Business Week: Trek Franchise Prospering

In a new lengthy feature Business Week takes a look at the current crop of film franchises in Hollywood, including Star Trek. In their introduction they note that some franchises come to a natural end (like Lord of the Rings), others (like The Matrix) peter out, "but some franchises—a Bond or a Star Trek—will keep on going until the studios stop making money on them." The article includes a snapshot of 16 franchises, including Trek. On Trek they surmise

One of the rare examples of a successful TV series that was able to make the leap onto the big screen, Star Trek’s dedicated fan base of Trekkies guaranteed that the movies would be a hit no matter how creaky the actors looked or how thin the plot lines. Since the first film adaptation nearly 30 years ago, the series has grossed more than $1.1 billion worldwide. Live long and prosper indeed.

Just a few years ago the Trek franchise was being written off for dead. The article notes that the franchise has ’10 films and counting with a new feature on the way.’ The comparison to the Bond franchise is appropriate as that is only franchise with more films then Trek (the recent prequel/reboot Casino Royale was the 21st film in that venerable franchise). If Paramount play their cards right with the new Star Trek there is no reason why the series cannot continue for decades to come.

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Funny comment of living long and prosper considering the last film. Oh well!

The fact Star Trek is coming back so soon after the double whammies of Nemesis and Enterprise just shows you how important this franchise is to Paramount.

And I agree, there isn’t any reason this franchise couldn’t continue for decades to come, with proper oversight.

What about the Blondie films of the 1930s and 40s? There’s 28 of those. ;)

I love these stories. Really, I live for people recognizing the awesomeness that is Trek. Thanks, Business Week!

Still, we gotta lotta movies left before we take our rightful place above Star Wars…

Realy there is no reason why Trek has not got another couple of decades if not more left in it. I am forced to agree that Trek had ran out of breath, like all athletes, by the Second Season of Enterprise but with new blood, Manny Cotto the series picked up again particularly in the 4th season. B & B did deliver some great Trek, but even I have to admit they should have stepped aside at the end of Season one of ENT or the end of VOY.

Now with new blood and new ideas Trek has another chance at glory, the key is, give the Series a rest for 3 or 4 years, make 3 or 4 movies and 2 series, then put it to bed, bring in a whole new team to add to the universe. The key is not to saturate the public and even the fans with to much trek. And Trek surpassed Star Wars 4 movies ago #4. If you mean box office takings, you are right.

All Star Trek really need is new blood. Star Trek did get the new blood toward the end but unfortunately it was to late. Star Trek would probably still be on TV right now if Enterprise was on the Sci-Fi or Spike TV.

“2. Sleeper Agent X” Why put ENTERPRISE down in this?

NEMESIS sucked but like NEXT GEN, DS9 and VOY, ENTERPRISE’s took off in it’s 3 season. The last 2 seasons were outstanding! It was NEMISIS and the internal termoil at PARAMOUNT & UPN that saw the end of Trek. UPN dropped ENT because it didn’t fit into there new demographic and the split up of Paramount left no one to make any reasonable decision about ENT other then to stop everything.

ENT could have gone on but we probably needed a break from TREK overall just to let the dust settle at Paramount. ” ‘Come come, young minds, new ideas’ – Captain Kirk, Generation’s”

When you look at it now, three years ago there was talk of even shutting down the STAR! It doesn’t seem so long ago now. With STAR TREK Enhanced, A New Movie, Next Gen Enhanced possibly on the way ….all is well in the STAR TREK universe. Live long and prosper indeed.

@7: I agree on the state of the franchise.

Though I’m not interested in NG Enhanced. I think it’s fitting that TOS got better SFX than NG these days. NG-DS9-VOY should keep the old SFX. They are primarily products of their time. TOS however was, is and will always be timeless…
It would be an awful waste of money to update NG and the other spin-offs. Money they should invest into a new series at some point. I’m so happy TOS got enhanced…but leave the others alone.

I think the real problem as to why they want to enhance NG and other ST series is the desire to future proof the shows by converting to HD.

TOS was shot on film and is at film resolution where NG was shot on film but the effects were done at SD resolution which doesn’t transfer all that well to HD. The Old 60’s effects in TOS look terrible on a big screen. The effects on NG can also look “blurry” compared to film elements on a big high res screen.

Still, if they do no more but enhance the resolution of NG effects, just make them look good in HD, I’ll be happy.

If the Movie turns out great… I’d certainly like a new Star Trek series…but one that reflects the uniforms, production design elements, and “TOS-era” timeframe of the Movie and it’s sequels… It could be a different Starfleet ship with a different crew, but have the same “feel” as it’s new bigger budgeted Movie counterpart.

Failing that…I’ll settle for a Star Trek:TOS-era LEGO computer game… :)

Yes! A Star Tek TOS Lego Game!
Thats the best idea I ‘ve heard yet!
As far as a franchise prospering,
that has yet to be seen. Star Trek’s
biggest “nemesis” is Paramount itself.
They are heartless greedy corporation, who never know whats best.
Paramount has made dumb decisions with Trek for a decade
& has let the franchise go in lots of bad directions (Thanks Rick!).
For example Star Trek Enterprise was a prequel show.
Hey Rick news flash, YOUR NOT GEORGE LUCAS!!!!!!
You never even watched all of the TOS. How can you create a show
that happens before a show you know nothing about?
Anyway bad call. Paramount let that hack run the show for way too long.
He was the Capatin of the ship sailing through shit!!!
Hey Rick this is for you from 1995!
Anyway I just hope JJ is the savior of our beloved universe.
My hopes & prayers are with the new film.
He’s cool like that. Long live Shatner & Star Trek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GOOD LUCK JJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Star Trek should always be about a starship called Enterprise on a X year mission of exploration. That is the core premise and concept. When Star Trek became Star Trek :colon (insert mcfranchise title) that’s when it began getting in trouble. It stretched itself too thin and lost it’s core meaning and purpose. No one could answer or summarize what infact Star Trek was about?

If Bermans ass had maintained creative control I GUARANTEE you we would have eventually got

Star Trek : Tales of Andorian mines
Star Trek : Worf’s pilgramage
Star Trek : Nog’s consortium
Space Journey : Continuing Generations and explorers
Stellar Odyssey : The 12 year mission

By getting back to basics Paramount is maintaining the identity of Star Trek and what the premise is about at its fundamental core that distinguishes it from other sci-fi and series.

Star Trek is about a ship called Enterprise with a Captain named Kirk and a loyal and bold crew that ventures out and explores the unknown.

That’s about a simple a concept as you can get, and it works.

Works for me… :)

Although to have a new Kirk-led “Enterprise” television series running in unison with it’s bigger budgeted Movie counterpart, would require yet MORE re-casting, different to who is up on the big screen…and Stanky would get crankier…

Josh T, #12,

I’ve always felt that one shouldn’t oversimplify things. It’s not the initial premise that counts. It’s how good of a job you can do with making good stories out of that premise. I can easily see how “Tales of Andorian Mines,” “Worf’s Pilgrimage,” etc. could make good stories, provided that they had a talented team behind them.

And, on the flip side, would you still watch a show about “Enterprise with a Captain named Kirk and a loyal and bold crew that ventures out and explores the unknown” if everyone spoke with a different ridiculous, overdone accent and the unknown was full of walking tin cans that were always trying to kidnap the Enterprise’s women?

Details will always matter. I do agree that Star Trek became watered-down past a certain point, but I think it’s because they lost sight of what made for a good story, not because of variations in the premise.

“NEMESIS sucked but like NEXT GEN, DS9 and VOY, ENTERPRISE’s took off in it’s 3 season.”

I’d just like to point out that most new shows on television don’t get to suck for 3 years before they “hit their stride” or “take off”. *Most* shows are lucky to get 13 episodes before they’re yanked off the air and replaced with something else that most likely gets pulled after 13 episodes. Genuine hits on television, like “Lost” and “Heroes”, are generally good and attracting a substantial audience from the get-go, and have started to run out of steam by the time your average “Star Trek” series was “hitting its stride”.

I think comparing Trek to Bond works on some levels, but not others. There have been a number of actors who played James Bond, with varying degrees of success. Until now, Star Trek’s position on aging captains and crews is not to recast, but to create new charicters. Certainly, Bond and Trek have had their good movies and their bad ones. Bond moved on from the bad ones. Trek can move on from Nemesis. After all, Nemesis had a decent story… it was just poorly executed.

Silly as it may seem to mention it, there is another franchise with more films then Trek and that would be Toho’s Godzilla which is revving up for a 29th film to be released in Imax 3D in 2009.

13. Cervantes
“and Stanky would get crankier…”

Stanky really doesn’t care that much anymore. Stanky has grown weary of the shear volume of commentary. Nothing Stanky can do is going to affect this one way or the other. Stanky has resorted to babbling and referring to himself by name.

#18 Stanky McFibberich

I’d hate to think that you don’t care anymore Stanky… I hope you continue to be an antidote to the too many “just gladly accept what ST:TOS Movie we’re given, no matter what it look or sounds like, because it’s Trek right?” types here. And if J.J. casts a wimpy non-Scot in the “Scotty” role, I’ll personal signwrite the “BEWARE…FAKE TREK!” placards and join you in protest… ;)

19. Cervantes
“Doesn’t care” is probably not accurate. Bad choice of words. I don’t know. I’m just tired of all the hoopla which usually is rumor or non-hoopla and hundreds of dizzying speculative comments to wade through. I pretty much just read the articles now and scan rapidly through the comments.
If some actual news comes out again, maybe I will be invigorated.

Re 7:

Hey, KevinA,

When I mentioned the “double whammies” of Nemesis and Enterprise, I just meant in the sense Nemesis didn’t do so well at the box office and Enterprise didn’t get a full seven-year run.

I actually liked aspects of Nemesis and Enterprise, though I thought both had problems as well.

#20 Stanky McFibberich

I will look forward to you be re-invigorated when some concrete actual facts come out…whether we like them or not… ;)

22. Cervantes
If I am not too beat down by meaningless drivel information by then :)

I’m waiting to hear:

Whether or not J.J. Abrams plans to have his dog on the set with him
What kind of toothpaste the “new” Spock uses
Who else would like to be “fill in the blank” in the movie even though they are too old or do not remotely fit the type required

Not that I don’t appreciate when there actually is real information. This is a very good site overall.

#7, actually the quote is “Young minds, fresh ideas. Be tolerant.” —Admiral Kirk, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

That seems superior yet i’m still not too sure that I like it. In any case will look further into it and choose for myself! :)