Paramount First To Pass $1 Bil. in 2009 – Studio Chief ‘Excited’ For Future Trek (& Transformers)

Just like last year, Paramount Pictures is again the first studio to pass the $1 Billion mark in domestic ticket sales, and over half of that is due to two films, Star Trek, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Paramount has released a statement about the event, which cites both films as well as acknowledging how they will play into the future of the studio.   

Grey cites Trek and Transformers
As of Thursday, Paramount had $1.08 Billion in domestic sales, giving it 19.5% of 2009’s market share, and $310M of that is from Transformers 2 with another $250.7M from Star Trek. Another way to look at it is that 10% of domestic sales for 2009 (so far) can be attributed to the two movies written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

In a press release regarding the $1Billion milestone, Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey stated:

This year has been marked by two great events for our studio: the rebooting of the Star Trek franchise under J J Abrams and the immense performance of Michael Bay’s Transformers sequel. These tentpoles performed wonderfully for us this year and we are excited for what they mean for our business in the years ahead.

Like other recent comments from Viacom CEO Phillipe Dauman, this shows how Star Trek is once again one of the key assets of Paramount and the sequel is seen as an important part of the future.

Warner Brothers, with a Harry Potter film opening next week, is Paramount’s biggest competition for the top spot of 2009. The studios have traded off the number one and number two spots for the last couple of years.

Star Trek is headed into its 10th weekend at the box office domestically and is still in 763 theaters, which isn’t bad for a film that far out. Terminator 4, which came out two weeks after Trek, is only in 221 theaters.

Fox leads internationally
However, in another sign that Star Trek still has work to do overseas, Fox is the first studio to pass the $1 Billion mark in international sales for 2009, buoyed by Ice Age 3, Wolverine and Night at the Museum 2.  Paramount trails Fox’s overseas sales by around $50M.

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go star trek!

Great job, Robert Orci!
G. I. Joe should help Paramount, as well.

Guess it is time now for a new Star Trek series as well.

Bob, congrats on all the success! It would be nice if you could leverage some of the clout you undoubtedly will have to secure funding for a smaller “dream project”. Do you and Kurtzman have one filed away (either literally or in your minds)?

G.I Joe will fail miserably….

If it evens opens decent on it’s first weekend, it will implode during it’s second.

From what I’ve seen in the trailers, I get the impression that “GI Joe” is a live-action version of “Team America: World Police.” Too bad “GI Joe” won’t use the same theme song as in “Team America.”

Come on, sing it with me. “America …f#@% yeah!” Staff once wrote “However, in another sign that Star Trek still has word (sic) to do overseas..,”

I am having difficulty discerning your meaning. It is possible you meant “work to do” or “word to spread”. Could you clarify, please?

Hope this doesn’t mean any more spin-offs anytime soon – the wounds from spreading Trek waaaay too thin are still fresh….

7. while the lack of proof reading is irritating, I thought it was fairly easy to discern that the meaning was “Work to do..”

Yes I’m afraid GI JOE will be a box office disappointment. I’m happy to see PARAMOUNT maintaining their speed this year. HARRY POTTER should slow them down a bit.

Yup… G.I Joe will probably fail. I think i heard the director of G.I Joe ‘Stephen Sommers’ was fired after they had the movie viewed in front of a test crowd. They actually brought in Star Trek Nemesis Director ‘Stuard Baird’ to edit the movie because its soo awful. LOL, DO YOU PEOPLE SEE THE IRONY ? STUARD BAIRD !!!!! LOLOL. Oh man !

#7, wow.

Baird would add 3 or 4 more looooong speeches by Cobra leader and give us lingering shots of the planes for no particular reason.

@ 13. yea, lololol. If the rumor is true. Then i think Paramount is sometimes brilliant with taking risks ( aka, jj abrams trek) and not so brilliant (considering baird is a great editor/director nemesis).

7. Easy tiger. It’s just a typo, even the best of us hit the wrong key sometimes. Work it is.

3. Many of us have been campaigning for that for 4 long before now, since 2005. Bring back Enterprise!

I think this typo thing is contagious.

15. Should read “4 long years, since 2005”.

Um, I’m probably in the minority here, but I for one feel that box office ratings shouldn’t be this important to those who care more about a good story thatn how many tickets or burger king glasses were sold. Yes, I know, ultimately it’s a business, but a business founded on entertainment through good, dramatic storytelling that *should* make us reflect on ourselves. Star Trek at its heart was about being a social commentary while still being entertaining. Look at (my favorite episode) “The Ultimate Computer”, here we see Kirk being told that he is basically worthless because a machine can do his job better/cheaper/faster. This was a perfect alagory to the move towards heavy automation in the auto industry at the time. Kirk worrying about “what will I do know” stuff shows how human a story this is. I haven’t felt that about the new movie, heck even about ‘Enterprise’ or ‘Voyager’.

Again, i realize I’m in the minority here, but success for Star Trek should I think be measured by something other than how big a dollar sign Hollywood can put on the Enterprise.

Could someone educate me here? Last I knew a film had to make 2.5 times its production costs to break even and ST is right now exactly at that point internationally. Is the overall euphoria about the money totals taking into considering the anticipated profits over DVD and other sales or is there something more I am missing?

Hey Bob and Alex. How much of that 500 Million Plus are you Guys Getting. Lol. Anyway. Way to go Guys. You are the hottest Writers on the Planet or the Federation. Way to go paramount for getting the best Writers to pen the best Movies. Long Live Star Trek.


After all making movies is only about making money these days. Sheesh. Sometimes I hate what Hollywood puts as their top priority. Lets not forget that film is an art form.

Congrats Mr. Orci. I have two questions: Why does a robot need male reproductive organs and who’s idea was that? Transformers is supposed to be based on childrens toys and cartoons, not adult material.

Re: #15:
Hello, Christopher. This is Gary….
Anyway, this is a great, great site and Anthony does an amazing job. That said, I really don’t like and can’t understand the very frequent typos. It’s unnecessarily sloppy in an otherwise BRILLIANT site. It’s also distracting, having to pause and figure out “What does that mean?” Oh, he meant to say ….”

Team TrekMoviecommenters: GRAMMAR POLICE

LOL get over yourselves

#23 typos are just that. This isn’t a college paper. No big deal.

17 I agree. I would rather see “deeper” Kirk and Spock than “action” Spock and Kirk. In TOS they were both. Waiting for the gravitas, but that does not often sell in this ADD MTV world.


Show the JJverse Academy

Transformers was HORRIBLE.

Writing, Directing and Acting were all horrible (save for the parents).

From the clips I’ve seen from GI Joe, all that CGI will interest the 8 year olds, the 30-50 year olds might ID it as a cartoon (but looks kind of real). And the 50+ croud have seen real wars.

So I figure it will be sold to the Saturday morning viewers. All the kids have to do is start asking for less ice cream and more GI Joe. If this happens then projections may be reached.

GI Joe may get a B class movie rating. And kids are looking for things that will make them think they have power. I may se it once at the movies otherwise I’ll save money and wait for it to hit cable this upcoming spring.

As for the quality of Hollyweed Movies, look at the marketing structure. Make movies that look good on screen, if it ain’t got CGI it’s a waste of film or now days disk storage space. But if you can get kids to go for it, they can bug mommy, daddy, or the grandparents to spend money to hush them up. Who cares about good story line or valid plot, it’s action the kids like. And when did you hear a rug rat or crumb cruncher want a story line. But it needs to look kind of real because if kids can not see it happening in their worlds then how are kids going to want to see it many times to fill their smaller less real world experiences.

Just remember the real world has gone from 40-50 year olds in 1776 to 30-40 year olds at the turn of the 19th/20th century. Then to the 20-30’s in the 60’s, the teeny-bobs in the 80’s, the pre teens as the 21st century started, now to the 6 to 12 year old Jr. Terrorists. Figure by 2020 the action will be for toddlers, all to get their brains active in thought so to make brain cells get used to develop the brain and have the kids grow up smarter or shall I say more programable by the Mass Media Market.

Much of this understanding of how a brain develops has come from a Denver Metro University Proffessor, do not recall his name but has been featured in many Discovery programs on Improving your child’s brain.

They will mever market to babies before birth because that is a political squabble with the right to life/aborrtion groups. And can conflict with the favored views of those people that make films and shows.

Star Trek will be around well into the foreseeable future. That our historically under-respected, old, and “un-cool” franchise is up in the same league as hot, sexy, new “Transformers” speaks volumes about what J.J. and Co. did.

23. It would handy to go back and re-edit comments, say within a 5 minutes window. Occassionally remarks can come off a little too strong and you can end up regretting it. Aside from that punctuation, spelling errors tend to be the first thing that suffers when posting. I’m guilty as charged for going back in several times to edit “on the fly”.

Maybe I need to let the words settle in the yellow message box before hitting “Say it”. Read and re-read before sending. But then emotions often run pretty high when you’ve just read something you flat out disagree with. You can too often undermine your side of the argument, by posting in haste.

Not right now.
Let this trilogy of movies do its thing and then see where things stand.
Let’s not fall into the trap again of too much TREK going on at once.

4. Anthony Thompson

Still trying to get our political thriller “The 28th Amendment” going.

Mike Ten – July 11, 2009
“Congrats Mr. Orci. I have two questions: Why does a robot need male reproductive organs and who’s idea was that? Transformers is supposed to be based on childrens toys and cartoons, not adult material.”

As with much of the humor, it is scripted ever so slightly more nuanced, and then it is taken over the top on the day. Us 3 screenwriters will take the blame for the gag, but I believe in the script it was meant to be a sight gag only, with Simmons under this giant machine made of construction equipment including wrecking balls.

Congrats on Trek, Mr. Orci. I really believe that Star Trek is where you 2 or 3 can show your intelligence in writing, unlike something like Transformers (no offense to it, it’s just a different kind of audience). Please be original and thought provoking, not character and story rehashers when it comes to Trek. We got plenty of that from the last powers that WERE. Thanks! Going to see Trek for the 8th time real soon!

Well there’s no accounting for taste.

Trek and Transformers sharing the same stage … fortunately Transformers 2 should so far outpace Trek by the end of its run, they will no longer have anything to do with each other.

Also, I am continually amused by the positing of Trek ever having been anything less than a key asset. So what, 1 in 10 films performs so poorly at the box office, before requiring a reboot. Batman should have had such luck.

Wow I am loving the success Star Trek is having, such a huge vibe. I can hardly wait for the sequel, we know that this is Paramount’s main focus you can bet it would put the 2009 film to shame.

I might pop in once more to see it before its gone, that would make it the 8th time.

Woo-hoo! Rock on, Trek!

One year ago we were all waiting for Trek, so many were trashing it…well there you are over $250 million. Ahead warp 5…

Orci, Kurtzman, Congratulations on writing the top movies for this summer !!!!

Now you have proven you’re “Trek Credentials”, lets see what you bring for the sequel ;-)

Congratulations, Paramount!!! Keep up the great work because even in a “bad” economy, people STILL need to be and see entertainment. And there is no better entertainment, than Star Trek!

Hopefully, Paramount will EXPAND the “Paramount Star Trek Webmaster Program” to a point where members can participate EVEN MORE in promoting the future Star Trek movies and tv shows!

GREAT JOB, many kudos!!!

@ #34

Bob, that is funny, and I will surely go see the movie now. But, no-one has bigger “wrecking balls” than the excellent writers of STAR TREK!!! I think you guys have proven that. Although, I wouldn’t look at it as “wrecking.” You guys are geniuses! Say, can I ask a personal question? Are both Alex and yourself right-brained or left-brained? Or both? I think my ratio is 49:51 – almost equally divided between right and left-brained.

Trek has officially lost it’s 3rd place worldwide ranking to “Night At the Museum”, which continues to outpace Trek at the boxoffice, so it is unlikely Trek will reclaim it. “Harry Potter” will most definitely drop Trek to 5th place worldwide after next week. Domestically, Trek has stalled at the box office in 3rd place, while “The Hangover”, released a month later, continues to be a strong earner and is catching up fast, a little over $30M behind. While “Harry Potter” should definitely guarantee Trek a number 4 spot shortly, “The Hangover” may well overtake Trek knocking it to 5th place by August, where Trek should hang around until the end of Summer, unless “GI:Joe” surprises everyone. “Ice Age” is also gaining fast with a long way to go and may prove to be as potent as “UP” further unseating Trek. “Bruno” almost doubled its predecessor’s previous opening day, but unless it likewise doubles it’s domestic take to be an equally potent phenomenon, will probably have no effect on Trek. If “UP” and “Ice Age” continue to pan out, the taste for family fare entertainment and 3D films may catapult the holiday release of “Avatar” well ahead of the pack as well. So it’s looking more like a lower top 10 finish for Trek, considering films like “2012”, “Sherlock Holmes”.

Jeez, if I think too hard about how much money Hollywood rakes in, I just get depressed….

go Star Trek, Transformers: ROTF (even though the movie coulda been a lot better but still good), and Go Joe!!! Transformers was good but Star Trek was slightly better.

#44—““Ice Age” is also gaining fast with a long way to go and may prove to be as potent as “UP” further unseating Trek. ”

I am not sure how it will affect the box-office take (if at all), but “Ice Age” isn’t getting the kind of reviews that “Up” received. By most accounts, the quality isn’t there. Unlike with “Up”, I wouldn’t expect many repeat viewings.

#37—“I am continually amused by the positing of Trek ever having been anything less than a key asset. So what, 1 in 10 films performs so poorly at the box office, before requiring a reboot. Batman should have had such luck.”

Why so amused?

There is no denying that Trek has long been an “asset”. I think the difference is what constitutes a “key asset”.

It has been thirty years since a Star Trek film garnered this kind of gross, and I there has never been this kind of optimism about its potential for the near future. This is really the first time that mainstream moviegoers have warmed to a Star Trek film since 1986.

I think that is what separates what was an asset (December release) from what is now a “key asset” (big time Summer Movie with sequels expected to be at least equally big time) in this context.

@ #34

Hey Bob, this is off-topic, but I was checking out the Star Trek Movie site at Paramount, do you know if the “SUPER-COOL” flash version of the movie site is going to be available? I noticed the “mobile” version of the site is “kinda strange” and I thought it was “hacked” at first. It’s a drastic change from what I was accustomed to, any info on it?

I am not sure about any other person’s preference, I liked the “MASSIVE” style and content of the “flash” site. Hopefully they will put it back up when they get finished.

On a side-note: “How does the web know the difference between a phone and a computer monitor?” Here we go into ANOTHER digital divide and convergence of technology. From notebooks to netbooks and typewriters to word processors — “Dammit Jim, I am a workstation not a mobile phone!”