Star Trek Takes 3rd Place in 3rd Weekend + ST09 Financial Lesson Tidbits

The industry estimates are in, and Star Trek is on track to come in third in its third weekend domestically, beating Angels & Demons. We have all the domestic and international details for the weekend below, plus some more weekend Star Trek tidbits, with those taking financial lessons from Star Trek


Star Trek 3rd place domestic & 4th place international weekend
Including Sunday estimates (from BOM), Star Trek is projected to bring in $21.95M in sales by tonight, beating Angels & Demons ($21.40M) for third place. Star Trek’s total domestic take is now $183.6M. Night at the Museum 2 won the weekend with $53.5M and Terminator Salvation came in with a disappointing $43M. According to Reuters, Warner Bros. cited Trek (and Basketball) as reasons their film didn’t perform better:

The studios generally try to avoid each other when they roll out their big movies. In this case, "Night at the Museum" played to a broad audience, while "Terminator" was more targeted at male moviegoers.

…Warner Bros. said "Terminator" was likely more affected by competition from the similarly-skewing "Star Trek," which slipped one place to No. 3 in its third weekend with $22 million. The National Basketball Association playoffs also appeared to siphon off older men in cities such as Los Angeles.

Star Trek is now less than $10M away from taking the top spot away from Monsters vs. Aliens as highest domestic grossing film of 2009. With Monday being a holiday and assuming reasonable weekday sales, Star Trek could overtake MvA (which is also still in theaters) by the end of its third week (this Thursday).

As for international, THR reports that Star Trek came in fourth place, bringing in another $11.5M overseas in in 58 markets. It’s overseas total is now $87.5 million (about half of its domestic take so far). To show how international sales can differ from domestic sales, the domestic 4th place movie Angels & Demons won the overseas weekend with $60.4M.

Taking the domestic and international sales as of Sunday, Star Trek’s total global sales stand at $271.1M.

Another lesson from Star Trek – moneyless world?
Speaking of money and Star Trek, in the last few Tidbits articles we have been pointing to lessons people are gleaming from the new Star Trek, from parenting, to politics. Now the LA Examiner (ignoring Bob Orci’s saying there is some form of credits in their future), thinks the world could learn something from Star Trek:

Nobody on the  Star Trek fictional crew works for a living or gets paid.  Not the fictional crewmembers or the aliens or the enemies.  Nobody puts in a timesheet or picks up a paycheck in this visionary world.   Everybody just seems to be doing what needs to be done, and they all live long and prosper – unless they are blown to bits in one of the mandatory battles.  After all, it is an action film series.

Still, the idea of doing what you want to do and being supported in that pursuit seems like the way things should be.  (…read the rest)

Finally: Marvel & DC Keep on Trekkin’
ItsJustSomeRandomGuy on YouTube has a popular ‘I’m a DC and I’m a Marvel’ series made with action figures. And after the fizzle of the latest DC and Marvel movies and the success of Star Trek, he has decided, if you can’t beat them, take some advice from Capt. Pike and join Starfleet!


Thanks to TigerClaw

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A money-less world would be fantastic….First?

It’s really great to see Trek doing so well and hugely popular again, like it was back in the 80’s.

It’s not too late for many of us to get out there and catch a Sunday late night screening! Don’t forget if you want more Star Trek, to vote with your ticket selections as much as possible! :)

i simply love it!
and i cant wait to know how STAR TREK XII is going to be!


That is awesome! I love the Marvel vs DC vids. I am glad they did a little bit or Trek with it.

#3 IS 100% CORRECT!!!!!!! lets beat that stupid film MvA !! …

If only everyone knew just how great of a movie \ST09 really is…

oh and, my last post (i wrote “#2?” .. because i thought i might have been the second to comment on this one!)

These are quite solid if not great numbers. Great job!

After 6 viewings of the movie, I can safely say this film beats TWOK for me (by a narrow margin of course).

It’s a blockbuster, and deserves to be.

I’m gonna go see it again today…hopefully on a DLP screen.

I saw it for the 6th time last night. It simply doesn’t get old.

Just went with my wife to see it again today in Glasgow
50 people in the cinema – We loved it even better 2nd time around!
And we saw the Tribble!
Now ill wait for the DVD!

positive number and wow it is refreshing to see Star Trek so main stream!

A Moneyless World?… hmmm sounds like the Madoff strategy

Here’s what I don’t get – if money doesn’t exist in STAR TREK, then how could Kirk offer to buy Uhura’s drink? If nobody gets paid, how can anyone do that?

Anyhow, you can get rid of money, but not the concept of trade. I support the existence of money because it’s something you can trade without having to always have something of equal physical value like furs or jewels, etc. What’s more, I cringe at the thought of a world without competition – for better or worse, more often than not, we’re not motivated by the “common good,” most likely because we have trouble defining the “common good.” People talk about the morality of a world without money where everyone does what needs done without the motivator of greed, but whose morals are being adhered to? What about those that believe banning abortion and gay marriage is the MORAL thing to do? What are you going to do with them – execute them? Blacklist them? I’m a Trekkie in that it’s an entertaining universe in which certain appealing ideals as to what existence should be like have become reality, but it’s unattainable. We may all have the same basic needs, but we don’t have the same desires, and given the number of people that have their needs met but are still miserable and even commit suicide, you can’t assume that the “common good” means meeting everyone’s needs and that it will automatically make for a uniformly content society.

Anthony Pasquale wrote:

Taking the domestic and international sales as of Sunday, Star Trek’s total global sales stand at $271.1M.

If Trek stays on track with these estimated numbers, that will make it:
1) The 2nd most popular film in the franchise after TMP based on inflation adjusted worldwide gross, and
2) Puts it on track to becoming by next weekend, the 6th most profitable film (behind FC) in the franchise to date (inflation adjusted) after deducting its production budget costs.

With little to challenge it until mid-July, Trek should easily clear half that much again by the time Harry Potter comes out, making it the most popular film in the Trek franchise, if not the most profitable as well. Hello sequel!

Re: #15 – Sorry Anthony … I’m used to spelling “Pascale” the other way. My apologies.

Unless I don’t remember my canon correctly, money (or some form of it) was gone by the the 24th century, but TOS makes reference to some form of currency several times. I think it stands to reason that the members of Starfleet were not terribly interested in payment because they had pretty much everything they needed on the ship, but I think that currency would obviously still be in an issue on another world, or at a civilian business back on Earth. I think most people get the whole “no money” thing from Picard’s speech in “The Neutral Zone”, but I think he is referring to the fact that they have gotten to that point by his time. I don’t think there is much to establish no currency in TOS. And obviously by the time of DS9, with latinum, the whole concept is back in full force.

All that said, I’ll take 3rd place on a Memorial Day weekend, and maybe we will see $200 million by next week!

Looks like the critical lashings hurt both A&D and TS in the pocketbook.

I think (but I dont know) that Trek needs to reach $310 million in order to break even.

production cost $140
marketing $150

so thats $290…

if the cinemas take 10 percent then thats just under $10 million…….so $300 add a bit for errors in complex calculation…and you get $310.

So probably if the film tops out at $350 million then Paramount take a $40 million dollar profit (not small potatoes). Then add in the DVD, Blu-Ray and merchandise and the film makes a nice profit. Plus the special editions…and future formats, its a steady earner.

paramount risked a LOT into this film when you think about the box office of Nemesis and Insurrection. So I guess they expected to make a loss on this one and make all the money on the sequel once people realised that the film didn’t suck.

I’m wondering if Paramount will give the sequal as big a budget as this film. Will they try to cut costs to boost profits? They’ll save some money being the sets are built, but what else?

#21 They’d be fools to do cut price Trek.

I expect the marketing to be reduced and the budget to stay the same or even go up. If you go cheap then you risk loosing the audience.

Having said that, ST2 was cut price as was TUC and they are my personal favourites….but that was another life!

Mind you, the marketing here in the UK was non-existant, some BK’s didn’t even do the movie tie in!

“The National Basketball Association playoffs also appeared to siphon off older men in cities such as Los Angeles.”

Pure corporate BS. Some doofball at WB is blaming the NBA for TS’s inability to perform? If the male demographic is stuck in front of the tube, is it only the moms who are taking the kids to NATM2? Who went to see Star Trek? Was it only women and children?

How about a film that’s been universally panned?

“Unless I don’t remember my canon correctly, money (or some form of it) was gone by the the 24th century, but TOS makes reference to some form of currency several times.”

I really don´t remember about current system mentions on TOS (last time I saw it was a looooong time ago…); I do remember that one episode where a couple of aliens posing as wizards (or something like that…) offer Kirk lots of precious gems and he replies that those stuff is pretty much useless in their society at the time (again, not exact words…).

I love the lens flares in the video. Nifty!

looking at these figures STAR TREK should pass $300 million globally soon. fantastic.

Im not sure im buying these adjusted figures for old movies.

my question is, does anyone add on how much the merchandise is making ?


#17. Thanks Anthony. It helps to keep us all honest and objective about what we write here.

I just love it when Studios start saying that different things caused the movie they were releasing that weekend not to do well. Really they are going to blame Star Trek and Basketball for the lack of people not wanting to go see Terminator Salvation? How about the script was not very good, but of course they are not going to say that. Terminator Salvation looked ok when I first saw the trailer but after reading a lot of the reviews I decided to skip this movie and just for it on DVD. Now a lot of these summer movies were made during the Writers Strike last year. So I am really curious to see how the writers strike effected these movies.

I think they should leave the Trek sequel budget exactly the same … they’ll already be saving money on the re-usable work that’s been done (costume design, set design, a lot of the soundscape, digital models, etc), so leaving it the same will effectively increase it considerably in terms of new things they can add to the paintbox.

I think it’s a shame that Terminator is doing poorly (both financially and critically). While it’s certainly nowhere in the league of a great film like T2, it was a good little ride reinforced with genuine heroism, humanism, and determinism … three of the ingredients I felt starved for in Star Trek 2009.

My main complaints with Terminator were (A) some of it was random nonsense, but I went in expecting that from a MCG film (B) they did basically nothing with the Kate character except have her stand around looking sweet and/or concerned (C) frankly, after second season of TCC, the story felt kind of small-potatoes in scale (even if the consequences were the usual “everything”).

(er, SCC)

I took the “money” talk in the new film, as just figure of speech. It seemed like in Trek when they did use money it was credit with other species. I’m sure expressions like “it’s on the house” and “it’s on me” or such are just part of the vernacular of the future.

When we no longer strive for materialistic items but strive for the better of ourselves/manking we will have a moneyless world. We first need to have a replicator so everyone gets what they wanted, after they are bored with the wants, people will be happy with the needs. Boredom will set in and you will do what is productive for you and at the same time, help mankind explore our galaxy. Without money will wars end, unlikely, humans like to fight over ideas and beliefs and of course land and woman. In a few hundred or thousand years, perhaps we will be accepted into the Galatic order and all the species from the greys to the nomads will reveal themselves. Star Trek rocks, when we have our first spaceship that can travel to other systems, no doubt it will be called enterprise.

1. The Rusted Robot – But then how do I pay someone to come slap you for typing “first” in your post. :(

20. James Rye wrote:

I think (but I dont know) that Trek needs to reach $310 million in order to break even….paramount risked a LOT into this film when you think about the box office of Nemesis and Insurrection.

I think none of us can truly know what constitutes a “break even” point for Paramount. All we know is how much they are grossing and how much they paid to make the movie. The exact theatre take is speculative, and certainly the marketing and advertising budget can be amortized over the DVD release and the next film(s). We can compare it to previous films in the franchise and get a sense for what Paramount considered successful for the franchise. As it stands, this film has made back what it cost to make and is in good company vis-a-vis the other “successful” films in the franchise and considering the popularity demonstrated by the huge early numbers, DVD sales should do extremely well too.

People keep bringing up Nemesis as a reason Paramount was taking a huge risk and I maintain nothing could be further from the truth. Trek had been a consistent earner for them for 40 years and made them a lot of money. The very fact that these DVD releases keep coming are a testament to the power of Trek in the marketplace. You don’t turn your back on that. You try to improve upon it (in ’79 they decided it was to re-focus the franchise back on the things that made the TV series successful and in a lot of ways, that’s what they did again). Also, JJ Abrams was being called the “next Spielberg” before they handed him the reigns to Trek in 2006. Abrams alone is a franchise to be dealt with, who was also going to bring fans to the boxoffice. I think the two together is what led Paramount to feel confident to invest $150M into the budget vs. something more in line with previous films. It was never really a gamble, so much as it was an investment in the franchise, one of which now consists solely of the film catalogue for Paramount since Viacom’s split with CBS. Will Paramount ever recoup 100% of the costs of this film? Probably not at the box office, but as with most of the Trek franchise, that was never the case. It is a cash cow that merely needs to be fed occasionally to keep on giving rich milk and delivering some prize calves.

perhaps the PG13 rating turned off alot of fans – who wants to see a PG 13 Terminator movie!? especially when its supposed to be the end of mankind war film

also maybe TSCC dampened interest and made a terminator movie less of an event….the same could be said of Superman (with the smallville series) and even star trek – the movies seemed to bring in less box office post 1987 (when adjusted)..i believe that was Harve Bennets view on the matter too – he said something along the lines of the tv shows were like fans having their turkey every week (tv) instead of just thanksgiving (movies)

maybe theres something to that as theres no tv show now and look at the box office its doing!

wonder if the studio will be so keen as to make T5 and T6 now? or will it be another Planet of The Apes/Superman Returns where the proposed sequels didnt happen due to underperforming BO

btw please dont post any SPOILERS for T4 in here…..the UK dosnt get T4 for another couple of weeks and im a box office buff so like the box office discussions here!!

The moneyless world thing is the naive socialist ideas (that Americans bizarrely called “liberal”) which are commonplace among people who don’t understand economics. Roddenberry’s “vision” is really just a straightforward form of this form of “liberal”ism and it’s a bit of a joke that people think it amounts to some unique Trek philosophy.

So, you have this marxist idea- “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” which dear old Karl himself wrote, and it sounds nice, but not only would it not be nice in practise, it wouldn’t work either. Marx didn’t understand what value is, and went wrong from there.

Any basic economics textbook will explain why this cashless dream would be a miserable disaster, so it’s not worth reiterating. What is worth saying is that needs and wants are different things. All you “need” is oxygen, water, basic shelter and some basic food sufficient to prevent starvation. In the communist moneyless utopia, that tends to be all you get. One thing you can guarantee about a society which provides for needs is that there won’t be any Star Trek. Why waste resources on such fripperies? There are tractors to be made, comrade! Get to work!

Oh, and just commenting on the terrible naivete of the actual article- it says “the bees don’t pay for their nectar”. Well no, but they spend all day long collecting it just to survive. It’s the equivalent of subsistence farming in humans. Advanced economies allow just a few people to farm- collect nectar- and others can then go off and create something else, such as iPods or Star Trek, and trade with the farmers for food. Everyone has to work, be they bees or humans. We’re just much more efficient at it. Which is why we have Trek.

Of course there’s no money.

Everyone is paid in Quatloos.

PS: And T4 was pretty good – I don’t get all the bad reviews. Were we watching the same movie?

“Warner Bros. said “Terminator” was likely more affected by the fact that their movie was complete crud.”

There. Fixed that for them. ;)

Marvel & DC Keep on Trekkin’

Bloody Brilliant!!

A lot of the cost associated with this film with the construction of the sets depicting the Enterprise. They can cut the budget some as the sets are already built. New sets of course require additional funding, but it won’t be a huge drain on the budget this time out.


cinemas don’t get any portion of the movie ticket, they make their money from concessions. also, where do you get this 150 million advertising figure?

the way you’re putting down these calculations, it looks like no movie would ever be profitable, and we know that a lot of movies are profitable.

Capitalism and replicator technology don’t mix terribly well.

#40, do you have a source for that claim? Usually the cost of the sets are a very small part of a film. Most film’s budgets go to talent first, then depending on the type of film it is, visual effects. then much farther down the list: sets.

Considering the lack of top talent, Star Trek’s money most likely went to visual effects first an foremost, then talent. Either way, sets are pretty low in a film like this. Check out TMP set construction budget for comparison:
only roughly $2M out of $45M. That’s only about 5% of the budget. Meanwhile those sets are continuing to cost money to be stored somewhere for a couple of years until they go into production.

However, some of that does cross-over to the digital modeling already completed. Unfortunately, the largest chunk of the money for the sequel will once again be visual effects, which arguably are what make this film successful with general audiences – the non-stop action visuals.

The next movie could still have a “blockbuster” budget without spending $150mm. Think of all the sunk costs in set design/construction and CGI modeling that would be a fraction of the cost in a sequel. A $100mm budget would go along way and leave us with a more profitable Star Trek 2(A). Especially now that we have a much bigger built in audience.

I have been researching each of the movies on wiki and noted that ST TMP’s sets cost around 2 million dollars. Anyone know how much the sets for ST09 cost?

I would hope that if Paramount wants to make a larger profit for the sequel they reign in some of the expenses. Using ST TMP as an example (which is a bit unfair considering some of the problems they had during production), TWOK came in costing 30 millions less (mind you, they cheated by reusing nearly 80% of TMP’s space shots).

Most fans consider TWOK as the best of the TREK movies (I actually prefer TMP), but TMP is a good example of showing big expenditures don’t always mean critical acclaim and profits.

I think TWOK has the highest profit range of all the TREK movies.

Point is: I don’t want to see Paramount cutting corners on the next film. Period. BUT I don’t want them pricing themselves out of profit either.

It is my hope ST2.2 is an entirely original story that utilizes Orci’s knowledge of TREK and pays further homage to TOS and its fans.

Two quick examples of money in TNG…

‘The Measure of a Man’ – Picard agrees to buy dinner at the end of the episode.

‘Bloodlines’ – Picard asks the man he thinks is his son what does for a living.

#42, where are you getting your information? The theaters most certainly get a percentage of the box office, though the deals vary from venue to venue. Prices of popcorn have gone up with the ticket prices because the studios have offered less and less percentage of the grosses as the cost of making movies have gone up.

The $150 million marketing figure may come from this LA Times article:,3,3372044.story
However, it is not necessarily an official number form paramount.

And yes, very few movies recoup solely from box office. There is a very famous case where Art Buchwald sued Paramount over royalties which Paramount claimed they did not owe because the film which had earned over $350M in 1988 had not recouped its marketing and development costs. Most films today spend so much money up front they amortize the films costs over DVD releases and subsequent films. Ultimately they make money just not necessarily directly from the box office (or they would stop making them).

Anthony, does anyone know what percentage of ST09’s sales come from what is considered a non-fan… or new fan?

I mean, I am asking was JJ, Orci, Kurtzman and crew successful in drawing in a new audience? OR are the big profts mostly due to “your father’s TREK” audience turning out in big numbers to save Paramount’s ass with this big budgeted excursion?

Awesome that it is, Paramount clearly took a HUGE risk on this one! It seems to have paid off, but it doesn’t seem that the theatrical run is where they are going to make its biggest profits.. perhaps from DVD sales?

JJ & K/O have repeatedly expressed their desire to “respect” and “honor” Gene Roddenberry’s vision and what it has grown into. Yet, they seem eager to distance THEIR version of Trek from what has come before. I do not refer to superficial changes such as nacelles and uniforms. Or even to the more worrisome and clumsy circumvention of canon. What I refer to is the casual dismissal of the fundamental ideals, values and philosophy of this venerable institution (and the Federation).

As a young boy, the thing that most impressed me about Trek was its singular and bold vision of our future. Unique not only in science fiction but in popular culture. Now, Star Trek is just another shallow futurist spectacle. Indistinguishable from our world except for the cool spaceships and antagonistic aliens.

So, basically JJ & K/O liked the warp drive and transporters aspect of Star Trek (not to mention its accumulated pop cultural capital). They just chose to jettison all that embarassing utopian nonsense and impose THEIR own ideology into Trek.