‘Star Trek’ Passes TMP To Become Most Attended Film In Franchise (Domestically)

The new Star Trek film is now in its seventh weekend and it still is in the top ten at the box office, ranking 7th in sales from Friday’s estimates domestically. With almost $236M in domestic sales, the new Star Trek has passed another milsestone, being the most attended Trek film in the franchise. See below for the latest details and analysis.


Box Office Update: still in 7th in 7th weekend
Last weekend Star Trek ended up in 7th place, and even though two new films opened yesterday, it still is in seventh place (in its seventh weekend). Star Trek continues to outsell many films that came out in the weeks after its realease, including Angels & Demons, Terminator Salvation, and Land of the Lost. [BOM: Friday Estimates]

  Film Fri 6/19 

Total Dom / days

1 THE PROPOSAL $12,406,000 $12,406,000 / 1
2 YEAR ONE $8,500,000 $8,500,000 / 1
3 THE HANGOVER $8,465,000 $134,529,000 / 15
4 UP $6,105,000 $208,881,000 / 22
5 THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 $3,200,000 $35,232,000 / 8
6 NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 $2,150,000 $150,803,000 / 29
7 STAR TREK $1,250,000 $235,994,000 / 43
8 LAND OF THE LOST $1,237,000 $40,934,000 / 15
9 IMAGINE THAT $990,000 $9,241,000 / 8
10 TERMINATOR SALVATION $840,000 $117,283,000 / 30

There aren’t Friday numbers yet internationally, but as of Thursday Star Trek’s overseas total was $120,579,917, giving it a global total of $356,564,917 (plus Friday’s overseas).

Domestically Star Trek remains the #1 movie of 2009, but it looks like Pixar’s Up will likely be the first film to pass Trek, sometime later this month. However, Star Trek has a good chance to be in (or very close) to the top 5 for 2009. Star Trek is on track to break $360M worldwide by the end of this weekend, which would move it up the global ranks to 3rd place, passing Wolverine [note BOM overseas data lags a few days behind]. By the end of the year Star Trek still has a chance to be in the top 10 of films globally. However, Star Trek’s worldwide sales rank is due to the strength of its domestic sales. When you look just at its overseas sales, the film is ranked 7th as of last week’s data (behind many of the films it is beating domestically). By the end of the year the international sales for Star Trek will likely be in the 15-25th place range, mostly due to weaker sales in non English-speaking markets. [TrekMovie will have a more detailed look at Trek’s international sales in the coming weeks as more data comes in].

Most attended Star Trek film (domestically)
The big milestone that Star Trek passed on Friday was the inflation adjusted domestic gross for Star Trek The Motion Picture of $235,305,065 (based off Box Office Mojo’s 1979 $82,258,456M gross, adjusted for 1979 ticket prices). Based on the the Friday estimated total for Star Trek of $235,994,000, the new movie is almost $700K past the TMP mark, and has now sold more tickets domestically than any Trek film ever. Here is a chart of the Star Trek movie franchise, in terms of tickets sold.

There are other ways to calculate the inflation adjusted grosses, but we are using the BOM version using actual ticket prices. If you prefer the buying power calculator method, that would give TMP the figure of $242.3M in 2009 dollars, which Star Trek should pass by the end of June (if not sooner). Star Trek’s trajectory still looks like it will top out close to $250M. 

As for the all-time global franchise record, Star Trek’s inflation adjusted sales have exceeded all other Trek films listed on Box Office Mojo (by any calculation), however BOM does not have international data for TMP. But using the figures at TheNumbers.com would give TMP an inflation adjusted global gross of $409.5M (there really is no way to determine the international ticket sales with the various ticket prices for each country, changes in various currencies, and inflation, etc.). As the new Star Trek film will probably top out between $370M and $380M globally, it will probably come a bit short of that box office total, but it almost certainly will make up for it with home sales and merchandising revenue (which is a much bigger part of a film’s total these days).

However, much of this comparison to a film from 30 years ago is really irrelevent and mostly for some fun with numbers and playing with charts. From Paramount’s perspective, the thing they are looking at is how Star Trek is faring compared to other recent comparable films, and by that standard the new Star Trek is very much a success. Like Warner Brother’s did for Batman Begins (which grossed $372M globally in 2005), JJ Abrams and his team have effectively brought a lagging franchise back into the mainstream.

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It’s still going strong. That’s good to hear.

that almost put a tear to my eye. Treks back everyone. After almost death. Congrads to the new team and to all the fans. May this great dream envisioned by Gene live on…..

I honestly can say after the first few weeks, I saw this day coming, just didn’t think it would be as soon as it’s been.

Week after week this movie continues to surprise me, congrats!

I cant wait until it comes to my home town.

lol j/k

“(there really is no way to determine the international ticket sales with the changes in various currencies, and inflation, etc.)”

According to GAAP, historical currencies translations are considered final. In other words, the only translation rate that matters is the rate at that particular time, whether measured as an average exchange rat for the period (“month”) in question, or the final/closing rate on the final day for the period.

Therefore, to discount TMP’s worldwide take in 1979 to 2009 dollars (i.e., nominal to real dollars), one must multiply the 1979 worldwide revenue by the desired inflation statistic to produce today’s present value.

This is a long-established accounting principle and it allows comparison of apples to apples. If one were to recreate historical currency translations by using present-day factors, the result would be meaningless, an exercise in unactionable fantasizing!

Naturally, this is only an estimate as inflation is not the same everywhere at every time. Inflation can vary within the US depending on the distribution of money at the time and other factors on the demand side.

Also, as you point out, “purchasing power” is not related to inflation as it is defined today, since distribution channels and product types have changed quite radically since 1979. (Think of the effect Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club have on household expenditures relative to a mom-and-pop grocery store of that time; then consider e-Commerce and the Internet and the changes it imposed on the maketspace. So it is with entertainment options and the relative personal valuation of the worth of a movie ticket.

In any event, the basic formula for discounting any cash flow is pretty straight-forward. It is simply the principle amount multiplied by the exponential e (~2.78) to the power of -r*t where r = the discount factor expressed in terms of unity (i.e., 1.0 = 100%) and t is the matching time period by which r is expressed. The discount factor for prior periods should be the inflation estimate (you’ll see this called the “deflator”) and there might be competing deflators depending on who does the estimation. In any event, to bring prior periods into present value, you’ll need to make sure r>1.0.

Straight ticket sales in quantity sold might be a better way to assess popularity, although I think ticket prices + impulse buys (e.g., popcorn) are higher today as a percentage of income than in 1979, or at least it seems this way to this MBA financial management consultant.

C.S. Lewis

totally immense!! even my mate wants to see it again, maybe i’ll find another chance to see it again in the cinema, if not i’ll buy 20 copies on blu ray!!

Me = 3
AdmR = 1
The Lts = 2
EnsR = 0 (they didn’t charg, but he was there, so add one more to your tally.)
The Ex (a salt vampire) =1

Wake me when we get some news regarding the DVD release, Directors Cut, or something else of interest.

The fascination with Box Office numbers just escapes me…..

I knew our little movie could do it. [tears of happiness stream down]

Gotta say I’m impressed by how much more it took in over Land of the Lost & Terminator Friday (which was the 19th not the 16th). It got another $6.50 from me yesterday.

Funny just watched TMP on blu-ray today for the first time….VERY IMPRESSED better than DVD, but would have preferred the directors cut version….Paramount…get on it already.

I am so happy the numbers keep growing. I eagerly await the final global sales total. Will this movie last into August or cut out by July? With the success, hype, and excitement it is going to be bloody hard waiting two years for the next movie. As incredible and jaw dropping as this movie is I think the next movie will leave us speechless, blow our minds, and jerk our tears. My heart was beating so fast throughout the entire movie when I saw it for the first time…it was almost surreal, like an out of body experience. Even seeing photos and clips I was not ready for what I was about to see. When I walked out of the theatre I wasn’t jumping for joy and bursting with energy, I was over satisfied and was so surprised at how great the movie was that I had no reaction if that makes sense. I was just trying to digest everything I saw..it stayed with me for days. This movie clings to you like glue, everyone I know who has seen it loves it. I have seen it 5 times…probably go once more…my sister loved it, now my mother has to see it.

Congrats to everyone involved, this movie was above and beyond and the next movie will only surpass.

Concur with 10…the running commentary that basically has been a weekly repeat of “Wow, Star Trek’s doing good, here’s some numbers” is getting a bit stale. It’s not ‘news’ anymore, just overkill statistics.

Of much more interest is what Paramount/CBS is going to do now that it’s got the mainstream interest. Beyond the inveitable sequel(s), now’s the time to start looking into other aspects of keeping the franchise alive. in 6 months, will there still be as much an interest? a year? Not unless there’s news of things in the pipeline, besides another movie in 3+ years

6 Impressive analysis, as usual. But It seems the simplest metric would be number of tickets sold. Problem is, I don;t think that data is (or was) gathered. It seems to be simply dividing the BO take by average ticket price in the year in question. Inexact.

The National League used to just count turnstile attendance day-of-game. Then they went to the American League model of tickets sold. This inflates attendance, because it doesn’t account for no-shows. The simplest metric is always best. I like tickets sold for measuring movies.

Meh domestic sales in my opinion don’t matter in this day an age of globalization. After inflation TMP made just over $400 world wide….Star Trek XI will sadly not top that.

Hey Anthony maybe when the movie is no longer in theaters and we can gather a finally tally you could do a little article on the star trek movie budgets and revenue before and after inflation. I think it would be interesting. Delve into which movies used ILM and how that really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things unless a decent script was written. I think it would be interesting. Not sure if these number are right but was what I was able to gather with regards to international sales.

Budget Revenue Inflation Revenue
1979 Star Trek TMP 136 min $35M $139M $407M
2009 Star Trek 126 min $150M $356.6M $356.6M
1986 Star Trek TVH 119 min $24M $133 M $257.8M
1982 Star Trek TWOK 116 min $12M $96.8M $213.4M
1996 Star Trek FC 111 min $46M $150 M $198.4M
1984 Star Trek TSFS 105 min $18M $87M $178M
1994 Star Trek G 118 min $38M $120 M $172.1M
1998 Star Trek I 103 min $70M $117.8M $155.1M
1991 Star Trek TUC 113 min $27M $96.9M $151.4M
1989 Star Trek TFF 107 min $30M $70.2 M $108M 2002 Star Trek N 116 min $60M $67.3M $79.7M

It’s nice to know that Trek is still going strong!

I would like to see a story about how the recent departures of Messrs. Lesher and Weston might affect Trek. ( http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118005201.html?categoryid=18&cs=1 ) The website Airlock Alpha and others have said that Lesher is Paramount’s “Star Trek guy.” ( http://www.airlockalpha.com/node/6457 )

However, arguably, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman is the primary “Star Trek guy,” as he spoke very highly of Trek in a recent Viacom meeting. I believe that Viacom essentially owns Paramount. If so, Dauman would be superior to Brad Grey, who is said to have requested Lesher’s and Weston’s departure.

I raised this question in another thread (and thanks to the person who responded).

Correction: Dauman is the chairman, not CEO, of Viacom. An even higher position.

Woo-Hoo!!!! That’s something to be proud of!

I believe those who don’t care about box office have the option of not reading news about box office. How about that?

Maybe Trek Can Keep The Lead Until Transformers comes out. That will take Treks audience, but Ups will go too. If trek can maintain this lead until Transformers, Ups audience will be diminished. So, if Trek has the lead, transformers breaks it by taking Up and treks audience, You have

1. Transformers

2 Star Trek

3. UP

Heres my entire list while im thinking about it:

1. Transformers

2. Star Trek

3. New Moon

4. Up

5. Hangover

A quick unrelated question if someone can answer.

Q: Why is it that Starfleet vessels also referred to federation vessels do not bear the federation logo anywhere on the outer hull? Plenty of Starfleet delta shields logo’s on the saucer, the secondary hull, the warp nacells but no federation crest. Is there a reason for this in canon or an “Okuda” or “Eaves” design reason reason?

Okay, so, why are my posts being deleted? I was the 3rd poster earlier this evening, and now it’s been removed? All I typed was “Ha, awesome” concerning the good news about Trek’s success. What the heck?!

@ 19. opcode Brilliant!!!

Thanks, Anthony, for the correction and the insight. I really appreciate it.

There are 80 million more people in the country now than 1979.

There is also Home Video (DVD, Blu Ray) and HDTV

True, 25, but there are also many more entertainment distractions for people to engage in than 1979.

In 1979, there were the three main networks and local channels that mainly ran repeats and small-time programming. Cable was a tiny fraction of what it is now. Video games (think: Atari 2600) weren’t nearly as popular as they are now and only the earliest of first-adopters had computers, which in any event weren’t considered entertainment devices. Although the rudiments of the Internet had already been developed thanks to DARPA and UCLA, the World Wide Web had yet to be invented. DVD’s hadn’t been invented and the VHS format had only been around for a few years.

Movies generally had longer runs at the box office than they do today.

There are many other factors that need to be considered for the best possible comparison.

^^I meant to direct the message to 26 (Greg2600), not myself.

I walked out of my first screening and the only word I could come up with was “perfection”. I have seen it 8 times now and still think that way.

Kudos to JJ, Orci, Kurtzman, etc…and especially the cast. The one thing I thought when I heard of this was “they can never replace the cast”……I was SO proven wrong. The classic actors will always be “family” and never surpassed….but the new ones are just perfect as well…..especially Chris and Zachary.

I really think the box office would continue to soar if we didn’t have to lose so many screens soon for new films. We lost the film here Thursday night and the last showing was packed. Stupid theatre bookers thought we needed 2 screens of “Imagine That” instead of even 1 showing a day of Trek. Dummies!

I’ve often wondered why a film’s revenue is counted as opposed to the number of tickets sold. That would be a far more accurate measurement as a ticket sold is a ticket sold and inflation or currency fluctuations have no impact.

I also find it interesting that TMP (considered one of the worst) sold more tickets than TWOK (considered the best) or TVH (considered the most popular with the broadest appeal).

Of course, I saw TMP five times and TWOK and TVH only twice.

“There are those who said this day would never come. What have they to say now?”
-Prophet of Truth, Halo 2

Sure, it’s from a different sci-fi franchise, but I think it aptly applies.

Oh, my bad, #32. I don’t know why I thought I typed it here. Heh, thanks. =)

All I know is I like ths Trek, as delivered by JJ,BOB, & ALEX, &,co.
Just keep up the good work, & we will Continue going to the theaters to see it.Is it a deal?

#15, Chadwick, I think you and Anthony are both wrong about where ST09 will top out. I wouldn’t have said so a month ago, but given that it’s only about $50M away and it continues to best newer pics at the boxoffice, I have renewed interest – it may actually have a chance.

In day 43, “Batman Begins” was only at $192.8M domestically and earning quite a bit less than Trek per day. It stayed in the box office another 98 days and closed at $205.4M earning another $13M. However, Trek is earning better than Batman Begins. If Trek stays in the box office another 98 days, it only has to earn an average of $500,000/day worldwide. Considering it is currently doing almost 11 times that domestically on the weekends alone, that’s not a very high target.

Will it close the TMP earnings performance gap after the $142M budget is recouped? Not likely. ST09 would have to earn another $50M. It has beaten out TVH as the 2nd highest grossing film after deducting the budget.

But Anthony is right. As long as it performs as well as Batman Begins, and MI:III (which earned less than $400M worldwide and still got a sequel despite its political problems) is all that matters. Of course, adjusted for inflation, Batman Begins made $416.6M and MI:III made $436.1 and ST09 will definitely not finish as well as those films. Nevertheless, it simply costs more to make a blockbuster today than it did in 1979 or even 1986.

As for worldwide grosses, anything close to $400M is nothing to sneeze at. That puts it in the top 10 worldwide grossers for the last 5 years.

# 6. C.S. Lewis

You’re consistent, I have to grant you.

“I’ve often wondered why a film’s revenue is counted as opposed to the number of tickets sold. That would be a far more accurate measurement as a ticket sold is a ticket sold and inflation or currency fluctuations have no impact”

Because the environment for a film released today is absolutely nothing like it was 20 years ago… 30 years ago.. even just 10 years ago.

In the 80’s the advent of home video completely changed the game. The DVD burst of last decade changed it even more. Today when a film is released, we take for granted that you’ll be able to watch it pretty much whenever you want, however you want from now until the day you die.

RD, could you please clarify your statement, “Nevertheless, it simply costs more to make a blockbuster today than it did in 1979 or even 1986.”

Thanks in advance.

Batman Begins was kind of a bomb. I was shocked when all the nandwagon jumpers showed up for Dark Knight. How did that movie make so much money? It’s a good movie, but it’s overrated.

31. Fubamushu wrote: why a film’s revenue is counted as opposed to the number of tickets sold.

That method would only account for the number of viewings and not the price of the ticket. They would have to account for children, senior, matinee, $1 movie houses, etc. In 1979 that would have been virtually impossible. Today far easier, though still problematic and certainly not worldwide. At the end of the day, all that matters is how much money is in the bag with the $$ signs on it. That’s what the average ticket price calculation is designed to account for in inflation adjustments. It ain’t pretty but then neither is the movie business.

Fubamushu wrote: “I also find it interesting that TMP (considered one of the worst) sold more tickets than TWOK (considered the best) or TVH (considered the most popular with the broadest appeal).

I think that’s fairly easy to answer. IMO, Trek had been off the air for a decade after a massive fan-based campaign to get it renewed for a third and final season. It rew in popularity in syndication and there was much anticipation by the fans. I think it is a similar phenomenon as we are seeing with ST09. Admittedly you saw TMP 5 times. Many people on this forum have seen ST09 on average of 4 times. But there was also the general audience factor as it plays today. Trek was coming on the heels of the phenomenal success of “Star Wars” and audiences had a thirst for space movies of which there were very few in the late 70s. Star Wars would not release a sequel for another year, but along came TMP to satiate the masses. Then there was the familiarity with the characters. In 1979 I would bet very few people didn’t know what Star Trek was or who Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were (the same cannot be said for TNG). Add to that the nostalgia of an iconic series that people remembered fondly, a G rating which encouraged family viewing and the Christmas box-office was overun.

But, TMP was a dud. The internet was not around to spread the word that Trek was a slow moving, plodding film unlike Star Wars to discourage audiences from lining up to see it. And did I mention it was G rated? So it cleaned up at the box office. However, despite TWOK and TVH being far better movies, the damage had been done. General audiences were not likely to return for a movie that featured a guy named Kahn, with whom most general audiences were not familiar. In fact, now that I think about it, that caption almost sounds like a Trekker insider’s story which someone on the outside would not be interested in unless they were a real die-hard fan. It was also rated PG, so families were not as likely to consider it in those days. Plus, TWOK, TSFS, TVH all made about 60% TMP’s box-office. could that account for a 40% general audience who were put off the franchise by TMP? And TVH box-office did go up after two successful Trek films. Also, TWOK & TSFS were Summer movies, competing against other studio’s tent poles. TMP had been a Christmas release as had been TVH – the two highest grossing films. Coincidence? Following TVH, Christmas started to become one of the biggest box-office seasons as Hollywood began to exploit it with bigger films and stiffer competition.

There’s a new Trek movie that’s out?

How come no one told me?

By the way, I did see a new science fiction movie tonight, although I don’t think it will overtake Star Trek in terms of overall gross. It’s “Moon” and I really liked it. It’s intelligent and a real throwback to old-school sci fi. But don’t worry; I’m seeing Star Trek for the sixth time later in the week.


I am enjoying the BO updates, and comparisons to other ST films as well as other films, including re-boots. Thanks for doing this.

Live long and propser, and boldly go!

#39. In 1979 it cost George Lucas $11M, $32M adjusted for inflation, to make “Star Wars”. In 1980 it cost $85M adjusted to make “The Empire Strikes Back”. In 1983, $68M adj. to make “Return of the Jedi”.

By comparison it cost $147M adj. to make “The Phantom Menace” in 1999, $136M for “Attack of the Clones” in 2002 and $123M to make “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005.

Every single one of those films grossed over or close to a billion dollars adjusted for inflation. However, the last three films cost significantly more than the first three.

All of today’s tentpole films opening at the Summer box office fall into the $150M-$200M+ budget category. And like Star Wars, most of them have the potential for great merchandising and ancillary tie-ins, which earn for the studio even more fantastically, in addition to huge box office returns. However, in order to compete with other films in this category, they must spend accordingly. There are two things that account for this: star names and special effects. Look at ST09: Abrams ran out of money for engineering on a $150M budget and there wasn’t one star name in the movie, so the costs were mostly in effects – and it shows!

So, just like a car dealer may sell an SUV for less today than it did 10 years ago, even though it costs the car maker the same to make it. If the car dealer wants to sell SUVs they have to take less money per vehicle and make it up in volume.

I was embarrased by the “land of the lost” trailer at the theater. by looking at the graph above, now i know i’m not alone. I just dont think wil farrel is funny.

Congratulations to the filmmakers on their marketable product.

With the movie putting up numbers like these it may be time for Paramount/CBS to begin talk of a new series in addition to the obvious sequel.

Then again this box office explosion could largely be the result of novelty, with not as many fans won over as one would hope.

RD, thanks for the explanation, which was thorough and quite logical. However, I’m still having trouble understanding your paragraph,

“But Anthony is right. As long as it performs as well as Batman Begins, and MI:III (which earned less than $400M worldwide and still got a sequel despite its political problems) is all that matters. [b]Of course, adjusted for inflation, Batman Begins made $416.6M and MI:III made $436.1 and ST09 will definitely not finish as well as those films.[/b] Nevertheless, it simply costs more to make a blockbuster today than it did in 1979 or even 1986.”

I was wondering if you could explain the relationship between greater cost (“Nevertheless, it simply costs more…”) and your statement about ST2009’s not making as much as BB or MI3. How does the fact that blockbusters cost more negate the effect of BB’s and MI3’s greater take vis-a-vis ST2009?

Thanks again.

I concur; he always manages to slide-in a good elitist and condescending remark about his MBA, his career, etc. Maybe Trekmovie.com is where he comes to validate himself?


37. The Original Spock’s Brain – June 20, 2009
# 6. C.S. Lewis

You’re consistent, I have to grant you.