26.9 million, while Into Darkness earned $39.4 million. Based on these numbers, we can speculate that Beyond will earn an additional 12% to 18.6% of what it has made to date domestically. If we simply average those numbers, we can project Beyond to make an additional 15.3% (roughly $22.2 million) of what it has made to date for a final domestic box office haul of around $169 million.

This projection would solidify Beyond as the lowest grossing Kelvin Timeline film of the three, as well as the first that has failed to break $200 million domestically. Significantly, it could also fall short of achieving what its predecessors did in earning back its $185 million budget in the United States alone.

International Box Office

Historically, a film’s international box office take is difficult to keep track of on a weekly basis or project, as sites such as Box Office Mojo fail to receive weekly earnings from every foreign market where a film is released. Complicating matters further is the fact that Beyond has yet to be released in 13 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Israel, Japan, Portugal, Turkey, and the lucrative behemoth of China).

Unlike domestic numbers, it is difficult to use Star Trek and Into Darkness as bellwethers of Beyond’s projected international performance as there is quite a disparity between how the two films fared in the foreign box office. For instance, only 33.2% of Star Trek’s gross came internationally, while Into Darkness did much better and earned a whopping 51.1% of its total gross overseas.

Currently, Beyond has earned $84.2 million internationally, 36.4% of its total gross. We can expect that number to rise as the film has only recently been released in markets such as South Korea, France, and Spain. Additionally, audiences in most of Latin America and China have yet to see it. Most of the countries listed above failed to return more than $1 million during Into Darkness’s impressive international run, except for Brazil which brought in $5.2 million. China proved to be the international juggernaut for Into Darkness, grossing roughly $57 million. South Korea and Japan, where Beyond was just released and is pending release, respectively, generated roughly $22.2 for Into Darkness.

If Beyond is able to replicate Into Darkness’s success in East Asia, it would add roughly $80 million to its worldwide gross. If Beyond’s international numbers are similar to Into Darkness, we can estimate it will earn a total of roughly $163 million overseas, or 49% of the film’s worldwide gross. Into Darkness’s foreign gross made up 51.1% of the film’s worldwide haul, while Star Trek only took in 33.2% of its earnings overseas.

This would give Beyond a final worldwide gross of roughly $332 million. In this best-case scenario, Beyond would fall short of Star Trek’s $385.6 million gross and well short of Into Darkness’s $467.3 million take.

 

The Word (Isn’t) Given

Edward Jay Epsen, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, states that studios look at three factors to determine the audience appeal of a film, which can indicate how word-of-mouth affects a film’s earnings: the per-screen average, the drop-off from Friday to Sunday, and the percentage drop from the first week to the second. Let’s examine each of those metrics closely:

Per-screen Average: Beyond opened on July 22nd on 3,928 screens across the country, generating $5,666 per screen. That number did nothing but decline. By July 24th, Beyond, on average, was making $4,159 per screen, a drop-off of 26.6%. At the end of its second weekend in release, the film was only generating, on average, $2,072 per screen, a drop-off of 63.4%. The per-screen average only worsened during August, with Beyond being reduced to only 1,966 screens and a per-screen average of only $585.

Friday-to-Sunday Drop-off: As stated above, Beyond‘s average per-screen revenue dropped off 26.6% from July 22nd through July 24th.

First-to-Second Week Drop-off: As we have previously reportedBeyond saw a drop-off of 58.2% from an opening weekend of $59.2 million to a second weekend take of $24.7 million.

We can conclude that, based on these three factors, Beyond did not enjoy strong word-of-mouth, despite positive reviews and a glowing reception from fans. It is our assessment that positive word-of-mouth failed to materialize within the general audience, many of whom may have turned up for Star Trek and Into Darkness, but not Beyond.

Bigger Budgets, Bigger Expectations

The budget for Hollywood summer tentpole films, of which Paramount considers Star Trek to be one, has significantly inflated in the 21st century. All three Kelvin Timeline films were released in the prime summer release season of May-August, and they carried budgets of $150 million, $190 million, and $185 million, respectively.

Let us start by comparing Beyond’s $185 million budget to this summer’s other tentpoles: Independence Day: Resurgence ($165 million), The Legend of Tarzan ($180 million) Ghostbusters ($144 million), Jason Bourne ($120 million), and Suicide Squad ($175 million). By comparison, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy had an overall budget of roughly $281 million, averaging $93.6 million per film.

Absent from these budget figures are how much studios pay for advertising, distribution, and interest fees paid to any partners who helped finance the film. As you noticed from the film’s opening, Beyond was financed by four main studios: Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, Alibaba Pictures Group, and Huahua Film & Media Culture. Three other production companies (Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark, and Perfect Storm Entertainment) were also involved.

The metric for a film’s profitability lies in Paramount’s balance sheet for Beyond. From a journalistic perspective, it is incredibly difficult to know how much funding Paramount put forth themselves, nor how much they received from their three partners. We also do not know the exact number Beyond has to surpass in order to be viewed as a profitable success. Simply earning back a $180 million does not mean that every cent past that is profit.

To illustrate this point, let us examine Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which grossed $939.8 million dollars worldwide. Despite Harry Potter being one of the most profitable films of the 21st century, Slashfilm reported that a leaked balance sheet from Warner Bros. saw the studio actually come away with a $167.2 million loss. The film’s distribution, advertising, print costs, and payments to Warner’s partners in funding the production added up to roughly $350 million on top of its $150 million budget.

Further complicating matters, The Atlantic reported that studios typically set up a separate “corporation” for each film they produce. Like any company, it calculates profits by subtracting expenses from revenues. For accounting purposes, the movie is a money “loser” if there are no profits to distribute. This is why, to this day, a small $37 million production called Return of the Jedi, which grossed $475 million, has technically not made a profit because of how George Lucas funded the film.

It is unknown how much Beyond ultimately cost Paramount, but the sooner Beyond debuts on television and is released on home video, the better. As Slate reported, television distribution rights are often always more lucrative than box office revenue because it only costs the studio residual payments. Both Star Trek and Into Darkness were first acquired by Epix, a premium channel, for an unspecified sum to show the films months after their release. Shortly after Star Trek’s release in 2009, FX and Paramount agreed to a four-year deal worth $24 million for the exclusive rights to broadcast the film beginning in 2011. FX also acquired the rights to exclusively air Into Darkness for an unspecified sum, first airing the sequel in 2015.

Home video sales, while not as profitable as television rights, are valuable as roughly two-thirds of home video earnings are gross profits after production costs are subtracted.

Beyond can still be profitable for Paramount, but there should be no expectation that Star Trek can be a summer box office tentpole, drawing in box office revenue similar to what Marvel films rake in.

Marketing Blitz Thin and Late

Quite simply, Paramount’s marketing campaign for Beyond was meager and dilatory, especially compared to its predecessors.

Beyond’s much-maligned first trailer, which was released in December 2015, came out 221 days before the film’s release date. As we previously reported in a comparison of the marketing timelines of Beyond and Into Darkness, promotion for the film slowly resumed in March 2016 with the release of two major interviews, 10 photos, and two behind-the-scenes videos.

Marketing for Beyond ramped up in late April and throughout May as Paramount released a slew of photos from the film, magazines printed features and interviews, and official signage appeared at the Cannes International Film Festival. Promotion for the film switched into high gear after the debut of the film’s first full trailer on the Paramount lot on May 20th.

Shortly thereafter, posters began to appear in theatres and from late June until July 22nd, Paramount released a series of television spots with new footage. Featurettes and interviews appeared in the July editions of various magazines, and a final trailer was released only three days before the film’s release.

The lull between the first trailer and the second left this website disappointed with the efforts Paramount had exerted in promoting Beyond. We believe the general audience was not aware that a new Star Trek film was coming out in 2016. In contrast, when Paramount was building up anticipation for Star Trek and Into Darkness, they went where no Star Trek film had gone before: the Super Bowl. Advertising during the NFL’s championship game is so expensive because of the sheer number of viewers who tune in, many of whom we would consider to be the general audience who could be intrigued by a Star Trek movie.

For Super Bowl 50, taking place in the franchise’s 50th anniversary year and five months before Beyond’s release, an advertisement for the movie was conspicuously absent. Some may argue that Star Trek and Into Darkness were featured during the Super Bowl because their release was a short three months away. However, Super Bowl 50 featured ads for Independence Day: Resurgence and Jason Bourne, films that were released in late June and late July, respectively. While it is impossible to quantify how this affected the general audience’s interest in Beyond, such a prominent and widely-seen advertisement could only have helped the film at the box office.

Steamrolled by the Competition

Summer 2016 was a relatively weak season at the box office due to the lack of major tentpole films. Major comic book movies, such as Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse were released between March and May. While all three enjoyed long runs in theatres, none threatened Beyond at the time of its release. Other blockbusters released weeks before Beyond, such as Independence Day: Resurgence and Ghostbusters, disappointed at the box office. As a result, many felt that Hollywood was experiencing the weakest summer at the box office in years.

Beyond changed that with its $59.2 million opening weekend. However, the film only had a week without major competition to claim the number one spot at the box office before Jason Bourne was released and subsequently dethroned it. While occupying different genres, Beyond and Bourne were marketed as action films to the general audience. When Jason Bourne was release on July 29th, Beyond’s box office numbers plummeted 50.2% over the course of the weekend.

Beyond had little time to recover, as the first weekend in August saw the release of the highly-anticipated Suicide SquadBeyond’s revenue dropped 61.6% from the $24.7 million it earned during its second week in release, grossing only $10 million. The decline continued as Suicide Squad, although panned by critics and audiences, has occupied the number one spot for all four weekends it has been in release.

In our opinion, Paramount needs to realize that Star Trek is not a summer tentpole franchise that can go toe-to-toe with comic book films and action franchises. The franchise would be better off releasing films later in the year when there is less competition.

There Is Hope

Numerous entertainment and media commentators have suggested that, although there are only three films in the Kelvin Timeline, Star Trek is suffering from “franchise fatigue.” However, reports of Star Trek’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

While Beyond disappointed at the box office, it did not bomb. Paramount can possibly make up for any projected revenue that it failed to make through television distribution rights and home video sales. Star Trek 4 is certain to move forward, but may be given a significantly lower budget. As we have pointed out in numerous articles, Star Trek tends to do best with limited means.

We believe that Star Trek is entering another golden age. Despite Beyond’s allegedly disappointing box office numbers, it was a brilliant film.  Paramount and partners Skydance and Bad Robot are moving ahead with a fourth film, and Star Trek is only five months away from returning to television after 11 years, with Star Trek: Discovery about to enter production.

Star Trek lives.

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Most movies this Summer did poorly. The disappointing box-office results for ST:B were NOT because of some moronic boycott by Axanar cult members. They will claim they boycotted and influenced the take, but reality is that most of them saw the movie and there just aren’t that many of them.

Nope. Year to date domestic box office is up over 4.6% for 2016.

It is up but the summer season itself was a failure. All 3 of Disney’s live action films bombed. Variety said while it was good for a couple of movies, for the most part, it was a bad season.

Thanks to the animated hits and a very strong spring. Summer has been a dud. The number one live action movie this year is CA:CW with $407 million box office. Last year at this time, it was Jurassic World at $650 million followed by Avengers 2 at $475 million. The kiddies are hitting the theaters, but the adults seem to have better things to do this year.

Just curious – do you know if that’s still true if you remove the revenue from Star Wars?

Star Wars is included in that total, of which $285 million earned in 2016 is applied to an $8 billion YTD domestic box office. So while SW reduces the percentage significantly, the overall domestic box office is still up over last year. Add to that 2016 is up over 5.4% over 2013 when STID made history as the highest grossing Trek to date, though its domestic numbers were less than ST09.

@Curious Cadet, @Finnegan was strictly speaking about the summer, not overall year to date numbers. Do you have a specific summer comparison?

Yep, year to date up, but growth down to strong first part of the year.

Yea internationally as a whole since theres more markets and screens but not really domestically…
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/summer-box-office-slump-revenue-901816

Nevertheless, many films underperformed.

@Finnegan,

Here is a reality check for you, summer 2016 was actually up 3% from last year!

————————————
Surprise! This Summer’s Box Office Is Up 3 Percent Over Last Year’s

Summer 2016 is on track to finish as the second biggest on record

Contrary to widespread reports bemoaning this year’s summer box office slump, North American ticket sales are actually up 2.84 percent over last year’s at this time — 108 days after the first Friday in May — to a whopping $4.14 billion.

http://www.thewrap.com/surprise-this-summers-box-office-is-up-3-percent-over-last-years/

@Ahmed
For some reason I am having difficulty accessing this link. Can you tell us the top five films which would account for this increase?

@Merchant of Vulcan,

The article didn’t list them but according to Box Office Mojo these are the top five movies of the summer:

Finding Dory
Captain America: Civil War
The Secret Life of Pets
Suicide Squad WB
X-Men: Apocalypse

And from the article:

“Year to date, the box office is up 4.22 percent, to nearly $7.77 billion as of August 21.

In addition, estimated attendance is up slightly from last year, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

So why did a lot of people think the summer was on a downturn? Blame it on the lackluster performances of some high-profile titles, Corcoran said. “The press likes to declare winners and losers, but the health of the industry is not dependent on a few titles,” he told TheWrap.”

@Ahmed
Thank You

In other words, superhero films and cartoons did well. And that means that there isn’t an audience for ‘Trek. Sad.

dswynne… No, X-Man Apocalypse only made a few million more than Beyond.

@Thorny,

Well, you’re forgetting that ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ cost a bit less than ‘Beyond’, received bad reviews & yet, it made more money domestically & overseas. While ‘Beyond’ made so far $86 million overseas, XM:A grossed $265 million without counting China, and when you add China, the total overseas grosses are over $385 million.

Beyond isn’t done in foreign markets. It just opened in China.

Dory and Civil War are great films, I didn’t care for Suicide Squad, Apocalypse was ok IMO and I haven’t seen Secret Life of Pets but everyone I talked to loved it. I agree with the article that summer isn’t the best time for Trek, the fall would be good possibly.

I read somewhere that there’s been a “profit inequality” trend in Hollywood as of the past two years — a handful of high profile films take in gigantic hauls while the vast majority of the films go underappreciated, TFA being the prime example of how a single film can dramatically inflate the numbers of an entire year. So while the box office may be up this year, it doesn’t mean every film will do better. Also Beyond’s opening weekend was only the fifth time in Hollywood history that the top five films for the weekend made over $20 million, but even with such equitable distribution, Ice Age was a flop.

The film was taken out of most Belfast cinemas after 3 weeks. Can’t believe it. It’s not showing in any cinemas here in Belfast now.

Interesting that this writer says Trek 4 is certain to happen. I’m not sure the validity of that. The article is good at revealing the statistical numbers but almost seems to be saying this film was so good so what happened

I knew the second I saw it it wasn’t going to do well. While I generally enjoyed it, the film was shallow and forgettable and clearly wasn’t going to generate the needed word of mouth. It just wasn’t good enough.

If they made another movie after Star Trek V and Star Trek: Insurrection, and even seriously considered another movie after Nemesis (regime change at Paramount killed it), they’ll make another movie after Beyond.

Yes but not necessarily with Paramount or Bad Robot.

Paramount’s going to sell the franchise to someone else?

Paramount doesn’t own the franchise. CBS does. Since we don’t know the terms of the various deals, we can’t say for sure what will happen. My guess is there’s a ticking clock, just like after NEM where Paramount has to perform or quit, which is why we got ST09. Viacom’s and Paramounts financial problems may well lead to enough delays that CBS can take the property back and produce their own movies, or license them to a new studio. My guess is Moonves is waiting to see if he is appointed chairman of Viacom before taking any action with its licensed properties. Bad Robot is tied to this current incarnation of Trek. If Paramount loses its license or Moonves takes control of Paramount, it’s unlikely that a new studio would continue to make any more Bad Robot Trek. This is what happened after Nemesis. Instead of making more Trek with Berman, Paramount rebooted it with BR.

My best guess is that with the financial problems Paramount and Viacom is facing, they will put Trek on the back burner until the clock runs out, either with BR or their own license. All bets are off if the studio turns itself around, but I wouldn’t expect to see another Trek film in less than 4 years if not longer, especially with a TV series on the way.

Paramount controls the movies and CBS controls television rights for Star Trek.

@Finnegan,

CBS owns ALL of Star Trek, Paramount is producing the movies under license from CBS.

More specifically, Paramount licenses the Star Trek film rights from CBS.

The \'Great Bird\' never dies

Get rid of overrated, and ‘high-priced’ JJ, and the next film will be much better IMO

Some of the best episodes were bottle shows, I agree!

A 4th film will happen. The actors are locked in a pay or play contract so For sure Paramount would at least wanna try to make a profitable 4th film rather than just scrap the franchise and pay the actors to do nothing.
Second, Paramount needs Star Trek. Aside from Transformers, they have nothing else. Between the recent Ben Hur disaster and running the Terminator and Ninja Turtles franchises into the ground, Trek is doing fine. Once it hits China, it’s gonna be.ca different story, they’re so hungry for the film there and Suicide Squad isn’t getting a release there.

@AJY,

“Second, Paramount needs Star Trek. Aside from Transformers, they have nothing else.”

Beside the Transformers movies, they have Mission Impossible, a movie series that cost them less than Star Trek and bring in far more than those over-priced Kelvin movies.

In your opinion, what do you think SHOULD be done with the franchise? You seem to have some inside knowledge on the machinations at Paramount.

@dswynne,

No inside knowledge, just reading the trades. From the various articles about the future of Star Trek movie franchise that I came across, the consensus seem to be for Paramount to make smaller movies with budget no more than $120-$150 million. And they need to get the movies out every two years or something, not to waste 3 to 4 years like they were doing with the KT movies.

I do hope that Paramount will get a different production and creative team, try to map out a new trilogy with either this cast or a new one. They should try something that differentiates Star Trek from other action/adventure movies, trying to imitate Star Wars is not working anymore; the real SW is already here.

If not, then maybe a merger with CBS would be the best outcome of all this Viacom drama, where Star Trek will be run by one company.

The difference between making another film after the lousy Insurrection was the lower budget and lower margins. These films are big budget.

Also, the experts can correct me if Im wrong, but if Paramount decides to slash the budget, can Bad Robot walk away if they feel they can’t bring their vision to life on a smaller budget?

I agree with the idea that if they do bring in new creative people and smaller budgets and a better release date and shorter gap between releases, map out a trilogy. Might be hard because they won’t want to throw money at the cast at this stage but these three were not overly cohesive (especially 09 to STID) with some of the story telling.

And bottom line, write a better film. Thats the main thing. This isn’t great cinema that for one reason or another, people didn’t see. The films haven’t been good enough.

And something else Simon Pegg is excellent in to boot

Another CBS licensed product.

These movies don’t ned to cost $185 million. $150 million really should be the ceiling for these things – that could even improve the creative and force some innovative and more urgent storytelling decisions.

How do you know they are pay or play? They have an option like every other script. And no, they do not have all of the actors optioned for a 4th film. Nobody gets paid unless they work. Chris Hemsworth may be the only potential cast member with a hold fee but that’s it.

Hopefully the TV series will even help generate interest in ST4. Though it’s not taking place after DS9, I’m still looking forward to STD (giggle).

The \'Great Bird\' never dies

I have to agree, and you need to have ADHD to keep up with the pace…

I’m not here to start a debate about Axanar, but they were on to something stylistically. They have prime timeline TOS design and feel with a modern action sensibility. Paramount and CBS might do well to go that route.

You mean the style that’s been abandoned for almost 50 years?

TrekMadeMeWonder,

Re:style that’s been abandoned for almost 50 years

Any student of history or follower of fashion knows these things run in cycles and that what to one generation seems old is the ginchiest retro look to another. Ever hear of renascence or the Renaissance?

There will be a 14th movie by Paramount. I do really believe that. Beyond was hardly a flop, just a disappointment. Some of that can be attributed to the old diminishing returns with sequels. The newness of the Abramsverse is gone. But it still is a profitable franchise. I think it more likely they will have a reduced budget to work with. But Paramount is not going to give up Star Trek. I think Viacom would still prefer to own the franchise as a whole, in fact. If Paramount was nervous about losing out on the Friday the 13th reboot several years ago, and it’s eventual sequel someday, they sure as Hell are not going to lose out on Star Trek.

I enjoyed Beyond, as did my wife. It wasn’t fantastic or thought provoking- it was just a good time with good character moments. I liken it to a GOOD Season 3 episode- not great, but solid.

Something that I think impacted Beyond was a weak box office overall. A TON of movie under-performed or tanked. Ghostbusters, Apocalypse, Independence Day- this summer was filled with out and out failure. Considering how many people disliked Into Darkness, I would say Beyond’s numbers aren’t as bad as that, compared to what other “blockbusters” did this summer.

It doesn’t matter. Other studios can weather the storm. Viacom has lost half its stock value in the last two years, in large part due to Paramount’s missteps. Add to that overall box office is up 4.6% over 2015.

Again box office is up because of films outside of the summer season, the summer itself is down.

Both Finding Dory and Secret Life of Pets are higher this summer than the animated blockbusters of last summer, Inside Out and Minions. That’s the difference in box office right there. The top three live action summer movies this year (Captain America, Suicide Squad and X-Men Apocalypse) combined for $829 million so far. Last year, the top 3 live action summer movies were Jurassic World, Avengers 2, and Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, which combined for $1.3 billion.

The animated studios are happy. Everybody is feeling a world of hurt this summer.

conscienceoftheking, I haven’t seen the movie yet, it just opened in Israel this weekend. A comparison to a third season episode sounds pretty depressing to me. What do you mean by a “good third season episode”? I can’t think of more than 5 that I would even be willing to watch, and I’ve been a Star Trek fan for nearly 50 years: Paradise Syndrome, Enterprise Incident, Elaan of Troyius, Tholian Web and Empath. And these are good for 3rd season but not on an absolute scale (except that I’ve always been partial to the music and sets in Paradise Syndrome)

Well, as someone whose loved Trek ALMOST as long as you have, I’d rate “Is There In Truth No Beauty” well above “Elaan of Troyius” at the very least. But that’s what makes it a universe.

From a fellow member of the tribe, Shalom in any case. :-) Hope you end up enjoying BEYOND more than I did.

Oops, “who’s.” Where’s that damned edit function, ensign?

Think of your favorite episodes of any of the series that featured a majority of the ensemble getting good moments/scenes and cool guest characters. Not the eps that dealt, necessarily, with a “Big Issue.”
The first ep that comes to mind (TOS) when I tell people that STB is fun is “Piece of the Action”.

“Complicating matters further is the fact that Beyond has yet to be released in 13 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Israel, Japan, Portugal, Turkey, and the lucrative behemoth of China).”

This is what I have a problem with. If STB has been out for over a month already, yet 13 countries, many of them with rather large and lucrative audiences, haven’t yet gotten it, many could either be turning to the internet to snag pirated copies of the movie, or simply lose enough of the drive not to watch by the time it hits their theaters.

Star Trek has always been a worldwide phenomenon, and in the faster-paced and more interconnected world we live in, it shouldn’t take so long to distribute a beloved franchise.

Indeed; we were originally set to have the premiere in the first term, but for some reason, it was latter swapped to the end of August. Do they honestly expect me to wait a month when there are passable camrips readily available? And do they honestly expect me to pay the full admission price for a movie I’ve already seen? :P

the previous kelvin timeline movies could depend on curiosity about a rebooted ‘trek’ and the appearance of the star of ‘sherlock’ to bring newcomers to the franchise, especially overseas.

but a increased budget, negative response to that trailer, competition from other releases and a limited overseas audience conspired to hurt the prospects for a largely critically well received ‘trek’ movie.

Dont kid yourself, the films underperformed because they weren’t good enough. STID did well because it had good will coming off of 09 and an easy to like (before seeing it) revenge plot with a charismatic villain. STID was such a mess that it killed the good will and word of mouth for Beyond.

I also think killing Pike didn’t help. Probably doesn’t make a huge difference. But he was more the soul of these films than Kirk. Greenwood is so good and so likeable. Was missed in Beyond.

Tell the folks that didnt see STB BECAUSE of STID to go see it, they will enjoy the change of tone.
I had a lot of problems with STID and went to STB outve loyalty and a faith in Simon Pegg as screenwriter.
I had a Great Time.

Nice story, thanks. Well, sign me up for a blu-ray copy, is the best I can do to help out. I saw it once in the theater, which was enough for me. Most of my ST fan friends gave it a pass, because STID soured them.

If you’re gonna support them via Blu-Ray, better get the exclusive bundle on Amazon that includes a model of the USS Kelvin!

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Amazon-Exclusive-Digital-Blu-ray/dp/B01IWM3OX2

Franklin. Not that I need more clutter. :)

I saw that….incredibly tempting. At this point, my wife just shrugs….:)

The toy should come with all of them, I don’t yet have 4K UHD/3D , just the triple combo would be good enough for me.

This film is going to close the box office over $200 million in the red. That’s a lot of money to make up on TV, rentals and BluRay. This film won’t be profitable for a very long time, certainly not before its time to cough up another $150 million in two years to make another one. And during that time, interest will accrue on all the loans they’ve taken out but haven’t made enough to pay back, inflating the cost of the film even more. This at a time when Parmount and Viacom are about to undergo major financial and structural changes, the uncertainty of which is keeping big film makers from taking their movies to Paramount. Sorry to say, it, you buying a BluRay won’t be enough.

What Curious Cadet is saying.. buy the Blu Ray.

What TommyHawk and Curious Cadet are saying is that there’s no such thing as “BluRay” or “Blu Ray”. If someone is selling you something called either it is an empty box or illegal copy as the licensed name of the feature distribution technology is “Blu-ray” and buying any of those faux products is not going to help Paramount — no way, no how.

Amazon.com and .ca clearly say its for pre-order now. IF that’s what you’re on about.

They reckon $140 million + 100 million from the shoddy marketing

Agree. STID and that awful first trailer greatly sapped my remaining enthusiasm for these films. I waited a week and a half before getting around to seeing Beyond, and saw it only once. It was OK, but far from perfect. It’s the cumulative effect here that these post-mortem analyses are missing.

Agreed! The first trailer killed any momentum the film was building. People don’t realize how much repeat viewings help films. When people really love a film, they’ll usually see it again, maybe 4-5 times if they really love. So you have a poorly received first trailer, which that article fails to mention. The you have normally loyal diehards that refuse to go see a film they didn’t like or found average.

Even if you didnt like STB you could tell the folks that didnt see STB BECAUSE of STID to go see it, they will enjoy the change of tone.
I saw it last weekend to kill some time and enjoyed it more the second time
I had a lot of problems with STID and went to STB outve loyalty and a faith in Simon Pegg as screenwriter. That faith was rewarded.

Don’t look any further than Paramount/CBS for the problems getting people to see this film. The marketing is TERRIBLE. My theatre had ONE of the theme posters, the Jaylah. OK, she’s cool. The poster NEVER says Star Trek anywhere on it. It’s a picture of a white-faced alien and the word “Beyond.” That poster doesn’t even list the cast! MARKETING should be FIRED!!!

As for word of mouth: This is 2016. We are celebrity obsessed. The closed STB got to word of mouth was the bit about Sulu being gay. Without marketing, there is no word of mouth.

As for competition, there definitely have been some well-promoted films, including Suicide Squad. But, nothing unassailable.

TPTB also made a huge mistake in staggering the release by 6 weeks. China will now have more bootleg versions that you can count, so that will definitely cut into the profits.

In short… Paramount/CBS not only needs a house-cleaning, they need a fumigator. BAD DECISIONS. BAD LUST FOR MONEY. BAD RELIANCE ON CASH = SUCCESS formula. JUST BAD!!

See, there’s one thing that I noted when the posters started coming out onto the Internet: Paramount seemingly trying to “distance” themselves from the Trek IP, by not including Trek in the title on the posters. Didn’t they learn from that mistake back in 2001, with Enterprise? Took them 2 years before adding the “Star Trek” to the title, but by then ENT’s fate was largely sealed.

I think they’re afraid of “Star Trek” because it means big-time NERDS, and who wants to sit in a theatre with them?

Honest to God, I think this is just how stupid Paramount marketing folk are.

Marja,

Re:it means big-time NERDS

I don’t think it is quite that but you are on the right track. Paramount can’t be afraid of nerds because they keep going after their imagined Marvel Comics Universe movies “formula” and surely they know THAT means “big-time NERDS”.

No, I believe it’s more insidious than that. Brad Grey’s Paramount, for whatever reason, is specifically afraid of Star Trek NERDS.

Paramount and BR have both seemed to operate that Trek, in terms of brand recognition, holds a level of recognition as Star Wars – a false assumption. Trek needed a cash infusion, some coordinated marketing and content creation, and it didn’t get it. The franchise isn’t going away, but it’s not going to be joining Star Wars or Marvel on the podium as a big player anytime soon….

The white washing of the words “Star Trek” in some marketing was odd. Clearly, they felt the fans would see it no matter what and the brand was a turn off for casuals. So again, we have people who don’t like Star Trek responsible for making or marketing Star Trek.

Many of us said a long time ago that this was not Star Wars and will never be Star Wars. Paramount has no one to blame but themselves (and Bad Robot).

I am amazed that Paramount has not fired its entire marketing department, but I said the same thing after STID. NO advance trailers, NO posters in theatre lobbies, NO presence on TV except last-minute interviews in the two weeks before release. And, yes, the words “STAR TREK” were completely absent from any publicity I happened to see. Just Jaylah, Kirk, and Spock, and “BEYOND” …

Jaysis.

WTF. Way to lose a good series and audience, Paramount. Your marketing SUCKS. SUCKS, I say!

Marja,

Re:Paramount has not fired its entire marketing department

Once again, you are on the right track but you have put the cart before the horse.

Paramount’s marketing is in disarray because their poor financial situation caused them to let the brilliant mind behind their 2009 marketing jump to Sony because they couldn’t match their offer. Not that they probably wouldn’t have fired him anyway in an attempt to improve their quarterly financial statements as they’ve been doing ever since, i.e. their bad marketing is happening because they keep firing their marketing people, not for poor performance but, because they can’t afford them.

Sequels did not attract the average movie-goer this year. Good or bad, all the big sequels of 2016, other than Captain America and the animated fare, brought in the devoted fans on opening week and then went pfffft.

Thorny,

Then how do you account for SUICIDE SQUAD’s legs exceeding BEYOND’s? Ignore it?

Disinvited… What? How does that contradict my argument?

A near 80% drop in its second weekend box office actually supports my “devoted fans on opening week, and then pffft.” comment

@Thorny,

Where are you getting that 80% drop? Even with the horrible reviews, SS dropped -67.4% in its second weekend. Civil War dropped -59.5% in the 2nd weekend with far better reviews.

I stand corrected, a near 70% drop. That’s still not good, and is far from the “Suicide Squad’s legs” you claim. It sank like a stone, and is still number one by virtue of having no end-of-summer competition (Beyond had to contend with Jason Bourne’s $60 million opening. Suicide Squad only had to deal with Sausage Party’s $34 million debut in Week 2.)

@Thorny,

Here are some simple facts:

‘Beyond’ dropped -58.2% in the second weekend, and -59.5% in the 3rd weekend.

‘Suicide Squad’ dropped -67.4% in the second weekend, then it improved and dropped -52.1% in the 3rd weekend.

Now to the box office numbers, ‘Beyond’ which was released TWO weeks before SS grossed only $148 million domestically and $86 million overseas to a total of $234 million after one full month.

‘Suicide Squad’ grossed $269 million domestically in 20 days, $313 million overseas to a total of $582 million. FYI ‘Suicide Squad’ cost $10 million less than ‘Beyond’!

With SS $582 million worldwide, I can clearly see that it sank like a stone!

Not to mention that SS earned more than STB has to date during its opening weekend. So that in part explains the massive drop from the opening weekend. Then it went back to typical blockbuster BO earnings. STB did not.

Remember guys, my point was that (the non-animated hits) “brought in the devoted fans on opening week and then went pfffft”. So far, I see nothing in these numbers to refute that claim. You guys are saying that the comic book movies have a bigger fan base. Shocked! Shocked I am to hear that!

@Thorny,

“my point was that (the non-animated hits) “brought in the devoted fans on opening week and then went pfffft”.”

You’re not making any sense, if SS went “pfffft” after the opening weekend as you claim, it won’t be making $582 million worldwide in 24 days, and I’m not even talking about Civil War which grossed more than $1 billion.

And there is ‘Jason Bourne’, not a comics movie, cost just $120 million and it grossed more than ‘Beyond’, about $281 million worldwide, and that without having 3D/IMAX high priced tickets like ‘Beyond’.

Ahmed, note that I am not claiming SS is a flop or anything like that. I’m saying the sequels this year (except for CA:CW) were all hugely front-loaded by the devoted fans. The numbers support that.

US/Canada box office (source: BoxOfficeMojo):

Sequels/Universe movies

Suicide Squad
Opening Weekend (Aug 5-7): $133.6 mil
Week 2: $43.5 mil (down 67%)
Week 3: $20.8 mil (down 52%)

Star Trek Beyond
Opening Weekend (Jul 22-24): $59.2 mil
Week 2: $24.7 mil (down 58%)
Week 3: $10 mil (down 59%)

Jason Bourne
Opening Weekend (Jul 22-24): $59.2 mil
Week 2: $22.4 mil (down 62%)
Week 3: $13.8 mil (down 38%)

Non-sequels…
Central Intelligence:
Opening Weekend (Jun 17-19): $35.5 mil
Week 2: $18.2 mil (down 48%)
Week 3: $12.5 mil (down 31%)

Legend of Tarzan:
Opening Weekend (Jul 1-4): $46.5 mil
Week 2: $21 mil (down 45%)
Week 3: $11.4 mil (down 45%)

@Thorny,

OK, I see your point now.

Ahmed, Re: that without having 3D/IMAX high priced tickets like ‘Beyond’ Are you sure about that with BOURNE? Because they’re protesting its 3D edition in China: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/3d-jason-bourne-causes-nausea-923098 ‘”3D is a dominant cinema format in China. The vast majority of China’s estimated 37,000-39,000 movie screens were built over the past decade, and some 80 percent are equipped with 3D projection technology. Local moviegoers have lapped up 3D films, turning out in force for effects-heavy 3D fare since Avatar became a phenomenon in China in 2007. Hollywood and local distributors and exhibitors have been happy to encourage the market’s penchant for premium-priced 3D tickets. But many Chinese fans and critics say that converting Jason Bourne to 3D was the wrong choice, given director Paul Greengrass’ signature handheld camera techniques and frenetic editing style. The film was shot in 2D and released in North America and Europe in its original format. The special 3D version is being rolled out in China, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and Vietnam. On Friday, the state-backed Chinese newspaper Global Times ran a story reporting that moviegoers in Beijing’s Chaoyang district organized a protest Thursday demanding refunds after seeing the film in 3D. The paper said only eight of Beijing’s 149 movie theaters were offering screenings of the 2D version as of Thursday, while just nine of Shanghai’s 174 cinemas were showing the original film.” — ‘3D JASON BOURNE Causes Nausea, Protest in China’, 12:28 AM PDT 8/26/2016 by Patrick Brzeski, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1002936.shtml ”Even if 2D-turned-3D… Read more »

Bourne is in more markets than Beyond.

Suicide Squad isn’t a sequel.

Yep, I definitely enjoyed Beyond more than the others and I agree with the author that the general public was mostly unaware of a new Trek movie. So many of my friends had no idea, even after two weeks of the movie being out. “There’s a new Star Trek Movie?”. Yup! Marketing dropped the ball.

[stamping feet in rage]

Pleased there’s hope for a 4th outing. I agree that Beyond was poorly marketed and feel the film whilst full of lovely moments lacked the gravitas of the previous two, I’m sure much of this was due to the rush in getting it written and completed on time.

I love that “poor marketing” is accepted as one of the issues. I agree. But many here were angrily taking exception to the “poor marketing” thing right up until the film was released. Then again, many of those people are awfully quiet here lately.

Trekmovie confirms that Paramount and its partners are moving ahead with #4? The last paragraph seems to say that.

Pie-in-the-sky speculation. Unbridled optimism. Not a fact.

It’s an assessment, not a brand new piece of news. With Abrams announcing the film and premise before Beyond’s release, along with the Paramount/Skydance/Bad Robot press release, we have to assume that, at present, the script is still being developed.

What I hoped to convey in the article is that it is virtually impossible to know when a film becomes statistically profitable for a studio unless we have access to their balance sheets. There are a number of key unknowns that constitute expenses related to this film beyond the budget itself. Even if the film remains in the red for Paramount for quite some time, there is ample precedence of studios green-lighting sequels even when the previous film has yet to turn a profit. None of us on staff at Trekmovie are Hollywood insiders who can speak to the cost-benefit calculations that go on in board rooms between executives when they are deciding which film to green-light, and which to pass on.

The fact is that Hollywood operates on a business model that often defies common sense, and can go against practices that are seemingly sensible economic strategies for companies in other sectors. We have questioned whether Star Trek 4 will move forward, but we have reached a consensus that the film will likely be made, albeit with a lower budget.

“We have questioned whether Star Trek 4 will move forward, but we have reached a consensus that the film will likely be made, albeit with a lower budget.” — John Duchak

Universal Translator translation: There’s always another STAR TREK, eventually.

Movies in general are generating less revenue than before, and although there are exceptions, they are few. We do not go to movies often, but did see Beyond more than once. Was struck by Simon Pegg thanking everyone for spending their money and seeing the movie as it was meant to be seen – in the cinema. The other movie we saw this year also did the same thing. Was this a new strategy to encourage more people to go to movies rather than wait for blu-ray release? I doubt it will work, but it does tell me the studios should know they cannot count on our buying tickets.

It’s a problem, especially when CBS has just announced a new Trek TV series that is already profitable based on sales, and doesn’t even support their own current Trek film franchise.

I think if the new series is a hit right off the hop, the talk will turn to taking those characters or ideas or universe to the big screen. Maybe they wait till the series runs its course (like TNG), but the marvel model tells us you can do TV and films at the same time and have them relate or at least support each other.

STB didn’t do very well in South Korea at all. It only earned about $300K more than STID and it was on about 100 more screens, for a total of 607 screens. The same in France, where it earned $1 million less than STID aside from being on the same number of screens.

Unless China earns 3x the STID box office, I can’t possibly see Paramount greenlighting another BR Trek film. Especially the one Abrams has in mind with two unproven writers, based on a story Paramount already rejected in favor of STB. The only way I can see it getting made is if CBS Films puts up half the money in order to get a “fix-the-timeline” movie made which restores Vulcan and Romulus, and all of the characters back to the way they were and leaves off the end of the film by introducing the Discovery. They might even get Shatner in there too.

@Curious Cadet,

‘Beyond’ dropped to 5th place today in South Korea.

FYI Domestic Box Office is US and Canada not just the US.

I’m sorry, I am fairly certain that Beyond is the last Kelvin Timeline film… Keep in mind people there was no script no director attached to the fourth film so Paramount could just quietly cancel it and then officially cancel it once Discovery hits in January. Thank you Trekmovie for saying what I’ve been saying why Beyond didn’t do as well in the box office: poor marketing. The poorly received teaser trailer in December shouldn’t have been made and it was too little too late in May. Star Trek 4 shouldn’t happen and maybe that’s for the best.

While there may be no director, there is a script by Payne and MacKay — presumably the script Paramount previously rejected when Orci was attached. Chris Hemsworth is also attached, but he’s no selling point unless he’s playing Thor.

The bigger problem is that Paramount is about to get a huge corporate shakeup, and profitable filmmakers are staying away as a result. That means, there’s not likely to be an infrastructure to produce a new Trek film, even if the studio and investors wanted to go even deeper into the red to finance another Trek film, when it’s clear they have no idea how to handle the brand to make it profitable.

“presumably the script Paramount previously rejected when Orci was attached. ” It’s a new script. Otherwise Orci would be listed as a writer. Orci has already tweeted what the rejected script was.

Source tweet?

TommyHawk,

Re:Orci would be listed as a writer

Nobody’s going to be listed as anything until the WGA makes a ruling and they won’t do that until a final draft’s been completed and the studio files their intent to produce it with them.

All you know at this time is Payne and MacKay have been hired as writers and that it is very common in movie productions for writers to be hired to rework preexisting scripts of other writers. Orci is a writer who has written scripts for Paramount and his scripts are not immune from such possibilities. Whether he ultimately receives credit, whether he deserves it or not, is up to the WGA and not you or Paramount.

Its VERY interesting that they said Payne and MacKay were the writers for 4 having submitted two rejected stories with Bob. And Bob making some remarks about how the Beyond writers were not allowed to see his scripts so as not to be influenced and yet used some ideas. I think its possible the issue with the Bob stories were not wholly the stories but more so Bob.

Certainly, when you have three writers, you fire one while rejecting their scripts and then “re hire” the other two, it would seem to indicate they had their fill of Bob. And surely, they have spoken to P&M and understand their perspective on the process with Bob. If they really didn’t want Pegg using any story elements (and that seems untrue), they sure don’t have an issue now since using the same writers would invite revisiting of their previously submitted ideas.

I think its possible their idea for 4 is a re-working of one of their ideas for 3, probably using George instead of Shatner in the time travel stuff.

Or, Hemsworth could play Kirk’s brother, George Samuel Kirk (“Only you call him Sam”).

There will be a 4th film 100%. They’d rather try make a profitable film than pay the actors to do nothing since they just locked the cast into a pay or play contract. Expect the 4th film to shift release dates to early summer (May) like the previous two films or back to the holiday season, and they’ll prob shave 20-30 million off the budget too.

“They” may not have the option. A new management team may be in place at Paramount by the time the decision to green light the next Trek comes around, and they may decide to wait out Abrams deal, and re-boot Trek with a new creative team. So there will be a 13th film in the franchise, it may not be a 4th film of the current incarnation.

It’s possible that Brad Grey may try to do his pal JJ a favor and get ST 4 greenlit before he gets booted out, but it wouldn’t be the first time a new regime shut down a film project started under a previous regime.

They locked down the WHOLE cast? Or just Pine and Quinto? The latter was my understanding.

Wrong the script has been written.

No it hasn’t get your facts straight

As I recall it, didn’t the sequence of BEYOND scripting hires go something like this?:

1. Paramount announces greenlight of ST 13, looking for script.

2. Kurtzman and Orci kick ideas around for a few months

3. Kurtzman announces Orci and he are splitting their business partnership. Orci’s still attached to ST13 scripting.

4. JJ and Paramount announce Payne and McKay are being added to Orci’s writing “team” based on some treatment of theirs that appealed to both parties.

5. Orci, Payne and McKay out.

6. Jung in.

7. Pegg added.

I also recall McKay and Payne said JJ was real hands on with their scripting for ST13. Adapting that JJ “hands” script of theirs for Hemsworth seems a logical conclusion based on JJ’s enthused announcement for ST14.

@Disinvited,

“I also recall McKay and Payne said JJ was real hands on with their scripting for ST13.”

They said that Abrams was the ‘guiding light’ during the script writing process!

I have no f’in idea why they couldn’t get a new trailer out within a month of the crappy one. And put it in theatres too fer cripe’s sake — I didn’t see one. single. movie. trailer. for STB. Not ONE.

Marja… Weird, I saw the (crappy) trailer on both 10 Cloverfield Lane and Allegiant.

( And the second trailer on Independence Day: Resurgence )

Everyone wringing their hands over the performance of “Star Trek Beyond” need only remember six words:

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

2-1/2 years after what was seen (at the time) as the failure of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” at the box office, a low-budget sequel was released in theaters. And instead of being the cut-rate embarrassment that many thought it would be, it turned out to be the best movie in the franchise, and arguably one of the best science fiction romps of all time, period, full stop.

As long as we can keep Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, and Justin Lin on the payroll for “Star Trek (1)4”, we (and the movie franchise) will be just fine. LLAP.

And what happened after TMP? That’s right, they booted the creator out, replaced the producer, director, and writers. And in this case, Paramount doesn’t even own the franchise anymore. And don’t forget TMP was very profitable, earning arguably more than ST09 in adjusted dollars and had one of the most healthy supplemental market lives of any Trek film. STB is going to be over $200 million in the hole when the box office closes. Add to that Paramount and Viacoms own current troubles. The stock is down by half since 2014, and Paramount is doing badly, hemoraging losses at the box office. Viacom is overall is losing money. So there’s absolutely no way Paramount is going to be in a position to make this movie, much less convince its partners to throw more money into a sinking ship, at least not with the people running the current ship.

Word. Really respect your work as a 3d artist, Scott, but don’t give up your day job to be a business analyst. :-)

Scott Gammans,

Re:As long as we can keep Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, and Justin Lin on the payroll for “Star Trek (1)4

As JJ is on record that Pegg and Jung are out as writers, we (and the movie franchise) will NOT be just fine by your own reasoning. I also believe Lin is on record as saying he does not want to direct the next Trek flick, i.e. he wants a corporate franchise film break.

Beyond wasn’t good enough. So Im fine with losing Pegg and Jung. *Some* moments were good and the call backs were absolutely things these films should include (they are easter eggs for fans that provide depth to the universe while not distracting or confusing casuals).

I think we should give Pegg and Jung another shot, and this time give them enough time to do the job even better than the rush-job for Beyond. Another re-write could have fixed the problems with Krall’s motivation and a bit better ending than “shove him out the airlock”.

“The per-screen average only worsened during August, with Beyond being reduced to only 1,966 screens”

I applaud movie theaters for this nice 50th anniversary easter egg. Now please refrain from closing the movie in any theaters until after September 8th.

Cap’n Calhoun

“Now please refrain from closing the movie in any theaters until after September 8th.” – Cap’n Calhoun

Missing adverb problem? Because they HAVE already failed to refrain from closing the movie in theaters and will continue to do so regardless.

Whether there really was a large contingent of people ticked off about draconian fan film rules and still angry about STID, we’ll never know. The simple fact is that not enough Trekkers and Trekkies went to see the movie. And now the message that the executives at Paramount and CBS will get is that mindless action drivel with Star Trek slapped on is profitable, while a more traditional Star Trek story like Beyond, will be a financial disaster. So, if there is not another ST movie for a long time or if they’re all like the first JJTreks, then it’s our own damn fault!

Star Trek Beyond was NOT a “more traditional Star Trek story”.

Finnegan,

Re:Star Trek Beyond was NOT a “more traditional Star Trek story”.

Indeed. What it was, was more traditional STAR TREK dialogue and characterizations — an improvement, but a far cry from a more traditional award-winning well-written STAR TREK story.

The key to making any film successful is attracting the general audience.
Trekkers alone will not be enough.

Gary 8.5

Re:The key to making any film successful is attracting the general audience.

The measure of success for any film franchise is whether a non-rebooting sequel is made.

Going by your key, the general audience that attended TMP – INSURRECTION was adequate.

So is what your are saying is BEYOND’s attendance is successful in relation to that?

That is true.
However the general audience won’t watch it when even its fans don’t like it.

e.g. I am not a big James Bond fan. But when the true Bond fans tell me the new Bond movie is superb I will watch it. If they say it’s no good, I won’t watch it coz I don’t like the franchise enough, I don’t have to watch all of them.

“The simple fact is that not enough Trekkers and Trekkies went to see the movie. ” There’s no way to know that.

Id tend to disagree and say it was the casuals. No buzz, poor word of mouth. And I actually do think Hemsworth is a draw to some of these people because its the same demo as Marvel. Sure, he’s not Thor, but he’s still Hemsworth and casuals will see him and be interested. It will be up to the rest of the marketing to make them buy a ticket, and the writers/director to create a story worth seeing.

Great analysis that reflects the research and conclusions I came to. I thought the too little too late promotion campaign for Beyond could be overcome with great word of mouth but I was wrong. I am still dumbfounded that the film has not performed as well as the previous two. The only unknown now is just how much the two Chinese partners in the production can help promote the film within China and perhaps outperform there.

Many thanks, D.J. While the film does have its faults, I find it to be the best of the Kelvin Timeline and have seen it in theatres three times myself. I’m also disappointed that the film hasn’t outgrossed its predecessors, but you could feel from the beginning of this year that something was off. The film wasn’t being hyped, and I blame that on the marketing. I don’t buy the argument that Trek fans failed to turn out. At STLV when nearly 5,000 of us were asked to raise our hands if we had seen Beyond, I didn’t see many without their hands in the air.

That’s the best metric I have of whether Trek fans showed up, but the reality is that we needed general audiences to come out. Trek fans needed to drag their friends along and say “you’ll love this!” By all accounts, that didn’t happen to the scale of the previous films. In my personal opinion, this film caters to Trek fans much more than the general audience.

John Duchak,

You asked the wrong question. The key to Trek fans as an economic force at the box office is NOT their singular attendance but whether they were moved to return engage or planned to so do soon.

@Disinvited

I agree that is a critical point, but unfortunately one that can’t be measured other than through our own personal anecdotes about how many times we’ve seen the film, or what our friends have done. I really wish we had a metric for that.

Also, what genius decided that the film should open in Asian countries last? Anyone that was going to see the movie in an Asian country has probably already seen a pirated version!

That’s likely because Paramount literally couldn’t afford to roll out the film in the entire international market. Also they have a Major Chinese investor, so if they wanted the film sooner, they could have gotten it. I have to imagine there’s a reason for the delay in China, because the Chinese investors have a lot riding on this box office.

Chinese regulators schedule when Western films will be released, as well as maintaining a quota of Western films that can be released in the PRC each year. US studios tend to partner with Chinese companies for purposes of investment, but also because those companies may have sway in Beijing. The regulators also pull other crap, such as scheduling huge films to release on the same day to keep foreign revenue low.

It’s likely, given the gap between the domestic and Chinese release dates, that Paramount’s Chinese partners were able to leverage their contacts. We’ll see if there’s a smaller red carpet event with the cast soon before the film is to be released.

Any word on whether the scene addressing Sulu’s sexuality will be affected in the Chinese release?

You mean the scene where he greets that unnamed guy with a pat on the shoulder and a nod? That guy could be the nanny. Or Sulu’s brother. Nothing was said of Sulu’s sexuality.

That’s true enough, so far as it goes. But, come on–the intentions of the filmmakers were very well publicized, regardless of how explicit the scene was in the finished film. And understand that I have no issue with it at all; I was just wondering if the Chinese censors might.

Theoretically they wouldn’t even have to change picture. And the dialogue could be modified if necessary. How would it affect canon if in the official Chinese film Sulu’s husband became his brother whose wife had died or was at the podiatrist and couldn’t meet him?

Or, they could simply present it in the matter-of-fact way they did in the US version, which was the right way to do it – in the 24th-and-a-Half century, it’s no big deal.

Another consideration is the film generates a lot of its good will in its written dialogue which can be a very dicey deal trying to impart in an adequate Chinese translation.

For example, how to carry across Jaylah’s English ergot/lingo in translation? Tricky business that as with translating the humor of many of the other characters’ lines.

I suppose the desire to spend more time on certain regions’ translations could have been a factor in the delay? Or at least, a more likely common factor than the political machinations of the PRC in one region of the globe?

I doubt it. As a co-producer/distributor, they most likely had access to locked cuts to start working on scenes well before it was released in the US.

@Disinvited.

I think it’s the latter. Chinese regulators can be tough on scheduling foreign films. They had previously imposed blackout periods for foreign films during the Chinese new year, mid-Summer, and December to allow for domestic Chinese films can have unrestricted access to audiences during these peak times. This is the first year they’ve lifted that restriction, and it was mainly due to the fact that business at the Chinese box office wasn’t were they wanted it to be earlier in the year. Additionally, only 34 foreign films are allowed to be imported each year.

They’ve also manipulated the release schedule in the past in attempt to drive down revenue for foreign films. In 2012, they scheduled The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man to come out on the same day.

They also have crazy regulations, such as an animated character can’t be on screen at the same time as a live-action actor.

Jeeez….what a puff piece.

So, here’s the narrative being advanced: the movie is “brilliant” and “well-received” (even though my friends say it’s not worth the price of admission), and its ticket sales dropped off dramatically after people started seeing the movie, but it’s not the movie’s fault! No, it’s the fault of the “weak Summer for movies,” combined paradoxically with strong movies released this Summer that took business away from STAR TREK BEYOND. STB has been the victim of both weakness and strength at the box office! This movie just can’t win! And even though STB had LESS competition at the box office, and therefore should have performed BETTER than STID, which was widely viewed as a failure, prompting this very site to post an article entitled “Star Trek Is Broken,” somehow the even weaker (than STID) public reception of STB adds up to a “golden age” for Star Trek!

I mean… How about a modicum of objectivity? This article reads like it was written by a publicist for Paramount or Bad Robot. The rationale in this article reads like apologetics for the movie and its makers rather than like an analysis. What reasons are given for BEYOND being “brilliant?” The fact that the author says so. Is it just possible that this movie’s performance has been weak because the movie, itself, is weak? I mean, is there the slightest possibility of that being true? I’m just asking.

@Cygnus-X1,

The writer mentioned that the movie had a “poor audience word-of-mouth” and yet didn’t address the reason for that. Why would a brilliant movie gets bad word-of-mouth?

We should pretty much discount anything Cygnus says. People have known this for a while. Cygnus is not someone who is “well” and has had a history of filling his time on here bashing the movie. Therefore, anything Cygnus says will be “tainted” with delusional banter.

@Tommy – take your petty insults somewhere else. Cyg is a long time contributor to this community and has lots of insight. But the way, he isn’t wrong. Can you form an argument or just insults? He;s right. The writer of this article thinks the film was really good, best of the three. It wasn’t. It wasn’t good enough. Elements of it were better than 09 and STID. Just as elements of 09 and even STID were better. Still, 09 was the best of the three. STID was more epic and made a grander effort to tell a story. If Bob’s kooky conspiracy nonsense had been effectively edited, STID could have been tremendous.

@TUP

And that’s my personal opinion on the film. We may disagree on the quality of the film, but it’s ultimately subjective. I’ve seen your arguments about the reason for Beyond’s drop-off was that it was considered to be a bad film by audiences. I considered that, but the Cinemascore (A-), Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic scores suggest that audiences enjoyed the film. Tangentially, despite being almost universally torn to shreds by critics, Suicide Squad is raking in the money against no competition, really. It’s no surprise that film has a B+.

Now, we have no way of knowing whether filmgoers went back for additional viewings. Some Trek fans may have, but we really are a much smaller percentage of the audience a modern Trek film needs to capture than we realize.

The key is the general audience, which I believe failed to turn out for Beyond. As I stated in the article, I chalk that up to their being more attractive options to them such as Bourne and Suicide Squad. Had the film been marketed better by Paramount and they really created some real buzz around the film for the 50th anniversary, perhaps we would have seen better turnout from the general audience.

“Cyg is a long time contributor to this community and has lots of insight.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Nope.

“But the way, he isn’t wrong. Can you form an argument or just insults? He;s right. The writer of this article thinks the film was really good, best of the three. It wasn’t. It wasn’t good enough.” I don’t think you understand what an opinion is. I felt it was the best of the three FOR ME. It is not up to YOU to decide what is good or bad as an umbrella “fact” for everyone. Not your call. Don’t try to argue with this, you will lose miserably.

@Tommy – Wrong Tommy. I never made a comment about YOUR enjoyment of the film. And I’ve repeatedly stated that there is nothing wrong with liking any film. I said this over and over about people who liked STID and got hot and bothered when others didnt. My remark was about you’re dismissive insult to Cyg. If YOUR opinion is to be respected then why isnt his? You argued with yourself there, my friend.

@Ahmed I didn’t address the reason for the demonstrable lack of strong word-of-mouth because there is no way to quantify that. As I pointed out, while the film wasn’t reviewed as well as its predecessors, it still received positive reviews, and that positivity seemingly held with audiences. By all measures, that should be a recipe for strong audience word-of-mouth.

However, I think there is a disconnect between Trek fans and the general audience. I don’t think Beyond was able to replicate ST09 or STID’s ability to pull in the general audience, or Trek fans weren’t able to drag their friends to go see it. This is only speculation, of course, and I can only speculate as to the reasons why that strong word-of-mouth didn’t materialize.

My piece is completely objective until the “There is Hope” section, which is clearly editorial. Personally, I feel that Beyond was a brilliant film.

John Duchak Today 9:19 am

I didn’t address the reason for the demonstrable lack of strong word-of-mouth because there is no way to quantify that.

How about quantifying it in the most obvious way possible: by the sharp drop-off in ticket sales after people started seeing the movie? Your inability to “quantify” didn’t prevent you from declaring that STB was “well received” and “praised” by general audiences, fans and critics, even though the actual measurements of the movie’s reception—it’s RT critic and audience scores—declined from STID, a movie rated “the worst Star Trek movie of all time” by fans at the Trek convention held shortly after the movie’s release, and widely regarded as a disappointment by fans, by Paramount, and by this very site. You could have used any or all of the aforementioned points as objective means for comparison, but instead you arbitrarily decided to declare STB an unmitigated success in all but its box office performance. And, then you justify the movie’s poor box office performance by reason of it having both too strong AND too weak competition!! And now you claim that your article is objective?!? I mean, who exactly do you think that you’re fooling here?

Very true Cyg. And obvious. Most Trek fans saw it right away. And then didn’t bother seeing it multiple times as Trek fans (and other franchise fans) are likely to do. And very few non fans were interested in seeing it. The drop off shows us that and our own common sense within our community of peers, many of us having reported no one talked about or expressed desire to see it. I have Trekkie friends who weren’t that interested to be honest.

My buddy who was far more a Trekkie then me, who literally wall-papered his room with Trek posters and had everything from uniforms to Enterprise telephones to models etc, said after Beyond “I went in with low expectations and it met them”. That was his “glowing” review.

Beyond was better the less you think about it. Most fans DO think about it and thats where it falls apart.

Well said.

Loose translation – you’re pissed because you weren’t invited to write a ten thousand word dissertation rehashing the years of vitriol you’ve been spewing. Listening to you go on about objectivity is kind of like listening to Trump go on about how Mexicans love him. It’s an eye roller, to say the least.

Great contribution to the discussion. More pettiness from the usual suspects. Talk about eye rolling. lol

Not a contribution, TUP, just an observation. There’s no more objectivity coming from Cyg then there is from you, most everyone understands that…and on occasion someone needs to point that out. To your credit, you two are amazingly predictable…not sure that’s a complement, though.

Carry on….

@Phil – why insult us with nonsense that would just as easily describe you? You’re quite shallow. When Im insulted I look forward to a more intelligent effort. Sadly, you disappoint me. Especially since Cyg and I often disagree. So you’re not even paying attention. Although to be fair, I do occasionally enjoy your posts. Needling aside, you do have some insight. Its just the petty insults that are a waste of time. You can do better.

Lot of info here. Could simply be gay Trek = fail

“Lot of info here. Could simply be gay Trek = fail.” Yeah, of course… ONE tiny little scene were it is hinted that Sulu COULD be gay…It could have also been his brother and his niece… Have you never out your arms around your brother? Obviously not.
You homophobe “look, WE are not immoral” bigots shouldn’t overestimate yourself.

That’s hilarious and ridiculous at the same time, on a number of levels.

Hmm. Are you making the claim that all franchises which feature sympathetic gay characters fail with audiences?

I think that poster is making the case, quite successfully, that he’s an idiot.

Ignorance is actually curable, given sufficient time and effort. Idiocy–especially of this malicious sort, unfortunately–is not.

Sorry DaveCGN but you’re undermining your own argument here. If you’re fine with the idea of Sulu being gay, which is neither here nor there, then why suggest that the man who was clearly his partner could just be his brother?
Don’t go around bandering ‘homophobe’ slurs against people if you’re prepared to hedge your bets like that.
You’re either in favour of the gay element in this movie-absolutely-or you aren’t.

I suggest it, because the who were not informed could have overlooked it. And I bet a lot of homophobes could have overlooked it too. “Not immoral” (or someone else) stated he would not see this movie with his kids due to this scene. Now he complains about that tiny little scene without having seen it.
Of course I was in favour of that element, but that scene was reduced so that you could have overlooked it. I bet that was done deliberately to satisfy viewers. It also could have been much more clearer if his partner hadn’t been an asian guy.

@Dave – you’re correct. Sulu’s husband could have been the nanny too for all we were shown. The way they made a big deal out of it, I wish they had greeted each other as many lovers who hadnt seen each other for ages would do – much more emphatic and passionate. KISS for crying out loud. As it was, unless you knew of the pre-release hype for it, chances are it would go right over your head. If Kirk and Spock greeted each other the way Sulu and his husband did, we wouldnt assume they were gay.

I saw it three times in the theater. Hope that helped a little. :)

Also, I think the Trek films might benefit from a move to late, late summer or early fall. Or even spring. I remember the 2009 movie was supposed to be released around Christmastime, but was delayed to summer.

Me, too, Jeff.

It just wasn’t a very good movie…

To each his own, but Rotten Tomatoes, audiences and critics would seem to disagree with you. Was it $185 million good? Maybe not. But it was a lot better than many movies that did better at the box office this summer, and certainly deserved to do better at the box office.

@Curious Cadet,

RT audiences score is not reflecting the reality on the ground since the movie has a poor word-of-mouth.

And let’s be real, Star Trek Beyond is underperforming because there was nothing special about it, nothing to distinguish it to the general audience from other bland and uninspiring summer movies.

Exactly. STAR TREK BEYOND isn’t a travesty, or an abomination. As the best of the “Kelvin Timeline” films, it still just isn’t very good. I say that as lifelong fan of both Trek and movies. :-(

09 and STID had better and worse points. 09 had Nimoy and Greenwood. Those things were better. Nero was shallow and under-developed but still way more interesting than Krall. STID had the very under-utilized but infinitely better than Krall, Marcus. Plus Cumberbatch who was decent, if forgettable as Khan.

Beyond really was like an episode of Trek, and not even a great episode. Just one of these decent episodes that you’ll watch when its on but dont go out of your way to see. No great guest star, no great villain or co-star. Nothing epic. No great message. Nothing happened. Nothing to see here.

Those most responsible for getting the word out were Paramount’s “marketing department,” which hardly merits the name.

Marja,

Given all the financial, political and legal turmoil Paramount’s been thrust into this year, I’d be surprised to have found anything other than an empty office behind the door marked “Marketing department” on January 1 of this year.

In fact, I’m even pondering if Orci’s ouster was more a financial decision than any script idea he brought to them turning them off. Stuff like: I can’t imagine the cost of insuring and bonding the production of an untested director for an $185 million would be on the bargain side of the equation.

@Ahmed

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that Beyond is underperforming because there was nothing to distinguish it to the general audience from other Summer films. Paramount had the ability to change that if they had pulled off a great marketing campaign that created significant buzz among the general audience for its release. As we saw, they failed miserably.

If RT scores aren’t reflective, then what do you make of a Cinemascore A- rating as they’re surveying viewers after seeing the film? That should suggest strong word of mouth coming out of initial screenings, but it failed to materialize. We can only speculate as to why that was the case.

If they asked me, when I walked out, if the film was good, I probably would have said yes. But its a caveat. Good but forgettable. “Do I need to see it”. “No, see it if you want but nothing happens”. Its like vanilla ice cream. Sure, Ill eat it (To be fair, I actually love vanilla ice cream), but chocolate ice cream wit whipped cream is better.

Its like the old phrase pizza is like sex, even when its bad its still pretty good. thats sort of Beyond. Its like bad pizza. Which means its still worth eating. Just not that good.

John Duchak,

I don’t know the particulars of CinemaScore’s grading but it definitely appears to be on a curve so as to not deliver the bad news too harshly and thus lose paying clients to rash spur of the moment reactions.

Besides, BEYOND’s A- is definitely lower than the previous two films scores so I am a little lost as to why you and others jump to the conclusion that it’s wom would be better and not less than what came before?

Something else to consider as this is something I’m fairly certain about, CinemaScore’s grades are based on day one audiences and these audiences are more likely to consist of avid (maybe regarded by some as rabid?) fans, especially considering the poor marketing. To earn that minus, despite that crowd’s extremely likely pro bias, speaks volumes about something about BEYOND being deficient than it would if had it been the more casual fans in the crowd mix moved to attend opening day by 2009’s excellent marketing.

@Disinvited

I’m not quite sure what you’re asking in your second sentence…can you repost?

John Duchak,
Re:wom

wom=word of mouth

BEYOND’s A- is lower than the other two films in the series’ CinemaScores. Why do I hear yours and so many other voices using that score expecting it’s wom to be faster, better, stronger, etc. than the higher scoring previous two films’? You say you are all about backing up your deductions with indicative metrics, how are you deriving a hypothesis that its lower CinemaScore justifies a conclusion that it should be doing better via word of mouth than the previous films?

Re: IT’S A TR….err CURVE!

comment image

http://deadline.com/2014/08/b-grade-for-turtles-what-cinemascores-mean-and-why-exit-polling-matters-816538/

“CinemaScore also uses an algorithm that places values on each grade and then grades on a curve up or down depending on the values given.” — ‘B Grade For ‘Turtles’: What CinemaScores Mean And Why Exit Polling Matters’; by Anita Busch; DEADLINE|HOLLYWOOD; August 9, 2014 8:54am

I am amazed at the negativity on this site. As stated in the article the movie did not bomb. Paramount will hopefully learn from their mistakes and make the needed adjustments. The only thing that will keep another film from coming out out is if members of the cast don’t want to do one and I don’t see that happening. I just hope when they do make it, all the doom and gloomers such as “Curious Cadet” disappear. It’s OK to have an opinion but do us all a favor and quit posting a negative reply to every positive post. FYI, we know how you feel. You don’t have to keep reminding us.

Yes it did bomb. It will likely close at over $200 million in the hole. That’s a bomb by any stretch of the imagination. Facts are facts. Paramount has had 3 tries to learn from their mistakes, and it doesn’t seem to be working. Domestic box office has dropped in both sequels, and now they can add international box office to that as well. They’re getting worse, not better. And Zoe is likely ready to move on since you brought it up, whereas Chris Pine could well decide he’s getting pigeon-holed in a franchise that is losing momentum taking his career with it. Stick your head in the sand if you want, but it’s not going to change anything about the facts.

once again…we get it. move on

In defense of Curious Cadet, I find that he brings a dose of realism to these conversations. He’s certainly not a troll just tearing down every article and commentator, but a smart person who offers well-reasoned arguments. I, for one, welcome his contributions, especially on this article.

Agreed, John. Spiked Canon is not just trying to shout down reasoned debate, he is also lying about it, since clearly he does not ‘get it’ regarding profitability.

The fact that the way it was distributed overseas hurt things badly especially in Australia.

Can’t believe it was a mess to try to see this in 3D here…to the point i’ve given up on seeing the film in the box office entirely and will wait till 3D bluray.

Can’t believe its the 50th Anniversary and this will be the only Trek film I will have NOT SEEN in the box office in my 30 years cause of the lousy cinema distribution.

In general I agree the timing it seems was poor as was their lack of foresight into the whole IMAX 3D, and the debacle with Suicide Squad culling it from available screens.

Way to go Paramount Distribution.

I’m gonna chalk this one up to a major marketing failure on the part of Paramount. Trek fans are abundantly aware of new Trek films/TV/etc. We scour fan sites for the latest details, chat about what we want/don’t want in a movie, and all gripes aside, we line up on opening weekend to see it.

However, it takes more than Trekkies to make a film profitable, and there was so little mainstream hype for this movie. Trailers were few and late. All the marketing was pushed into the final weeks before release. It had a sticky release date, putting it 1 week before Bourne, and 2 weeks before Suicide Squad, which had a year-plus of marketing, and hype.

Casual movie audiences need a reason to see it, and it sometimes takes an over-saturation of interviews, tie-ins, TV spots, trailers, etc. to get people into the seats. Trek was one of the best reviewed movies of the summer (just look at STB’s reviews compared to Bourne, Suicide Squad, X-Men, or Independence Day), but Paramount gave little reason for folks other than Trek fans to hit theaters to see it.

Perhaps we can chalk a lot of this up to Paramount’s internal struggles–which are huge–but Paramount’s lack of attention toward STB is a real head scratcher. They need Trek to be a viable movie franchise, and you can’t expect a tentpole to go bananas at the box office without the right marketing boost.

Paramount’s weakness with these new films has always been marketing. As you say, it’s even more of a head scratcher that they dropped the ball on the biggest film of the year with which they had the most invested — they only had a 40% stake in BEN HUR which is also flopping. That fact surely underscore how much trouble Paramount and Viacom are in right now. Devaluing the entire company by 50% over two years is catastrophic for a media empire as big as Viacom, and their lack of a path forward in the Internet age, hemoraging customers from their core networks, and huge missteps at Paramount are nothing but destructive for the current regime, of which Bad Robot and Trek are a part. Certainly a marketing boost would have helped for what was otherwise an entertaining film. Hard to see this analysis having any impact on whether the next film gets made — as you say, it’s too little too late.

Every studio’s desperate for a successful franchise. Disney now has the lion share of the major franchises after the Lucasfilm purchase, and WB, Paramount, Universal, Sony, and Fox continually look for blockbuster franchises. Paramount has the least going for it of all the major studios, so they HAVE to make Trek work. Mission Impossible’s resurgence is a nice surprise for them, but they need more than Tom Cruise scaling buildings every few years to keep the studio afloat.

Viacom’s recent mess with Sumner Redstone isn’t helping matters and their internal problems have more to do with STB’s struggles than fatigue or anything else. Those who saw STB generally enjoyed it. A classic? No, but a solid addition, especially after STID rubbed fans the wrong way. Paramount/Viacom needs a major overhaul, and hopefully it happens well before ST4 goes into production.

I hope they don’t continue. I like these movies but I consider them separately from all other Star Trek. I really like the cast and that keeps me going. I though Beyond was pretty good. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say it was great. It was entertaining, which is fine. They can go out on a solid trilogy.

The other factor with Beyond is that one of the main cast died right as the marketing campaign really started. It had to be hard for all involved to go out and generate excitement when they were grieving.

R.I.P. Anton Yelchin.

IMHO, the cast should have been out promoting the film about a month ahead to two weeks ahead. Throughout the month leading up to the release date.

And this slow, slow roll-out worldwide … apparently it costs more to open worldwide on the same day? How sad, because that would’ve generated a lot of excitement. As several folks have pointed out, Asian viewers probably have bootleg or bit torrent downloads to see.

Maybe they cant afford the drives these digital films run off of, so they only have X amount and have to wait til they close in one area to send on to the other. Never understood why they wouldnt open world wide same day. In this day and age, why dont they?

Marja,

Re:apparently it costs more to open worldwide on the same day?

I would imagine so. Especially when I consider the stunts Disney pulled to achieve maximum same day theater capacity for THE FORCE AWAKENS. Forcing theaters with preexisting contractual commitments to exhibit other movies on that day to break those contracts and instead show TFA had to cost them one way or the other.

Tax credits from states and regions are never calculated in the budget numbers. 180 million budget is really 140 by filming in Vancouver, etc.

I believe the movie studios simply love to say how much money they lose – it’s a business strategy. A movie costs $180 million to make, and that money goes where? To their own movie-making infrastructure, actors, etc.. If they “break even” a lot of entities and people still split up that $180 million.

Well, here is a dose of reality that this article is lacking.

————————————-
Viacom’s Boardroom Battle May Be Over but Star Trek Could Add to Paramount Woes
The studio could lose $560 million over two years as the Ninja Turtles, Star Trek and ‘Ben-Hur’ fail to deliver.

The biggest disappointment for investors, however, is Paramount’s apparent inability to send its flagship Star Trek movie franchise into warp drive. The studio spent $185 million to make the latest installment, Star Trek Beyond, which stars Chris Pine as a younger Captain Kirk, and another $120 million to market it. Released on July 22, the movie has so far generated $142 million in domestic ticket sales, according to movie site Box Office Mojo, 60% less than the 2013 installment, Star Trek Into Darkness, despite the benefit of higher ticket prices three years later.

Nathanson cut his fiscal 2016 and 2017 estimates for Viacom following its second-quarter earnings report in part from what he wrote were “unbelievable Paramount losses.” He estimated that Paramount will have operating losses of $50 million in the coming quarter and what he calls a “mind numbing” $360 million for the year. In fiscal 2017, he estimated the studio’s losses at $200 million.

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13679963/1/viacom-s-boardroom-battle-may-be-over-but-star-trek-could-add-to-paramount-woes.html

Interesting, I wonder why they adjusted the marketing budget upward by $20 million? That must be the cost added to promote the film in Asia and South America, which was not part of the original Domestic and European launch. China will in all likelihood have its own marketing budget. So now we’re looking at recouping $305 million dollars!? Yikes, this just keeps getting worse for Trek. If the film manages to clear $350 million at the box office, that’s going to leave Trek about $260 million in the hole. With Blueray sales in massive decline, and Internet options at an explosive high, with TV audiences dropping like a stone, that’s going to be a very long road to recover that money, if ever. We don’t even know if Paramount has been turning a profit on STID.

Given that CBS has already turned a profit on DISCOVERY, which isn’t even on the air, that’s got to be a bitter pill for Paramount to swallow. It’s going to be hard to imagine them making another Trek movie a priority. And if they don’t, the clock starts running on their license with CBS, like it did after Nemesis. Do we even know if CBS and Paramount have renegotiated their license? I have to imagine they did or Paramount would have never announced Chris Hemsworth being in the next film. When does the Bad Robot first look deal expire? That’s got to be a weight around Paramount’s neck right now too …

The Bad Robot deal with Paramount is set to expire in 2018, but that’s always been renewed in three-year increments. I can see it being renewed again, if only due to BR’s production of the Mission: Impossible films.

Thank you Curious Cadet and Ahmed for raising the Viacom/Paramount struggles in this conversation. While I believe that has bearing on the future of the franchise with Paramount, I don’t believe that the troubles affected Beyond’s potential for success, thus I opted to keep it out of the article. Certainly, Paramount’s seeming inability to properly market Star Trek stretches back years.

Well, here’s part of the problem – the franchise has managed to be ‘properly’ marketed for years because it got good at repackaging existing content, and it turned a tidy profit on that. While BR Trek didn’t stray that far off the ranch, it was handled in a fashion that suggests that Paramount exec’s knew they had the potential for something big on their hands, but decided they didn’t need (or want) the oversight that Disney and Marvel brought to their respective franchises. They figured they could ‘get by’ in the marketing department, and maybe they’d catch lightening in a bottle like the Bond franchise did. Well, they didn’t, and it’ll cost them.

Is there a big tax write-off due to box office losses coming for Paramount then? Otherwise they are complete eejits, business-wise.

Marja,

Re:big tax write-off

I’d sure like to know how you get a big tax write-off for a film that you went out of your way NOT to make in the U.S.?

@Curious Cadet,

The author mentioned in another article that there are speculations among Viacom investors about possible merger between Viacom and CBS, however, it seems that Moonves is not interested in that yet.

He wouldn’t be, as it would only drag CBS down right now. He has to turn Viacom around first, which he can do as Chairman if not CEO.

@ Curious Cadet

Indeed it will take a long time to put the production into the black. The Wall Street Journal last year estimated that film studios recoup $1.75 for every $1 in box office revenue a film makes over the course of a decade. If my projection of a final gross of $332 million worldwide is accurate, it would take Paramount over a decade to recoup its losses.

John Duchak,

Re:recoup

I think you need to flesh that out a little more. Where’s that $1.75 recouping from? Merchandising? OTA and cable exhibitions? All of the above?

John Duchak Today 4:33 am

The Wall Street Journal last year estimated that film studios recoup $1.75 for every $1 in box office revenue a film makes over the course of a decade. If my projection of a final gross of $332 million worldwide is accurate, it would take Paramount over a decade to recoup its losses.

That $1.75 per $1.00 decade-recoupment ratio is only for domestic post-theatrical revenue streams—home video, TV licensing, etc… In foreign nations, the ratio is lower: China: $0.27, UK: $1.30, Russia: $0.65.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/for-hollywood-not-all-box-office-dollars-are-equal-1409241925

Great movie. Felt like Star Trek again.

AWFULLY advertised and marketted – hopefully not deliberately.

I just have questions: Did the test screenings which mandated those reshoots give Paramount cold feet about advertising? And after the reshoots, why do we have what Cygnus-X1 is implying– a kind of amazing film with weaknesses? With all this money thrown in, from a business standpoint, why pre-fail a film?

Paramount did have a lot of confidence in Justin Lin with the broad scope and visualizations in the film, but somewhere, there was a disconnect. If anyone at the studio had been a fan and seen a preview of the film, they must have known how much candy was in the film for fans. So, if you have that covered but want to reach a general audience, why not make more of the fact Justin Lin directed a lot of Fast and Furious films?

Every review was clear, the villain was weak. Would five extra minutes in the film have made it worth talking about? There must have been tons of footage of Idris Elba which could have made it into the film and didn’t. He’s such a classic star trek character that they needed to make him just a little bit more memorable, and people would have encouraged others to see it. But in the end, the editors and the producers couldn’t meet. Why? !

Based on Lin’s comments, the script was actually huge. There apparently was a lot more exposition in the script, but many major scenes weren’t shot at all. Lin even commented that there aren’t many scenes that were cut whole from the film, but rather small cuts to make existing scenes flow better.

“In our opinion, Paramount needs to realize that Star Trek is not a summer tentpole franchise that can go toe-to-toe with comic book films and action franchises. The franchise would be better off releasing films later in the year when there is less competition.”

STAR TREK can be and IS a tentpole franchise. Just because this one didn’t bring in the same gross as the previous ones doesn’t mean TREK can’t work as a tentpole movie. Honestly, I don’t understand why Trekkies want to pigeon hole Trek as being one thing and not another — i.e. it’s better as a low-budget venture, it works best on TV, etc.

STAR TREK has always been trying to be a franchise since it’s cancelation in 1969. And it is one. And it is now in its current state a tentpole franchise as well. And we can’t cry wolf with one underperforming box office return. It’s still not a bomb, as you point out.

What would have been more interesting in your analysis is if you examined how other tentpole franchise bore similar disappointments and survived to make more films, or how they did. Research of that nature would’ve brought more context to your article.

“Numerous entertainment and media commentators have suggested that, although there are only three films in the Kelvin Timeline, Star Trek is suffering from “franchise fatigue.””

What are some of these articles? Any links to share here or citations to back up this statement?

“franchise fatigue” is just a lame excuse for a poor movie. ‘Beyond’ offered nothing really new. They keep recycling the same villain with the same lame revenge motivation, Kirk although he was much better than STID, he was yet again struggling with his responsibility as the captain.

They need to come up with something really new & different from the rest of the bland summer movies. Non-stop action, explosions & CGI are not cutting it anymore.

@ Ahmed

I’m in complete agreement with you that Trek needs to come up with something new and stop trying to be something that it’s not: a bland summer action flick. Regarding franchise fatigue, it was Rick Berman who introduced that term into Star Trek’s lexicon after the failure of Nemesis and ENT’s coming cancelation. I certainly agree that it’s an excuse for poor writing and stewardship over a franchise. I always took umbrage with the fact that Berman projected franchise fatigue onto the fans, as if we were the ones who were tired of Trek.

As Trek fans, we’ll never be tired of Trek. However, we want good Trek.

While you and I may disagree over the quality of Beyond, I think we can agree that Trek fans are still hungry and that any suggestions that audiences were tired of Trek are ridiculous. Personally, I’m more excited for Discovery than I was Beyond. I’ll take weekly Trek every week over a two hour film every few years any day. That’s why I believe we’re entering into another golden age of Star Trek where we have ample content. It’s now up to CBS/Paramount to keep the quality high so that this new period lasts.

What “recycled villain” are you talking about?

First off, “franchise fatigue” is real. Look at Die Another Day, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, and Star Trek Nemesis. All of those movies show franchise fatuge in a huge way. Many Trekkies felt that Nemesis wasn’t the movie that should have been made. In that same vein, people felt that Gennerations wasn’t the proper “torch passing movie” that should have been made. Some people thought that Kirk should have been spared and he would go on to commmand another starship. I felt (looking at the dialogue between Kirk and Picard) that Kirk wanted to die. It had almost felt as if the writers had given up on Kirk. Looking at Die Another Day, you would have thought that it was Diamonds Are Forever with CGI instead of a model. It was the same exact plot. So explain to me where this villain has popped up in Trek before. This guy Edison. Where has he been shown before. Movie? None that I can think of.
TMP-V’ger
TWOK-Khan
SfS-Kruge
Voyage Home-Probe
FF-God/Sybok
Undiscovered Country-Anti-Klingon factions
Generations-Soren/Nexus
First Contact-Borg Queen
Insurrection-Son’a/Ru’Alfo
Nemesis-Picard’s clone Shinzon
09-Nero
ID-Kelven Khan/Admiral Marcus

I don’t see anyone named “Edison” there, and as far as I remember, he wasn’t ever in the series as a villian. Because the only series he would have appeared in would have been Enterprise where he would have been a MACO officer. So, Ithink you need to work on your facts.

@CecilofRil,

Well, I didn’t say that we saw someone named Edison before.

All three Kelvin movies had a villain out for revenge. Nero, Khan and Edison, all of them with the same revenge motivation. Two of them (Khan and Edison) were former Starfleet operatives, stranded from their original time, who felt that they were betrayed by the Federation.

The KT offered NOTHING new, all same revenge plot one after the other.

I think the blame rests squarely with Star Trek Into Darkness. Star Trek 2009 had people excited Trek was returning to a “wagon train to the stars” action/adventure/exploration type series. Into Darkness returned to a not well thought out story that reminded the common fans (the ones who drag their girlfriends, families, etc to see the movies) of the boredom that was TNG/VOY and just gave up again. I know I would not have seen Beyond based on Into Darkness were it not for the comments in these forums noting that it was a return to TOS and was a fun movie (which it was!). When you think that a studio took an awesome potential plot (Kahn takes over Starfleet) and puts out the Enterprise knocked out of action in five seconds, Kahn is a poor misunderstood man trying to rescue his crew, the real bad guy is George Bus, cough, Starfleet Admiral, etc you are just left disappointed. I even liked Into Darkness while watching it, it was only after leaving the theatre that you realize how bad it really was (wait a second – he beamed from Earth to the Klingon homeworld, what’s with all the starships? Man, that could have been a cool starship chase scene! Kahn had super blood, poor Kahn, Starfleet using him like that. Wow, the Enterprise, she lasted five seconds instead of two as in TNG and the warp core did not explode, I guess that is improvement. I thought this movie was… Read more »

LOL. TNG, for better or worse is, indisputably, the most popular and successful incarnation of Trek in any medium, ever. Bad Robot could only dreamed of duplicating it.

Obviously, you choose to view your reaction to movies (and much else, I’d guess) strictly through a political filter. How sad for you.

I think history will prove me right on this one. 50 years ago people will be talking Kirk/Spock, the classic USS Enterprise and humming TOS music with TNG an interesting after thought. I bet the show outside the Borg (which ironically is a whole contrast to TNG in a way) would have been cancelled after a season were it not for Star Trek IV being so successful and Paramount knowing there were Trek fans who waited 25 years for wanting any kind of Trek. DS9 I think kept the flame alive but after Voyager people just gave up. Somewhere is a Paramount guy or girl who got it – “maybe try a TOS prequel where space is challenging and exciting again” but like a poor marksman they keep missing the target (pilot episode – peace with the Klingons, phasers on stun vs machine guns, transporters beaming you out of every situation, Earth is a paradise after this nuclear war already, and our ships can always talk to Starfleet Command for help and run like a commercial airliner; there we’ve completely knocked off six arcs that would have made this show kick $#$ in less than an hour).

Waiting for the blu ray. Cinema prices are absurd here in the UK, I refuse to pay them.
A family of 4 adults (because of course those over 12 years of age need an “adult” ticket) cost £43.60 here ($57.50), and that’s without imax or 3D.

In no reality would I pay that laughable figure. I’d rather wait 3 months and have something I can watch in the comfort of my own home on my 120″ screen, and be able to watch it as many times as I like after that.

Sooner or later the movie execs will need to figure out some kind of DRM home release at the same time as premiers in the cinema, otherwise life long movie buffs like me are simply no longer interested in this old fashioned way of bending people over the popcorn counter.

More trouble at Paramount.

@Disinvited, You may want to take a look at this.

————————————-

Viacom May Tighten Reins on Paramount
Movie studio’s CEO is under pressure to defend film record, as board shifts at parent company

Paramount Pictures Chief Executive Brad Grey is facing the pitch meeting of his life.

As head of one of Hollywood’s oldest and most iconic movie studios, Mr. Grey has overseen many duds of late, most recently a remake of “Ben-Hur” that grossed only $11.2 million in its debut weekend. Now Paramount Pictures parent Viacom Inc. is getting ready to crack the whip on Mr. Grey. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week outlining its corporate restructuring, Viacom said new interim CEO Tom Dooley and the board will call on the Paramount team to defend their film record and present a turnaround plan.

Famous for classics like “The Godfather” and “Forrest Gump,” Paramount is tied for last place in market share among Hollywood’s six largest studios—a ranking it has held annually since 2012. “Star Trek Beyond” is the only one of its movies this year to have grossed more than $100 million, and that was considered a disappointment because it was the lowest gross of the series.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/viacom-may-tighten-reins-on-paramount-1472072151

Yup. Saw this coming from a mile away. Dooley, a poorly liked executive only guranteed his new position through Septemebr is going to be the corporate hatchet man who will reorganize the company and clean house for a new CEO to take over … Likely Moonves.

I see Bad Robots first look deal on the chopping block.

Any new Trek will be postponed until BRs deal expires, and then Trek will get a cinematic reboot. Possibly with a development team working outside of Paramount under CBS Films. That takes the Paramount license out of the picture and Trek can stay with its historic home at Paramount.

Deadline reported that Paramount is having some problems with ‘Mission Impossible 6’, one of the reasons for that, that Paramount is asking Bad Robot and Skydance to lower their fees.

It remains to be seen if Paramount will extent the BR deal which expire in 2018.
——————————

‘Mission: Impossible 6’ Halts Prep Until Tom Cruise And Others Deals Get Worked Out

Paramount Pictures has stopped the ticking clock and halted early pre-production of M:I6 Mission: Impossible. The studio won’t start up again until salary is worked out with franchise star Tom Cruise. The studio had hired between 15 to 20 people in London to start the soft prep work after writer/director Christopher McQuarrie and Cruise worked out the beats of the film, and McQuarrie went off to write the script. Those hired had just begun to work on the design of visual effects, and were told today to stop, we learned.

We’re hearing split versions for the reason: one scenario is that the studio is looking for Cruise and other producers including Bad Robot and Skydance to trim their fees. The other scenario is that Cruise wants Paramount to step up to the raise he got from Universal on The Mummy, and Paramount wants to pay him around what he got for the last film. So they’ve stopped the soft prep until they all find common ground.

http://deadline.com/2016/08/mission-impossible-6-halts-prep-until-tom-cruise-and-others-deals-get-worked-out-1201806220/

I think you forgot to read the whole article. Because it clearly states that this is a dispute over Tom’s salary and asking Skydance to trim some fees off of their asking price for M:I6. Plus, the movie hasn’t even begun to film yet, since Tom is busy in London filming The Mummy. Christopher McQuarrie is writing the script, much like he did on Rogue Nation. Besides, Paramount wouldn’t let this lapse early on, and it isn’t in “development hell” so it will be made. Read the whole article before you jump into wild speculation.

@CecilofRil,

Didn’t say that M:I 6 was in “development hell”. The issues here are the high fees by Bad Robot and Skydance as well as the asking salary by Cruise. It’s a sign of the financial stress faced by Paramount.

My point stand, that it remains to be seen if Paramount will renew their deal with Bad Robot, given the poor performance of ‘Beyond’.

So, if a studio has limited coffers, and doesn’t want to pay someone an 8 figure salary, they are in “financial trouble?” I guess you still haven’t read the whole article. Because BR isn’t going to let their deal with paramount lapse, considering the success with Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation. Because the artile clearly states that the movie will be going forward, as McQuarrie is writin the script, and Tom Cruise is in London filming the Mummy. McQuarrie and Tom mmet in London to get the basics of the story knocked out before Tom went to film his part for the Mummy. I guess you missed that part of the article. Also where it stated that Paramount wouldn’t let this movie go unmade. It makes good business sense not to ramp up production before you get contracts resolved. It is called “accounting,” and most Hollywood studios do it. In case you missed it, Edward Norton’s contract was up for review in 2011 before the Avengers, and negotiations broke down before filming. So, the role was recast. many studios will reject roles based on money. It isn’t anything new. Stop projecting a fake view onto something that isn’t real.

@CecilofRil,

What are you blathering about?

Paramount is in serious financial problems, you may not want to admit that but here in the real world, the company is losing money big time.

Ahmed,

It’s been a long time coming and couldn’t happen to a “nicer” guy.

Curious Cadet,

I have to agree. I’ve seen corporate axmen cometh and you called it — its being swung.

I suspect everybody’s deal is on the block and being renegotiated.

It was poorly hyped. In the year that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, you’d have thought that the publicity teams would have been milking every opportunity, just as the Doctor Who teams did a few years back. The publicity was slow, slow, slow, starting with that awful first trailer with the Beastie Boys.

Apart from the lame villain, whose motives still confuse me, I though it was solid Trek; the best of the Kelvin timeline so far. It certainly is the most TOS of ALL the movies, which was a think of great beauty for me.

Damn, this is the 50th anniversary of the greatest TV show ever, but the occasion has been a damp squib!

All I can say is, personally, I loved Star Trek Beyond. I think it was just as good, or comparable, to the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. I think it was every bit as good as ST 2009. I think the film’s box office suffered from the response to the previous film, Star Trek Into Darkness. I don’t think that film resonated the was ST 2009 did with the general audience. I personally really liked it, but I think it was a bit too action heavy at the expense of story and characters. Star Trek Beyond, imo, got it right. This isn’t the first time this has happened with a Star Trek film. I think Star Trek VI’s box office wasn’t as good as it should’ve been because the general audience remembered how bad Star Trek V was. Similarly, I think Star Trek: Insurrection really hurt the box office of Star Trek: Nemesis (yes, I know a lot of people hate Nemesis, but I thought it was, at least, better than Insurrection. I hate that film). I also think that the marketing campaign was too late. I don’t know how they decide how and when to do those. So, again, it’s a shame that a great movie like Beyond apparently didn’t draw a big enough audience. I don’t understand it. It was very well received by critics and fans, it’s set in space, like Star Wars, and it has great action and characters. So if Star Wars can… Read more »

I don’t see Abrams coming back to direct. Especially if Paramount cuts the budget. It’s sounds like the epic Chris Hemsworth script Abrams wants to make is going to cost as much as STB if not more, and why would Abrams agree to come back and direct a major sci-fi franchise film with a budget less than he made the first film for, especially now that he’s making Star Wars! Add to that Trek’s franchise woes. It’s unconscionable that this reboot has had no merchansing tie-ins whatsoever. And it’s Abrams that dropped that ball. Yes CBS is in part to blame, but in the grand scheme, CBS is a runaway success, and Paramount is a dismal failure. If CBS is providing guidance, and Abrams and Paramount refuse to cooperate, right or wrong, CBS comes out on top. Abrams now has a much more lucrative franchise to keep him occupied, so I just don’t see him wanting to come back to the headaches that caused him to jump ship in the first place, especially for less money.

Abrams is only involved in a very limited capacity in Star Wars at this point.

How do we know that? Bad Robot is a production company involved with the entire franchise. Knowing how involved Abrams is in the TV products BR develops, I find it hard to believe he’s not directly involved with every decision being made on the most important and lucrative franchise he’s ever been a part.

several articles have said that Star Trek four or sequal too beyond will have most likely the same budget as 09

Several articles since the 3rd week of BO when it became apparent that STB was going to tank? How on Earth could a studio and its investors justify spending another $185 million plus marketing costs after the current movie performance, which they aren’t likely to recoup from for years to come? I doubt Brad Grey could justify that to anyone at this point.

Didnt JJ try to merchandise and do all the tie ins and was thrawted? Im sure I recall them trying to do an animated series as well. And CBS wouldnt cooperate, wouldnt mothball their TOS merchandising in favur of Bad Robot (and why should they). If TOS sells more, shouldnt that tell us something?

TUP,

Re:thrawted [ sic ]

JJ was allowed to merchandising all he wanted. Where he was thwarted was he desire to do so monopolizing all the available Trek retail store shelf space with ONLY his licensed brand of STAR TREK merchandise. Which I never understood because it flew in the face of his assertion that the KT never wiped out the PT as supposedly exemplified by the fact that we still could get PT video discs, books, comic books, etc. based on the old shows and movies whenever we wanted to visit the PT.

It’s one thing to assert the KT preserves the PT, but quite another to obliterate all possible retail access to the PT while claiming to have helped preserve it. And the insinuation from some circles of preservation of the PT because all our old VHS tapes of the previous movies and shows didn’t suddenly disappear, has to be the most insincere crocodile tear ever shed in regards to what JJ tried to pull, i.e. Funai has stopped making VHS players this year because the small parts needed for assembly are impossible to buy anymore which is tantamount to the same thing as my VHS library vanishing.

Same deal if JJ’s extreme merchandising had made it impossible to replace those tapes with newer versions that work on modern video players/projectors.

JJ said he was trying to preserve the PT, who was he kidding?

Agree with everything in this post. One reason why Star Wars is doing better than Trek (beyond the fact that they exploit an exciting universe with holodecks, space battles, survival, smuggling, etc) is that they are actually ensuring the movies connect and maintain a certain quantity (though do note that when Episode One quality declined, it took them quite a while to get back the box office). Star Trek Into Darkness did progressive damage that will take time to repair with the promise of new blood, which is unfortunate since Star Trek Beyond in my mind redeemed the Kelvin timeline.

Its a real shame because Trek is tailor made to be a Cinematic Universe they could exploit with films and TV, books etc and churn out content on a regular basis. But there is no synergy and no vision.

I’m done with nu-trek. Remember the throw-away scene in STID where Kirk is banging too hot alien chicks at once?

There are no words to describe how much that offended me. To the boys in Hollywood being a powerful man means you get to screw lots of hot women. That’s their take on Captain Kirk.

Well they can have it and their ever diminishing box-office receipts.

@Bob ) I agree. Ive said from the beginning that the writers don’t get Trek. Kirk and Spock are just parodies and stereotypes of those characters. Ask a casual exec to describe Kirk and he probably says “charming, rogue who breaks all the rules and sleeps with all the women”. Thats the Kirk we got. No vision. No understanding.

Hmmm…I seem to remember TOS Kirk often ‘getting it on’ with alien chicks…and that was an older, more established captain. I could well believe a younger one being comfortable with a threesome. I would not have thought it entirely out of character at all.

Horta,

You took away from Kirk’s relationships revealed with:

Ruth [SHORE LEAVE]
Lt. Areel Shaw [COURT-MARTIAL]
Edith Keeler [THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER]
Shahna [THE GAMSTERS OF TRISKELION]
Miramanee [THE PARADISE SYNDROME
Elaan [ELAAN OF TROYIUS]
Odona [THE MARK OF GIDEON]
Reena Kapec [REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH]
Carol Marcus [THE WRATH OF KHAN]

That the character was not a relationship monogamist but a closet polygamist?

With what kind of warped outlet did you view the first series naratives and the movie, that you got a Kirk so mangled that you actually believe this is the character’s true nature?

Dis,
I don’t think Kirk fell in love with Shahna. I think he liked her but his ultimate goal was to befriend her and baffle her with romance so he could free his people. He regretted it, because he was a decent guy, but I wouldn’t put Shahna on the same list with Miramanee and Edith Keeler.

Marja,

Re:fell in love with Shahna

I wasn’t concentrating on the love angle but the relationship angle.

There were other female Thralls in that episode. He could have pursued this strategy on multiple fronts if he was merely being coldly calculating and the closet relationship polygamist that Horta claims, but instead, he chose only to pursue the one, i.e. mono.

I am merely saying that Kirk is human and the possibility that he had ‘casual’ relationships between the more serious ones is not incomprehensible. His different upbringing in this alternate time-line may mean he is not as straight laced, particularly in his youth, as the Kirk we have grown up knowing in the TOS.

@Horta perhaps true, but what point did that scene have, what did it tell us that a more serious scene wouldnt have?

That scene annoyed me too. I rolled my eyes. It was an example of writers thinking Kirk was the sterotype of Kirk, not the real Kirk. Kirk is complicated, especially with love. Having an incestuous threesome just seems out of character to me. A better scene would be him awkardly breaking up with a woman who thought their relationship was more than it was. Showing a “playboy” Kirk that lets go when things get a bit too real. Thats more in keeping with Kirk.

When he really fell in love, it was when he knew it wouldnt work so it was safe to do so.

TUP,

Re:awkardly breaking up with a woman

Or awkardly breaking up because as long as he had a ship, there was no other relationship he could give his entire self to – something that would give some insight as to why a relationship with Carol, or even David never would have worked out for them at that point in his life.

@Dis – exactly. There is so much to understand about the character of Kirk by his relationships with Edith, Carol and even whatshername from Generations. How heroic was it of James Kirk to have nothing to do with his son? There is a lot of enlightenment to his character from that stuff. But these writers find it easier to just exaggerate the surface stuff. Oh he’s a womanizer. Is he? Why does it seem that way? What does that tell us about the man?

Kirk’s unhappiness about his birthday in WoK told us more then in Beyond. Its like, well he was melancholy in WoK so lets mimic that scene even though hes 35 years old. They dont get it.

It’s entirely possible that INTO DARKNESS killed BEYOND. Dividing the b.o. totals by average ticket prices this year compared to 2013’s suggest that over 7 million people watched INTO DARKNESS and said, “Okay, that’s enough for me.” Those people who were left stateside were the hardcore and newly-minted Star Trek fans. That’s about 15 million people. Which, by the way, is the viewership number Les Moonves predicts for Star Trek: Discovery when its premiere airs on CBS.

You are spot on. A terrible previous movie, even if it made money, will hurt the next movie, regardless of it’s quality.

STID was the final nail in the coffin for Nu-trek for me.

That’s actually something we considered for a reason why Beyond didn’t do as well, but I found it difficult to quantify that possibility, so any speculation as to the “why” was left out of the piece. Personally, I rate STID as one of the worst Trek films. However, it’s numbers are great at Rotten Tomatoes, Meteacritic, and has an A at Cinemascore.

I simply can’t explain the why.

Star trek into darkness was great. That’s why the RT and IMDB scores are so high. Beyond was weaker hence lower scores and lower box office.

STID was a mess. Where are all those people who angrily defended STID now? It very well could have killed the franchise…just one film later (kill as in, force on the back burner since Trek will never die).

True, there are certainly issues with STID (e.g. the ‘white-washing’ of Khan, the transwarp-beaming bag, but, to be fair, both are actually explained in the prequel comic and novelization), but no ST film is perfect. I personally very much enjoyed Cumberbatch’s take on Khan and Pike’s and Kirk’s deaths certainly packed an emotional punch. The writing was not “lazy” by ‘”ripping off” STII as some on this site have said; it was a clever (possibly too clever) was of parodying the original, but still giving it a twist by reversing the roles of Kirk and Spock in the Engine Room scene. It was not a “terrible” film by any stretch of the imagination. A friend who is fond of Trek (but is in no way a Treker) actually preferred the other KT films to ‘Beyond’ and I must confess, I felt the same. Beyond certainly has its flaws, too: yet another villain, yet another ‘super-weapon’, yet another threat to Starfleet/the Federation and a lack of proper motivation for Edison/Krall, etc.. Yes, it was great to see all the comradery between the characters we have all come to love, but I still felt a slight feeling of dissatisfaction after seeing the film that I did not experience after the other two KT films (though nowhere near as great as after seeing STV!). I still enjoyed ‘Beyond’ very much and I would love for the film series to continue, but it was not as great a film as many proclaim and I… Read more »

@Horta _ i had less of an issue with the WoK parody then most. The issue for me was a convoluted and poorly written War on Terror story that attacked the issue from the wrong direction. It was so much a reflection of Bob Orci’s personal beliefs and the fact no one edited his nonsense to make a better film is really disappointing. STID had the bones of a great film with an epic feel and a timely topic. Bob really hooped the franchise with that mess. Then again, wasnt it a Bob film that sent Spider-man back to Marvel?

STID could have been the GREATEST Trek ever. EVIL Kahn is discovered and takes over Section 31, works with the Klingons to boost his power and make the existing Starfleet incompetent and build power for himself. Orders the Enterprise to participate in nationalizing some mining company which has discovered some super alien relic or violating the Prime Directive to get it, something along those lines. The Klingons, some of which WERE augments, are trying to use Kahn. Kahn is trying to use them. It’s a galactic free for all where a Vulcan destroyed Federation hangs in the balance – weakened by accusations of imperialism and human centric dealings. Can Captain Kirk figure out the mystery, stop the Klingons AND Kahn AND save the Federation at the same time?? Will he be able to defeat three Klingon D-7 battle crusiers sent to make sure the Enterprise doesn’t return home??
OR will Kahn be some poor misunderstood super blood guy who’s crew was stolen by an Admiral with no real plan, will the Enterprise last more than 5 seconds in combat before almost crashing into the Earth (the answer btw, is apparently no).

I really liked STID as a fun trashy sci-fi action movie. I also don’t trust an organisation like the Federation, so the aspect of Khan not being the bad guy, but an aggrieved anti-hero appealed to me. I only went to see it in the cinema as I was away from home for a wedding; otherwise, I’d have waited for the Blu-ray. The only thing I actively disliked was killing Christopher Pike (who do they think the guy is? Kenny from South Park? Dr Chiltern from Hannibal?) which wasted an opportunity to explore further the ‘mystery man’ of the franchise – I still hope Pike can appear in Discovery.

However, STID was still a waste of a film – absolutely not worth a four-year wait. The sequel to ST09 ought to have been released in 2011 and ought to have been a five year mission story. We’ve taken seven years to get to a point we ought to have been at by the end of the first film. And they’ve already taken down the Big E twice in two films!

I was hugely in favour of a reboot/alt universe, where anything can happen away from the old universe’s convoluted continuity. My shock is that having created an anything-goes timeline, they don’t seem to know what to do with it!

The situation with Beyond is actually similar to The Dark Knight Rises. Weakest point with both films revolved around the villain (at least what made it on-screen). But both of them also had great visuals, some great character moments and dialogue, and a couple of priceless/classic moments that were brilliant.

Biggest difference between the two movies is the fact that TDKR had much better publicity, and of course there was also all the Nolan/Dark Knight trilogy hype at the time. Beyond was a nice experience, especially for Trekkies; but it didn’t have anything really “extra” or innovative (apart from the Yorktown) that would really make it stand out for the wider audience. Shifting the pre-release publicity to focus on the Kirk-Spock-McCoy character interactions could have helped — present the film as being primarily about that, since most of the wider audience are already familiar with those classic characters — but unfortunately that’s not how they played it.

Also, since it’s not a Batman movie, or for that matter a Star Wars or James Bond film, all the enjoyable stuff in Beyond won’t be enough to compensate for a poorly depicted villain and a feeling that the story’s consequences are, well, inconsequential. Massive global brand recognition and publicity hype will still bring in audiences for the other franchises even when their movies share some of the same weaknesses.

But Star Trek in its current incarnation just isn’t as popular as them, so it can’t get away with those weaknesses as much. So when there’s also surprisingly little publicity for the movie, unsurprisingly things at the box office don’t turn out as well as they should. Even when the movie isn’t actually “worse” than some recent films in the other franchises, and in some cases it’s actually better.

I agree about the villain, and felt that Krall’s motivations could have been confusing to the general audience. My wife encouraged me to put that in the article, but I felt it was far too subjective. However, this is my argument:

If I’m taking a non-Trek fan friend to go see Star Trek II and they ask me what they need to know before seeing it, I show them a 50 minute TOS episode that tells them everything they need to know about why Khan is out for vengeance.

For Beyond, Krall’s motivations were kept a secret. Had I brought that same friend along, my answer may have simply been the previous two Kelvin Timeline films. Now knowing about Captain Edison, I’d recommend quite a few episodes of Enterprise for that person to truly appreciate his motivations.

I feel that Edison’s motivations were basic enough, perhaps a little too much so, for a non-Trek audience to understand. However, us fans walked away with a much greater appreciation of what happened to him and why he did what he did. I would have included more, personally, especially given that the script was huge. I’d love to give the final script a read.

Edison’s motivations were nonsense. A Starfleet Captain gently “crashes” on a planet, something within his prevue of exploring the final frontier and he immediately goes nuts and vows revenge on the Federation? Utterly ridiculous.

Not to mention draining the life force from innocent victims, shape-changing for no apparent reason, and a willingness to commit mass genocide on the same people he’d previously sworn to defend? What happened to change Edison to such a $hit?

I’ve said it before–the character makes Trek 2009’s Nero seem almost reasonable by comparison, motivation-wise. I hardly believed such a thing was even possible.

He didn’t “immediately” go nuts, for pete’s sake.

@Marja – its not really clear (unless I missed it, I did only see it once) how long he was “abandoned”. The video where he vows revenge shows an Edison that looks the same as in the video log of him leaving on his mission. So not much time has passed. And how much time needs to pass for someone to go nuts?

There is obviously food and water on the planet. The ship was in pretty good shape. The whole looking at the camera and vowing revenge was silly. I’d have bought it more if they hadnt done the whole alien vampire thing and just had Edison be Edison. Perhaps too similar to that one episode (name escapes me), but if Edison had subjugated the indigenous species and ruled with an iron fist, that would have been better.

Marja,

Re:didn’t “immediately” go nuts

You base this conclusion on what? The stardates on the Franklin’s log entries? I’m not being sarcastic. I genuininely am curious as to what you discerned in your multiple viewings that lead you to feel confident in that assertion?

Me, too. It’s really too bad all these movies have to clock in at two hours, instead of 2:15 or so.

You don’t like an announcement about a Star Trek 4 before three comes out, without both CBS and Paramount agreeing that for will be made, it may have a budget more in line with Star Trek 09 but they’re going to want to still have action scenes for international audience.

Studios make announcements like this all the time, then retract them if things don’t work out as they seemed. Movies get shelved all the time after they’ve been announced, especially after regimes change at the studios, which appears to imminent at Paramount.

JJ’s weird decision to announce 4 before 3 was released and to say 4 was the best story of them all indicates to me he knew what was coming with Beyond and was trying to tell the fanbase to stay excited.

The announcement, in my view, was a marketing ploy to demonstrate their confidence in Beyond. As that announcement came days before Beyond’s release after the embargo lifted, positive reviews coming out and the perception likely was that the film would be a success.

The way JJ announced it, however, was a sly dig at Beyond. The next film is going to be “my favorite story.” Not the best thing to say when you’re promoting a film that your company produced scheduled for release in a few days.

@John – good point. I agree that was part of it. I think they had a sense that it might not be that good though. Makes you wonder how much JJ was pushed into Beyond. His buddy Bob was effectively blacklisted from Star Trek. I’d still love to know the details there because it seems like friendships and relationships shattered over Trek. And them bringing back 2/3 of the original Trek 3 writing team, except Bob, is interesting.

John, totally agree. I think the problem with Abram’s is that he’s gotten so powerful, and wealthy in Hollywood, that he seems to say whatever he’s thinking without any filters. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a little ego on the line given that he didn’t direct BEY. Maybe he really did miss working with the great cast he put together and is thinking about directing the next one again. Somebody needs to reign him in, but unfortunately, there’s nobody at Bad Robot who can do that, it’s just not set up that way.

I really enjoyed this article and it’s analysis. I agree that the major contributing factors that led STB to under-perform is poor marketing and a bad release date among too much competition. I really do not understand why Paramount did not use ANY reference to this being Star Trek’s 50th anniversary in any of their trailers or other ads? I mean, wasn’t that the reason why they pushed to release the movie this year? It should have been an easy thing to promote, but nothing. I remember Star Trek VI’s first trailer containing many elements to TOS while promoting that film as celebrating the 25th anniversary. Also, since that first trailer last December was received so poorly, they should have quickly put out another, better one, even if it was short. It’s good marketing that gets people in seats on opening weekend, and the smaller box office take for that first weekend reflected sparse and bad marketing. In early July I talked to several people that I was excited to see Star Trek Beyond and almost all them did not even know that a new Star Trek movie was coming. But back in 2009, all my non-Trekkie fans knew of Star Trek that year. That said, was the movie really enjoyable for the general audience? I mean, I liked it, but I think that I am biased as a hard-core Trekkie. If the movie really appealed to non-Trekkies, then it should have had better legs. It’s severe drop off may… Read more »

As Lin has stated, Pegg and Jung’s script was HUGE. There are so many scenes that we don’t know about which were never shot. I’d love to get my hands on that, as points you made, such as further developing Krall, could be in there.

Again, I think Paramount suffers Fear of the Star Trek Nerds.
God forbid they market it as a Trek film.
EEJITS.

@Marja _ I agree. They think Trek fans will see anything so their intent is to pull in the casuals, the Marvel and Star Wars demo. They want to make sure no one thinks its a nerdy Trek film. Thats why they want nothing to do with Shatner. We should be thankful they consented to Nimoy but he was mostly retired and had recently been on Fringe in a serious role so perhaps they thought he was “ok”. Shatner is a brand unto himself and they wanted nothing to do with him, sadly.

Make a Star Trek movie. A good Star Trek movie. Then add a few extra explosions for the drooling masses. Keep the budget out of the Marvel range. Pick a good release date. Market the film thoughtfully. It will do well.

I’ll tell you exactly why it didn’t do better–WHERE WAS THE MARKETING??? My theater had NO posters before or during the run announcing that the film would even be shown at this theater!

Mine either…I complained to the management!

I didn’t realize this, but theaters have to pay for their own marketing materials to promote the film. I presume this is because they get a take of the box office, so it’s up to them how heavily they promote a film for what they expect to earn.

I keep wondering if AMC is part of a competing mega-corporation that wants Paramount to bite the dust. Bc I didn’t see sweet FA at the AMC promoting the film until two weeks before.

Marja,

Re:AMC

I recall some Chinese entertainment megacorp did buy out AMC so there may more truth to your speculation than you may know.

I’m looking it up now…

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/21/business/china-amc-wanda-theater/

Yep, it’s Wanda. As I recall on record as wanting to buy Paramount lock, stock, and barrel. And I think they are interested in Viacom too.

@Curious Cadet

That’s a really interesting point. I had no idea that was the case either. My local theatre, which is one of the most-frequented in the Washington, DC area, barely had anything on display in the months leading up to Beyond’s release.

Ditto, Ster, ditto.

Un-be-feckin-lievable.

The lack of any 50th anniversary promotion attached with the film defies any marketing sense. More than simple incompetence this marketing gaffe was more by design than chance. As others have pointed out it can be suggested that Paramount is so poorly run CBS wants to rid them of the license and give it to someone else.

I think the article is missing a crucial point Cmd. Bremmon has pointed out: Into darkness scared people off!
Even the four! year cap between ST09 and STID could not harm viewers interest, it says, people where hungry for more. But what did STID delivers?
Despite the fact of lying to the audience about Kahn, it has the galaxywidebeaming device and superblood. Also it misses any kind of universe building. So it was a disapointment for moviegoers and gave no reason to look for a third. Thats what happens, combined with the terrible promotion, which completely failed to connect to the 50th anniversary.
I would say for a 4th installment numbers can raise again, based on good word of mouth from the 3rd. But what all officials are lacking, despite the fact, that the movie was fun and a good anniversary gift, is the ability to tell a story that matters! Make universe building, give audience a reason to see it! Of course you have to avoid to scare people off with too much technobabble or trekkieinsight. But on the other hand, nowadays you need to tell a story that matters and connects to the universe you tell the story in.
So sad to see officials fail in that simple aspect, but still produce such high quality films.

Maby if it was released around the same day accros the world it would have done better.

It didn’t get good “word of mouth” from me.
I’m TOS, hard-core and absolutely loved the last two films. This movie was a total misfire for me. Only saw it twice…where i saw Trek 2009 9 times and Into Darkness 4. I didn’t like the art design and rubbery looking aliens everywhere.(the Guardian of the Galxy effect, no doubt) I didn’t like the lack of “scope”… being stranded on a very un-interesting planet with uninteresting aliens doing un-interesting things under the threat of an un-interesting villain. I felt they tried way too hard to please certain factions of the fan base and ended up with it being way more “Star Trekky”, (just what the studio DIDN’T want) by painting it with the cliched broad strokes that I had hoped Orci’s script side-stepped. This cliche-riddled exercise, no doubt, knocked causal movie-goers for a loop, not knowing what to expect from all the lackluster previews. From Pine trying to actually imitate Shatner’s cadence (which didn’t work at all for me) to turning Bones into a living parody of his TOS counterpart…this movie fell apart at the seams for me. To his credit,Justin Lin has a very good “eye” for composition and stages action very well, to no one’s surprise, I’m sure. The writing is weakness here, along with being a little too “self-aware”. Hope Trek 4 is better,

Good summation @Jonboc. Although I like Pine and the few times he invokes Shatner are great. Bones has been a caricature since STID. But thats indicative of a bigger issue. The writers and Director don’t get these character. They only understand the 50 years of stereotype and parody. They need to study TOS in detail to understand these characters, not just watch the TOS Film Trilogy and parody that. Spock is one of the worse offenders. He is nothing like Nimoy’s character at all.

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