Comparing the Advertising Timelines: STAR TREK BEYOND Promo Lagging Way Behind INTO DARKNESS

Some might be surprised that Star Trek Beyond is coming out in two and half months, considering the lack of advertising we’ve seen for the film. At least, that’s been the sentiment on news sites, blogs, and comment boards around the internet: shouldn’t we have another trailer or more photos by now? But is the advertising for Beyond really that abysmal compared to the previous two films? We’ve constructed an interactive timeline comparing the release of promotional material before Beyond and Star Trek Into Darkness to find out.

Here we compare the pre-release advertising timelines for the two sequel films from the JJ Abrams reboot of the Star Trek movie franchise.

One thing that makes Beyond and Into Darkness difficult to compare directly is the fact that the movies had quite different premiere dates. While both “summer tentpole” films, Beyond is slated to come out July 22nd, while Into Darkness came out over two months earlier, on May 16th. So saying, “by March of 2013, we already had much more advertising for STID compared to March of 2016 for STB” is misleading, as STB would be two months behind in its advertising schedule. That’s why we compare the two timelines not by absolute date but by another metric: number of days before release (indicated in red (STB) or blue (STID) text above each timeline event), starting with the first trailer.

The first thing that stands out is just how much earlier the first trailer for Beyond (221 days before release) came out compared to Into Darkness (151 days before). This set STB up for the big lull in advertising between December, 2015 and March of this year when things started to ramp up again (albeit, slowly).

On the flip side, Into Darkness had two trailers released in rapid succession early on, with Trailer #2 coming out just 10 days after the announcement trailer in December of 2012.

At the time of writing, with 81 days until Beyond‘s release, we have gotten 1 trailer, 2 major interviews, 10 photos, and 2 behind-the-scenes videos. At the same point in Into Darkness‘s timeline, we had gotten 2 trailers, 3 major interviews, 15 photos, plus 2 apps and the reveal of some plot details.

There is definitely a mismatch here in the advertising timelines: the data clearly show that STB is lagging behind STID. However, we must admit, the disparity isn’t as large as we had initially thought (although this may be partly due to a large number of Beyond images being released just two days ago).

If the PR powers that be behind Star Trek Beyond‘s advertising plan can rally and release a veritable firehose of material in the next two months (and, that may be a big if) the two timelines may end up looking not so dissimilar.

In other words, if our timeline has any predictive power whatsoever, we should be expecting to see a LOT of promotional material for Star Trek Beyond coming out relatively soon.

A big reason that Trekkies have been less than enthused with the promotion of Star Trek Beyond is undoubtedly the inescapable comparison to the advertising of another space-based science fiction reboot, also helmed by JJ Abrams. With Disney’s powerhouse saturate-the-market approach, you couldn’t get away from Star Wars promo material. It even invaded our produce aisles.

Still, out of control Star Wars merchandising aside, you can’t deny the fact that hype surrounding Beyond has been disappointing. Even friends of mine – Trekkies who also listen to me talk about Star Trek news constantly – are often shocked when I tell them the new movie comes out in a couple of months. “I thought it was coming out next year?” is not an uncommon reply.

With Paramount struggling to keep its shareholders happy, it’s a wonder why they don’t pay more attention to one of their most successful properties. With 81 days left to go, can they turn the promotional tide?

Note: Although viewable on mobile, your experience will be best viewing this timeline on a larger screen. If you must view it on mobile, we recommend turning your phone to landscape mode.

See something errant or missing? Let us know in the comments. We will keep this timeline updated as new Star Trek Beyond advertising comes out.

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Strange that they did not scramble for a new trailer in light of the criticism of the first one. Well, another trailer will drop soon. Is Paramount in that much financial trouble that they can’t promote a film? Or are re-shoots still being done and the trailer wanted to incorporate new material to change the image let by the prior trailer?

Oops typo. Should be “left by the prior trailer.” Maybe the promoters and producers wanted an image reboot from “Fast and Furious In Space” trailer and that is the reason for the long silence. Maybe they are hoping that the first trailer will fade into memory and for a fresh image with the new trailer?

@Tim – that was the most glaring thing to me. That trailer received such wide-spread criticism, including from film makers, that it made little sense to just shrug if off. And I think that contributed to the feeling Paramount wasnt as committed to the marketing because it seemed even in the face of criticism, they werent going to change their path at all.

I know many people figured the trailer was “customized” for the Star Wars audience (which never made sense to me as I didnt think it appealed to traditional Star Wars fans) and that further “customized” trailers would be forthcoming…but ofcourse it never happened.

This artlcle leaves no doubt that STB beyond is behind STID. Didnt STID also have a special sneak peak at the first ten minutes of the movie??

“This artlcle leaves no doubt that STB beyond is behind STID.”

Hmm? Kayla’s graphic clearly shows 11 marketing entries in your chart up to this point for Beyond, compared to 8 marketing entries in your chart up to this point before STID? So, you are drawing the opposite conclusion from what is clearly presented in her graphic?

I think you’re drawing the wrong conclusion from what is presented in the article which is the marketing for STID was more substantive than STB. If I release three photes from STB on different days it looks like three releases. If I release 5 photos from STID on one day it looks like one release. You could STB released more images 3-1 compared to STID but it doesnt tell the whole story.

STB is not as behind as some would say. But it is behind. More glaring is sort of the intangible “hype” of which STID had much and STB has none.

I remember distinctly though on this site, for months up to STID, people, including myself, wondering where the marketing was, why we weren’t getting more info etc? Deja vu.

I will say this — neither STID or STB had the consistent marketing campaign that ST-2009 had — now that was an organized effort that seemed to have a well thought out strategy behind it.

I dont recall that at all. They showed ten minutes of the film in December before STID was released. There was more hype, lots of chatter, speculation etc.

To be fair, criticism of the trailer didn’t extend far beyond the hardcore fanbase. I don’t see Paramount spending a pile of cash to rush out a second trailer in the hopes of appeasing an audience that will probably go see the movie anyway.

It’s not flattering to us fans, but I can imagine it’s how they’d think.

@SHafty – one of the screen writers was critical of the trailer. It sure did go beyond hardcore fans.


He said the trailer was action-based while the movie was more cerebral. That hardly counts as “criticism” as far as a marking department thinks. “Made the movie look boring” is the only thing a marketing department cares about.

Not saying that’s good, I’m saying that’s reality. There’s no way Paramount would drop a pile of cash on to rush out a new trailer just because one of the people behind it said the movie was smarter than it looked.

“Sure did.” Pffft!

Perhaps Paramount is trying to save a bit of money? The budget for “Beyond” is smaller than “Into Darkness”, and a long advertising ramp up is more expensive than the shorter splash we can probably expect for the new film.

I do think there is at least a little budget saving going on here.
And because of that when promotion does start, it is going to seem like a lot even if it isn’t.

Thanks for putting this together, Kayla!

2016 is a SIGNIFICANTLY Busier year for movies in Star Trek’s target demo than 2013… Already in the past 6 months we had a Star Wars film, Deadpool, Batman V. Superman… Over the next 6 months, we have Captain America: Civil War, another X-Men movie, Suicide Squad, Independence Day Resurgence….

Maybe, the lack of promotion, is a strategic move so that the film doesn’t get lost in a crowded Summer, ESPECIALLY in the middle of the Civil War Hype….

While this is very interesting analysis, and I appreciate the thought put into it (and I actually do enjoy this kind of article)– I really am perplexed by the ongoing obsession with how this movie is marketed (or rather not).

The movie is being made. We will go see it and judge it on its merits as a film. How it is marketed is not my concern, and i’m not sure why anyone here really cares or is upset by it.

The only reason I can imagine people caring is if they are worried that if it is not properly marketed than it will not do well in theaters, and if it does not perform at the box office, then it will not get a sequel.

But considering how many fans here seem to not like this series of films, why would that be an issue for you?

@Torchwood – if its not your concern, then this subject isnt for you and you’re free to avoid it. Clearly, it is of concern and/or interest to many others.

It is not my concern, but I am posing a legitimate question. What is YOUR concern?

@Phil – I’ve never heard of a studio choosing to lower their marketing efforts out of fear that fans will respond negatively no matter what. If they feel fans will respond negatively, they should re-double their efforts to present something fans will like. I think that some people are pretty determined to box in those that are not optimistic with excuses that dont hold a lot of water.

The fact is, those that arent optimistic are right now using the lack of marketing as an excuse to dump on the film. And another fact is, every single fan who dumps on it is still going to go see it. So its the casual and less hardcore fans that need to be marketed to.

@Torchwood – I think the article appropriately spells out the concerns of many. I’ve repeatedly said I assume they will market the film just as hard, only during a shorter window. I do think their handling of the initial trailer was poor and showed a studio unable to make rapid changes. They stuck with their plan even when it was criticized.

Sometimes a studio markets a film less when they think they have a stinker on their hands. But we cant know that until we see it. If they dont make STB available for critics to review, then you know the studio doesnt like it. Me? Im optimistic. I will be there on opening day and I want to love it. But I absolutely understand why people are concerned.

Fair enough, and appreciate your own personal insights. I am a fervent apologist, having worked for many big companies in my time, so when I see this about BEYOND, I am reminded of movies in the past that did well, without much fanfare, or very short marketing timelines. The X-Men movies, particularly First Class, fans complained were not being marketed long enough in advance.

The irony you might see in my stance is that I am actually much in favor of longer lead times in marketing. Marvel has proven it is never too early to start building buzz, showing off early footage as far out as a full year in some cases (Captain America 1, for example). Full trailer blitzes 6 months in advance.

I think some studios are — right or wrong– a bit concerned with getting swallowed up by bigger behemoths like the Marvels of the world. Why release a trailer when it will not be talked about because everone is still buzzing about Civil War or Superman/Batman or X-Men?

I would argue it’s still worth doing, but then again, it’s not my money: they probably spend millions on marketing, and want to focus it strategically to get a strong ROI, is what I would guess.

Thats fair. Part of it might be a sense of unrest amongst the hardcore fans. We (as in the group in general) come here everyday and many lament the lack if information. Paramount isn’t so much as throwing a bone. At least with 09 and STID, Bob was here to answer some questions, tease some things, plug somethings and generally interact with the most ardent fans.

I also, however, don’t see anywhere in this article that gives a reason for being concerned about the marketing. Only comparisons to ID and Star Wars. As I said in another post, not all marketing strategies are one-size-fits-all. Comparisons to TFA are silly: that’s a mega franchise with legions of diehard fans all over the globe. Trek would not be worthy of the $$ investment that Disney made in marketing, and it would be a losing proposition to even attempt anything close to it.

Perhaps impatient is a better word than concerned. We shall see what happened around May 20th and if they unleash a massive marketing campaign right up to launch day, then so be it.

Impatience I can understand completely. For me though, I have been plenty engaged with the Marvel movies and other stuff in the lead-up to beyond such that the wait and lack of information doesn’t even bug me. Happy to wait on it, especially with news of the upcoming show, for which I am far more information-hungry.

Maybe if I were a bigger fan of this film series it would I might take issue– and I am in the minority in that I loved STID, but am still not what i’d call a diehard NuTrek fan.

And that’s sort of the problem with these films: say what you will about them, good or ill, they have not garnered the kind of diehard enthusiasm for them that Trek has in the past (even if it was in small numbers), even among those who enjoyed them. There was no legion of superfan eager for a followup the way there are with Star Wars and Marvel films.

Honestly, I think going into STID, Paramount hoped Star Trek could be a franchise comparable to Marvel or Star Wars (if not nearly as rich) and they’ve since come to the realization its just not going to happen, that Trek has a ceiling and if they manage things properly, they can put out the films & sell some DVD’s and make a few bucks.

I am also a little confused by the desire or expectation for a “massive marketing campaign.”

Previous Trek films (1979-2002) rarely garnered big marketing campaigns at all, let alone a “massive” one. When movies like Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Batman, Terminator 2 and the like were dominating our consciousnesses in the 80s and early 90s, Trek was usually pushed with some posters and trailers, some behind-the-scenes features in Starlog or Entertainment Tonight, *maybe* a fast-food promotion here or there.

When blockbuster movie marketing really ramped up in the 90s and the likes of ID4, Godzilla and the Star Wars Prequels were inescapable, Trek was lost in a sea of films marketed far more aggressively, and that suited the studio just fine, because Trek films were never going to be huge barn-burners no matter how much you put them in peoples faces.

So yes, I think we’d all love for Trek to be marketed like the next Marvel, but I don’t think it’s a realistic *expectation*, particularly not when its history shows that Paramount has never really treated the franchise that way.

Now, I would say that if any Trek is more deserving of blockbuster marketing it’s NuTrek, and I think therein lies the irony: fans clamor for Star Wars level marketing plans, but don’t understand that for studios to think it warrants such, they have to be Star Wars-like films– the kind trekkies really don’t want to see.

If we are going to be honest, few here have any idea how to ‘properly market’ a film. What we see are what other companies are doing, and asking, why isn’t Paramount doing that? The reality check is that the production company has taken an approach that focuses intense effort just prior to the release of one of their films, and they’ve had success with it. People are free to agree or disagree with that approach, but as the timeline here shows, the marketing efforts of the upcoming production aren’t that dissimilar from the last one.

As you observed, there is another consideration. The production company also knows that there is a vocal minority out there that IS GOING to take a long, hard piss on STB, regardless of how it is received. Understanding that, they may be limiting exposure to that stream of negativity, understanding that even though it’s not objective, if someone screams something is garbage long enough, it does have an effect of tainting the audience, and not for the better.

Maybe that vocal minority fans should employ Depends in advance of this movie?


@PS. If you’re going to boldly go, it’s that or a Starfleet branded catheter…

You two guys – Honestly…LOL!

Produce??!!?? My wife got her little Yorkie last September, we leashed him up and off we went to Petco. There, in the entry, larger then life…Star Wars: The Force Awakens pet supplies. Chew toys. Leashes. Treats. Pretty much anything you could pamper your little booboo with, SW branded.

It really isn’t fair to compare Paramount with Disney/SW. While CBS/Paramount have been happy with their efforts, it’s clear that their approach was to manage a product, while Lucas (and extension, Disney) undertook to build a dynasty. I’ll never see a Captain Kirk chew toy at Petco, the SW product blitz was the accumulation of twenty years of marketing effort on the part of Lucas/Disney. In the age of planned obsolescence, very few companies are that far sighted.

Exactly and Disney need to recoup the 4+ Billion they spent buying Lucasfilm so there going to milk Star Wars for everything it’s worth.

Phil, we owned a Yorkie for 16 glorious years.He was the best! Smart little dogs, right? :>)

You’ll get no argument from me, Harry. I wasn’t dialed into getting a little dog, but he’s smart, attentive, super friendly. When someone who’s always happy to see you is right there, life’s little curveballs don’t seem to sting so hard….

Bingo! Though contrary to what Sean says, the merchandising isn’t intended to recoup the investment– quite the opposite, the merchandising is what made the investment worthwhile in the first place!

Disney: please buy the franchise from CBS and Paramount, so it can be treated right! The (lack of) marketing, for not just STB, but for Star Trek in general in its 50th anniversary year, has been ridiuclous.

While Disney has a great track record of buying franchises, their most recent successes have been with already-successful brands like Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar. Consider also that the chief reason those properties were purchased were due to their success in consumer products. Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel were among the top non-congomerate brands in the entertainment CP industry prior to their acquisitions.

Star Trek, by contrast, has long struggled in merchandising, and the last 2 films did not do much to reinvigorate their licensing and consumer products programs.

would love to see Disney buy Star Trek. Wont happen but would love to see it. For $4b, its already looking like Disney got a bargain on Star Wars.

True, but only because a single SW movie can earn 4B in ticket sales and merchandise. I doubt ANY trek film, even a Disney-made one, could do that!

True but Trek likely wouldnt command a $4b purchase price. And in retrospect, Lucas could have got more since Disney made back its money more or less with one film (Lucas got $2b in cash and $2b in stock).

But Disney isnt just in the movie making business. They will wring every last cent out of Star Wars. Imagine a Star Trek themed land at Disney parks? Trek animated series? Films that both continue where we left off and explore different time periods/characters?

There is no better franchise to reap the reward of a Cinematic Universe than Star Trek. Paramount is either unwilling or unknowing when it comes to how to do that. And part of that is probably the split licensing. So really, Viacom is stupid. They should bring Star Trek back under one roof, appoint a guru (or team of gurus) with the notion of making Star Trek a Cinematic Universe in the vein of Marvel and Star Wars.


In reply to your comment:

According to Les Moonves in all his upfronts to the CBS stockholders, STAR TREK merchandising is going gangbusters. So much so that he’s relying on the customers evidenced by his merchandising figures to make his ALL-ACCESS a success. I have no idea what you mean by “struggling”?

Bad Robot may be having a hard time hawking their Trek wares but that is hardly the same as the vast catalog of other STAR TREK merchandise available “struggling”.

CBS Consumer Products is ranked #91 in terms of licensing revenue at just 300 million, and that total represents CBS’ entire portfolio, which also consists of dozens of other properties.

By contrast, Marvel, prior to acquisition by Disney (when it was still it’s own independent entity), was #4, behind Disney, Iconix and Warner Bros., with revenue in excess of five BILLION dollars annually.

So that’s what I mean by struggling historically in comparison to the competition.

” Imagine a Star Trek themed land at Disney parks? Trek animated series? ”

I can imagine big failures, yes.

“There is no better franchise to reap the reward of a Cinematic Universe than Star Trek. ”

I agree 100%– but it won’t happen overnight, if at all. Even Marvel spent a decade planning before Avengers became the big hit it was in 2012 and launched the idea of a cinematic universe. Hundreds and hundreds of millions invested.

Look at the trouble WB/DC is having trying to ape that too, which just proves it’s not an easy thing to achieve even when you have the seemingly perfect confluence of property, creative vision and money.

@Torchwood – if Disney ever built a Star Trek Land, it wouldnt be a failure because they would have done their homework and the franchise would be healthy enough to warrant such a thing.

And I agree, they need to plan. And thats the problem I see. With the split license, there is no way they can properly plan a franchise-wide, cinematic universe that spans all sort of items, be them films, TV shows, theme parks, games etc.

Hell, I went to Star Trek The Experience in Vegas before it closed and it was very busy. Never opened up again even though it was supposed to (why did it close in the first place?) And I thought ST The Experience was tremendous.


In reply to your comment linked to by the following URL:

You “imagine” STAR TREK LAND at a theme park a big failure? Maybe you can warn Paramount before they break ground on another one [Here’s looking at you UK and Jordan.]:

There was a period that coincided with Star Trek’s height of popularity where it’s merchandising machine was a juggernaut. In the 90’s there were entire Star Trek-centric stores that catered solely to Trek fans. My home town of less than half a million people had two of them and played host to Trek conventions every year. Department stores had entire aisles devoted to Star Trek merchandise. IMO, Paramount has mishandled the promotion and product tie-ins of the franchise, and perhaps the franchise itself. They somehow build good will and then waste it.

I would disagree MoPed. I saw the new Star Wars. Disney ruined the franchise. Though Lucas is not blameless, he hurt the franchise itself in the prequels, and then sold his soul to Disney (The Devil). The new Star Wars was “soul-less” and pandering to the masses.

That the film earned TWO BILLION DOLLARS and has spawned BILLIONS MORE in merchandise, and made ROGUE ONE and EP.8 two of the most anticipated movies over the next two years pretty much proves you wrong in any objective sense.

Now, in terms of value to you personally, in a subjective sense, maybe they ruined the creative aspects, but you can’t say they ruined the franchise. No, they brought it back from the dead, and as a franchise it’s stronger now than it’s been since 1983.

You will never have universal approval but any smart person can admit The Force Awakens made a ton of money and is very [popular. Disney is certainly doing right by that Franchise, at least in the early going. Personally, I loved TFA.

I think the complaints about it being too similar to A New Hope shows some people dont understand that that was the point…and it always was. Disney rejuvenated the Star Wars franchise. And will reap the rewards for a long, long time.

TFA complainers also seem to forget that the Phantom Menace took as much from ANH as TFA did. TFA was just a lot less subtle about it.

Also, while they played it safe in taking familiar themes from ANH, TFA was very critical. Disney just spent $4b on the franchise and a lot riding on it. It was not the time to experiment or move off the winning formula. And thats why they hired JJ…but this JJ was on a leash held by Kathleen Kennedy. So they got all the things JJ does very well with no concern about him going off point.

TUP, I find myself suddenly agreeing a lot with you…

…and to your point about Disney playing it safe (and rightly so)– Paramount faced a similar dilemma with Trek in 2009, and one could argue they took a HUGE risk in going the route they did, since Trek had NEVER really been blockbuster action fare.

In terms of financial/brand reward, they seem to have taken the right path.

ST09 and STID were the two most financially successful Trek films of all time– yes, even taking inflation into account. Maybe it split the diehard Trekkie audience, but it’s no exaggeration to say that the upcoming CBS show likely owes its very existence to the success of the films, so in the short and long terms it looks like NuTrek was the right approach in re-energizing (pun intended) a dying franchise, whether you love the movies or hate them.

@Torchwood – I agree they took a risk in making Trek a blockbuster but they also played it safe in going back to the original characters.

Nitpicking, but: A film launch event is a “premiere;” the leader of a Canadian province is a “premier.” And/or, if used as an adjective, “premier” means something is superior or top-class.

I’m wondering what’s going on- is Paramount imploding? To be honest, they (and CBS/ Viacom) are really fumbling Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. No merch, no movie buildup, nothing. I’m wondering if there’s even going to be a junket for “Beyond”. Guess we’ll see…

Is this the new normal for all things not “Star Wars” or a comic book superhero?

I think all of the studios are scaling down their marketing campaigns this year, not just Paramount for Star Trek. “Ghostbusters”, “Independence Day 2”, “Jason Bourne 4”, “The BFG”, “Tarzan”… these have seen little to no promotion either, despite all being July 2016 releases. “Finding Dory”, “Now You See Me 2”, and “Central Intelligence” have barely made a blip, either, and they’re June. “Superman v Batman” had an enormous amount of hype, and look what good it did… not even the number one movie so far this year (“Zootopia” is.) The studios might have finally realized that year-long or even half-year advertising campaigns are useless toward their target audience (millennials) which seems to have the attention span of a housefly.

To be fair, BvS made a TON of money and had MASSIVE opening. It was the poor quality of the film that is the issue and prevented it from making even MORE money.


Another issue with BvS is that Superman just isn’t so interesting to audiences anymore. Just look at the box office of the last two Supermans. Supes just isn’t that much of a draw. In fact, I think he pulled down Batman from this movie — Batman movies do a lot better box office.

The 21st Century audience just doesn’t buy Superman — him and his powers are too silly to suspend disbelief on for many.

@Prodigal – Im not sure that’s true. Man of Steel made $600+ million. BvS has already passed $800m. I think the slow down in revenue for BvS can be directly related to the poor word of mouth. People were willing to show up. Im a sucker for DC. While I collected comics from both marvel & DC (and Image and others), DC was my favourite. I wanted to love BvS. I was so excited for the film. And it was terrible.

I certainly agree Batman is more popular and more marketable than Superman. But Warner Bros and Snyder share the blame on Superman. Superman Returns was way better than Man of Steel but they convinced themselves it wasnt good enough (MoS did make way more money).

I read somewhere a great summation of Superman. Its always been said the issues are that he’s too powerful and he’s too much a boy scout. He’s basically a man out of time. But that Captain America became everything Superman should have been. Marvel took a square hero that could have been “uncool” and goofy and made him relevant and cool in his own way.

They just wrote a lousy Superman. And the film itself was crap. It was 4 hours long, edited down for the release and you could tell while watching. Snyder doesnt get it. So maybe I agree with you lol…Snyder’s Superman isnt interesting. But he SHOULD be. For me, Wonder Woman was the bext character in the film.

And dont get me started on the horrible casting of Eisenberg. Sometimes casting makes you a genius. And sometimes it shows you’re not nearly as smart as you think. That casting was the latter.

Well, the last two Batmans made about $1.1 billion each, and the last two Supermans averaged about $500 million each…so that tells us something about the box office market for thes movies. And just going buy the numbers, if you say, let’s combine Batman and Superman, then you get a box office of about $800 million, which happens to fall right in between these two ranges. Is this just an inevitable result based on the quality of these movies? I don’t think so. Superman is kind of second tier these day, and Batman is up there with Captain America and Iron Man.

And I will tell you from talking to my family and friends. They are excited to see Batman movies, Superman less so…and I think this mirrors the public interest. We can debate why this is, but for my part, I find the Superman concept kind of silly these days, and prefer more grounded superheros.

For sure, Batman is a better character. But Batman is at its height right now after the Dark Knight films and Affleck’s strong portrayal in BvS. Superman is at a low point. And I maintain that Snyder doesnt get Superman and so it will never improve as long as he’s in charge,.

Notice Snyder has nothing to do creatively with Batman? And rumor has it Affleck was doing re-writes of BvS during filming, which is generally not a good sign. If Batman stand alone is good, I’d turn the whole thing over to Affleck if he’s willing to take it.

To bring this back to Star Trek, STID was a film that made revenue but had some less then stellar reviews. BvS is the same (on a much bigger scale). We’ve seen examples where making tons of money isnt enough anymore, especially with franchise films and studio’s seem to be more understanding that making lots of money now but poor feedback can hurt your pocket a lot later. Look at Transformers (Paramount) which made money but was critically savaged…they assembled several respected writers to map out a franchise vision.

I wonder if, given more time, Paramount would do the same for Star Trek? Ideally, it works better if all Trek was under the same roof though,.

I was thinking the same where as BVS and Civil War have been mass promoted ive seen minimal for the films you have listed even x men which opens up in a few weeks has been low key.

I’ve got to believe everyone (Paramount, Sony, etc) is waiting for the promotion of BVS and Civil War to wrap before spending their bucks.

I am expecting this new X-Men movie to tank at the box office. It looks like a CGI crapfest, and I think audiences will have a bit of superhero box office fatigue given this comes right after BvS and CA — they should have moved this to the fall.

There has been a lot of secondary PR with X-Men though. Interviews and things of that nature. Its like STB doesnt have a publicist.

X-Men is coming out May 27.

Keep in mind, X-Men isnt just a similar demo to Captain America, it is the exact same demo. I’ve seen a lot about X-Men and expect much more once Captain America passes. Trek doesnt really have the same excuse as there isnt a similar genre film out right before STB is released.

STB should be piggy backing on the interest in the Super Hero films. But either the studio doesnt know how or doesnt want to spend the money.


In reply to your comment:

I take it by “Trek doesnt really have the same excuse as there isnt a similar genre film out right before STB is released.” you believe Disney won’t have found a reason to strong-arm keeping STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS in release or a rerelease of the other SW films if not TFA itself [Barco Escape?] by then?

Im not sure I follow. However, if someone put a similar genre film on the schedule right before TFA, I doubt DIsney would be concerned. But Trek isnt Wars.

Doesnt Bourne open the week after STB? Trek will need to make a lot of money early and have very good word of mouth or it will sink like a stone.


In reply to your comment:

I’m just reminding you that, STID, which you regard as a lesser film, saw Paramount re-release[(s)? technically weren’t there two IMAX rereleases because of Paramount’s weird marketing and scheduling of IMAX runs?] it into IMAX theaters after its initial release and a separate special double bill re-release with WORLD WAR Z before ending its theatrical run, and asking you if you honestly believe that Disney will be entirely done with THE FORCE AWAKENS along similar lines by the time of BEYOND’S premiere?

Or perhaps some millenials do have a far greater attention span than a housefly and do not want to be pummeled about some movie that they have to wait several weeks/months before they can. Sometimes too much hype can be a turn off for some. It can be for me.

Edit: – should read, “…before they can SEE IT.”

@Keachick – that’s sort of an odd look though. “We wont market because it will drive fans nuts?” It doesnt stand to reason. Many films were constantly marketed and it paid off.

I think the performance and critical response to STID made Paramount accept that Star Trek wont be the new Star Wars and while we, the fans, want to see it marketed like gang busters, they will be spending less time and money doing so. I DO think they will do a lot of marketing closer to the release however. Same level of marketing, just a shorter window. Thus, studio saves money and calls it “focused marketing”.

I think that the feeling is that marketing early on, with a lot of hype, makes little difference to the overall results. So why waste the time and money doing it? “Focused marketing” closer to the time of release makes more sense to me.

Then why does many other studios do it if it doesnt work?

It does indeed work, but I would wager that some might feel it might not be a one-size-fits all strategy: it might work for Star Wars, or Marvel– brands with legions upon legions of rabid fans. But might not work for Star Trek, who’s diehard audience is much smaller, and who’s more mass audience is not as strongly connected to the property, and are more fairweather in nature.

That seems counter-intuitive to long held marketing and promotion belief and practice. “Focused marketing” would only appeal to a limited audience. By definition.

Why is this a bad thing? I think that the on-going, viral micro promotion of these films is what leads to a lot of the disappointment.

While I don’t necessarily agree with you 100%, I do think there are some examples of this, most notably Batman/Superman. A near 3 year buildup, with first teaser hitting more than a year before release, set photos and stills and interviews nearly constantly over the next year… and while i’d say for certain that buzz contributed to it’s huge opening and final 900M tally, on the fan side it only led to LOTS of disappointment…

The whole Khan or Not Khan campaign for Into Darkness was an example of over-hype and miss understanding of fan service. Leonard used to talk about fans accosting him in the grocery store with the attitude “MORE Star Trek.” I think sometimes, particularly in promoting a creative work, let the world know its coming and leave it at that.

I cant imagine anyone thinking the Khan Lie was the right call in retrospect. By the time we sat in the theater, we all knew he was Khan and the lie seemed more like hiding a bad idea than preserving a “cool” reveal.

Awesome timeline! Like others here, I really wonder how much Paramount’s financial situation is playing into the marketing campaign. That said, it still seems like there’s lost of basic, low-cost stuff they could do to drum up interest (releasing photos, a freaking poster, magazine coverage, interviews) that could help bridge the gap between trailer releases.

This chart is a bit misleading – most of the referenced STID marketing content comes at a point we haven’t even reached yet in the STB timeline (and there’s no ‘WE ARE HERE ->’ marker).

In fact, aside from two useless mobile apps, it appears that STB had more out earlier than STID, or within the same week or so this. (Granted, there were two trailers dropped in quick succession for STID.)

You know what the “61 days” point of increased STID marketing aligns with, roughly? The May 20 STB fan event.

(And the 5/20 event isn’t on this timeline either.)

@Kevin – well to be fair, May 20th hasnt happened yet. The announcement is on the graphic.

Ah, was looking at May 20 for the May 20 event, missed it back where it’s placed in April.

Those apps were terrible. And, yes, people complined like this here last time.

Kayla, your excellent graphic kind of proves the opposite of what some posters have been claiming on this site for a number of months. I count 11 marketing entries in your chart up to this point for Beyond, compared to 8 marketing entries in your chart up to this point before STID. So as long as they are about to ramp things up here in the next couple of weeks, this marketing situation is not really all that different as some would have us all believe.

Agreed, it seems that the article kind of disproves the headline.

Pretty obvious that is not the case. Did I miss where it was mentioned the sneak peak at the opening of STID that aired in December?

Yes, there was a sneak peak. So what? Maybe they discovered that it wasn’t worth it. I’m not a big fan of those, myself. And they seem to have disappeared over the last year and a half. The last one I recall was for the last X-Men movie.

The rumor I heard was that Paramount was waiting for the marketing blitz behind “Captain America: Civil War” to pass before they pushed ST:Beyond. I’d heard they were worried about the film getting lost in the dust kicked up by a thousand ad spots of Cap and Stark punching it out. Whether or not this is true or just spin control designed to appease fans, I have no idea, but it does have a ring of truth. Not “truth” in the sense of whether a trailer really would get lost, but “truth” in the sense that this is, indeed, how a marketing department can think.

Now that makes a lot of sense.

Maybe it’s part of Abrams’ plan to keep the plot of the film a secret?

Im not sure JJ knew the plot of STID even while filming it.

Well, i´m still waiting for a new PS3 Star Trek game for my collection :) It´d be side by side with my “Star Trek Conquest” and “Star Trek Voyager Elite Force” PS2 games :)

There were ‘spy’ photos released of the STID production, just as with ST09, and there was so much speculation as to the plot at this point. With the longer-term super-saturation we’ve seen recently with Star Wars films, DC an Marvel films, “Beyond” does seem to be getting screwed. We want it up there with the Big Boys, especially as Star Trek turns 50. Remember the STVI trailer 25 years ago? Where’s the 50th anniversary version?

Lots of STB ‘spy photos’ came out from both the Vancouver and Dubai shoots.

Maybe they realize that marketing a new Trek movie based on nostalgia is the kiss of death.

If the amount and degree of advance promotion is directly inverse to the quality of the actual finished film, then STB should be flippin’ *AMAZING*! ;)

Odd…building/posting this “interactive timeline” backwards so one must scroll to the bottom of the article to go to the beginning. Counter intuitive, in my opinion.

It takes time to build awareness; the sooner you get out in front of the thing, the more time you have and the more awareness you can build. Even if their budget for traditional marketing is tight, they can still do guerilla stuff, but we don’t even see much of that.

Which leads me to think they have a stagnant marketing philosophy. They’re lagging. But…there’s also probably a group of corporate types that simply don’t care because the success or failure of the movie is not going to directly impact their jobs.

They need tigers from the wild on their marketing team, who have to hunt for food, as opposed to domesticated ones from the zoo who get three meals a day no matter what.

Example: When that Beyonce song mentioning Red Lobster came out recently, Red Lobster started trending on Twitter for the first time ever. Red Lobster’s marketing team paid no attention to it, and they got hammered on Twitter by other marketers shaming Red Lobster’s marketing team for not taking advantage of that free publicity by making some kind of special offer.

Now after all that criticism they DID do something, but it came too late and so many people noticed how unprepared they were.

I think Paramount may have Red Lobster’s marketing team.

Red Lobster and Beyonce — overrated, underwhelming and not original.

You mentioned Beyonce. She’s dropped two surprise albums now. Zero advance marketing.

I’m not worried about Beyond. I actually worry when I see plugs too far in advance. X-Men and Captain America come out this month – it doesn’t make sense to have the Beyond cast blow the movie’s wad with promotional appearances/junkets now, which will just confuse people…

And? Star Trek is not Beyonce, and the markets and distribution are not similar. Totally different game.

Marketing Star Trek like a Beyonce album would be about the dumbest thing anyone could do.

Unless maybe the movie was called Star Trek Beyonce.

Music is very different now.

Well, Justin Lin is in the news – seems he’s in talks with WB to direct the on again/off again Space Jam 2

STID and ST09 are both at the start of summer, STB is at the end of it. Its pointless to spend all your ad budget right now only to get swamped by every other summer tentpole blowing their (ad budget) loads before STB’s turn.

This is a good move and hopefully it’ll be a good movie.

Yes. Much more economical to have the trailer run right before those other summer blockbusters, to get people excited for ‘the next thing’ while they’re in the cinema already.

Good point. All this talk of the big movies over shadowing Trek – well, what better audience then HUGE audiences that are similar (if not exact) demo you’re going for? As it is, I have seen the Trek trailer probably 3 times though I dont recall which movies. Star Wars for sure. BvS was another, I believe.

The marketing problem for Paramount is NOT the one you’ve fingered. It is the exact same one that Pegg said was the reason Paramount put all the pressure on him to get Beyond done ASAP: STAR TREK’S 50th Anniversary. You can’t take effective marketing advantage of THAT for your film by waiting till the last possible moment to get that into the public awareness. That’s why the shindig is taking place May 20th instead of June 20th.

I am most curious to know that since HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU is now in the public domain if the big P can incorporate it into their advertising in some way that builds suspense and interest in their movie?

All of the that aside, does it make a difference in actual box office profits if a studio promotes a movie long before it premiers?

Honestly, whether I see a promotion for a movie a year in advance or a month in advance, it won’t change my decision about actually seeing it.

Maybe somebody in the accounting department realized that it is just money wasted by advertising early.

Well but not everybody learns about a movie at the same time immediately after a trailer premieres. Believe it or not, but there are people who did not see ST.09 or STID, who did not see the advertising–and who are not going to see the ads for STB. I’m not talking about diehard Trek fans who know everything that’s happening with the production, but NEW people who would have been persuaded to go had they seen the promos at the right place and time.

You don’t have to HAMMER the public with 17 trailers but there are low cost things you can do over a greater than 3 month period to build awareness.

Using places like this is one of those things.

Bob was generating interest in Star Trek from here by engaging with fans in such an unusual way that echoed beyond this site to other, non-Star Trek sites. Even when the publicity was bad, it was good.

Bob was leveraging the Trump effect before Trump.

Im not sure early advertising can ever be considered a waste…unless the end product is so awful that it wouldnt have mattered anyway. Just read an article about BvS (again, we use that as an example) and how it was so HUGE until dropping off a cliff around week 2-3 (word of mouth buried it).

Probably the most glaring thing is how poorly the trailer was received in many circles (many fans and even the screen writer) and yet the studio shrugged it off. Surely it isnt THAT difficult to re-edit the trailer in a more traditional manner to at least show you’re listening.

By this time in Into Darkness marketing… They had:
Announcement trailer
Teaser trailer
First Look Featurette
International Trailer
A 3rd Trailer
and 4 TV spots

For Beyond we have…. 1 trailer

Sorry, but anyone who wants to try and defend Beyond at this point, is deluding themselves. Paramount marketing is virtually non-existent, for a movie that comes out in just over 2 months, and which is part of a franchise that celebrates it’s 50th year of existence.

Nope — most of these came in the final 2 months…which is still three weeks away…at which point I expect many of these to be released at the event on 20 May.

Sorry, but you counted wrong, dude.

I believe it is you counting wrong… dude.

All of the above listed trailers, tv-spots and featurette for Into Darkness came out between December 2012 and March 2013 (47 days before movie release as it turns out). As of today, there are 80 days to go until the movie is released, and the only thing we’ve heard so far is a possible trailer in late May.

Marketing for Beyond is virtually non-existent. Only a blind fool would be ignorant not to notice this. Publishing a random still image from a 5 month old trailer is not what I’d call that impressive.

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@ Meurik

Sorry, but you are just completely wrong. Just look at Kayla’s chart above — it’s all confirmed there if you doubt my info:

— 61 days = STID First look featured released

— 47 days = STID 3rd trailer released

— 21 days = STID international trailers released

— 19 to 3 days = STIC multiple TV commercials released


“Sorry, but anyone who wants to try and defend Beyond at this point, is deluding themselves.”

I’m defending Star Trek Beyond and I’m not delusional. You’re looking at Star Trek Beyond and only Star Trek Beyond and essentially saying “Paramount has lost faith! There’s no promotion!” But if you look (ahem) Beyond Star Trek, you’ll see it is in the same boat as all the other movies coming out in July. Almost nothing out there yet for any of then. We just got Trailer 2 for Independence Day: Resurgence which comes out nearly a month before Trek.

Stop panicking. Behold, the new normal.

I recall reading that last year was a bad year for blockbuster movies. All underperformed at the box office, ie did more poorly than the expectations of the studios. This was across the board.
Perhaps, with this information, many of the studios are rethinking their marketing strategies and may well be cutting the marketing budgets. My impression is that Paramount has always seemed to be on the more conservative side in the way it markets/promotes its upcoming releases, except for, possibly, one or two exceptions.

Thorny, you could be right. This may be the “new normal” from now on.

Heck, let’s not even compare with Star Trek ID – look at Independence Day 2 marketing! Paramount’s efforts are pathetic.

Trek Beyond comes out a month after ID2. ID2 has had 2 trailers, a dedicated website with backstory for the movies past 20 years, and most recently… a faux news report regarding the 20th anniversary of the alien attack.

That’s a LOT of marketing, for a movie that comes out just weeks before Beyond. So yea… pathetic.

@ Meurik

“Trek Beyond comes out a month after ID2. ID2 has had 2 trailers…”

Not getting your point regarding the 2nd trailer here? The ID2 trailer came out on April 22nd, two months before the ID2 movie release. The STB second trailer will be coming out on May 20th, two months before the STB release. THIS IS EXACTLY THE SAME ??

“…a dedicated website with backstory for the movies past 20 years”

Not understanding this point at all. The last ID movie was 20 years ago, so they are updating the two decades of history to fill in the gaps. The last Trek movie was 3 years ago, so no update is needed. This comparison does not compute.

Meurik.. “Trek Beyond comes out a month after ID2. ID2 has had 2 trailers”

The second ID2 trailer came out less that two weeks ago. If STB’s second trailer comes out two weeks from now or so, they’ll be on essentially the same timetable. Which is exactly my point. That faux news report just came out today. Again, ID2 hits theaters nearly a month (Jun 24) before STB (Jul 22). Beyond doesn’t need a dedicated web site, there is already Star Trek dot com and about a zillion other fan websites, including this one.

Vanguard… “Heck, let’s not even compare with Star Trek ID – look at Independence Day 2 marketing!”

What marketing? A second trailer 10 days ago (2 months before release, STB isn’t there yet), and a viral video TODAY?

Enough with the panicking already.

@ Thorny

“The second ID2 trailer came out less that two weeks ago. If STB’s second trailer comes out two weeks from now or so, they’ll be on essentially the same timetable.”

EXACTLY. Given all of Meurik’s posts, it certainly seems like he doesn’t realize that his just doesn’t understand how to calculate the two month difference? Weird?

Looks like Meurik has thrown in the towel on this….

Sorry, Meurik, but the ID2 marketing is justified – ID2 is hitting the screens 20 years after the first. So much time has passed, it could be argued they aren’t doing nearly enough for a movie that hasn’t aged well.

And yet something tells me it will make more money than Star Trek.

Bill Hunt remarked on The Digital Bits that there’s a generation of executives at Paramount who basically have no real idea what Star Trek is – this was after they approached him about the 50th anniversary and basically ignored his suggestions. Regardless of comparing the campaigns, we’re in a completely different market now: Star Wars is back in a big way, Guardians of the Galaxy shook things up massively, so Star Trek would logically need a bigger push to to be heard over the noise generated by publicity from, especially, the Disney behemoths.

Even discounting the existence of the new movie, it’s still the 50th anniversary year, yet there’s little build up to that event. By now, there ought to be a buzz about Star Trek for the anniversary alone. It’s as if Paramount’s already settling back into the groove of Star Trek being Star Wars’ poorer, less successful relation.

People were screaming for more information with both the last films as well, so that’s not unusual, and I enjoyed the heck out of the one Beyond teaser we’ve had, because it was brimming with confidence. But there’s been no decent follow up and somehow Paramount’s marketing department allowed cast members to start apologising for the content of the teaser to the ‘taking it all too seriously’ brigade. So the perception of the new movie right now is not a brash, bullishly confident trailer, but apologising cast members and a few half-hearted photos.

There’s a movie coming and a TV show and yet the publicity momentum appears to have been killed when the 50th anniversary celebrations ought to have been a juggernaut that both could ride upon.

Here’s a thought. If the studio created a Star Trek that was true to the ideals of Trek, more thought provoking and character study than flash bang action, would such a film generate enough revenue to be a profitable enterprise given the bare minimum of investment needed for a quality space film we’ve come to expect?

Nope. That’s part of the reason why the new films have come about. Nobody was interested in watching TV Trek on the big screen. No profit to be made from TV style Trek on the big screen.

The response will be, then no intelligent sci fi would ever be successful…which isnt the case. So are you saying Star Trek as a brand is a hindrance?

“The response will be, then no intelligent sci fi would ever be successful…”

“The Martian” should put that argument out of its misery.

Many examples. The Martian, Intersteller, Gravity…those are recent ones. So again the question is, does “Star TreK” being slapped on an intelligent sci fi film hurt it in the eyes of the casual movie going audience?


And the most Trek-like (space scifi action-adventure with a message) sf film of the last decade – Avatar – is the biggest grossing movie of all time.

@Prodigal – Good point. But if it was Star Trek: Avatar, would it have done less business? Is there a portion of the public that sees Star Trek as “nerdy, uncool” or requiring pre-knowledge of the franchise to be able to enjoy?

The benefit to 09 was that it was “starting over”. I had several non Trekker friends that saw it and liked it. When it came to STID they saw it too. But didnt like it as much as they didnt get it. When I explained Khan etc, they seemed to enjoy it more.

Many of us have long lamented the abysmal promotion and product tie-in opportunities that have gone along with the JJ era of Star Trek. Failed video games. Cancelled book series. Failed toy lines. STID did a lot toward advance promotion for the movie but it could be best described, at least by me, as being tremendously hit or miss particularly when considering that at least a portion of it seemed to be directed toward misinformation (the whole “Cumberbatch isn’t Khan” fiasco). Now with the third movie we have one trailer that was not very good IMO, and that’s it. As a long time Trek fan it is hard for me to be very positive about my longest held science fiction love. It seems to get the soiled end of the stick from Paramount. For the record I have come to enjoy ST 09 more with repeated viewings, but I still loathe STID and view it as a gigantic mis-step for the franchise. My hope was that STB would right the ship as it were, but that seems to be a fading wish at this juncture. News about a new series got my hopes up but relegating it to an online series seems to me to only further keep Star Trek out of the popular conscientiousness, since it is my belief that only a small portion of the viewing populace will bother with it online.
Meanwhile Star Wars puts out trailers that bring the movie going public to tears and product lines that take up entire aisles of stores. TFA is released to gigantic BO even while their own fandom (much like Trek’s) bemoan the somewhat derivative story. Same director and production leadership. This can only point to the banner under which each franchise is produced.

There’s only one reason why a major studio would not pump major advertising dollars into one of their biggest movies–The finished film is lousy; and they don’t want to throw good money after bad.

Then all the movies coming out in June and July must be lousy.

Independence Day 2 is coming out and has 2 trailers and a mockumentary featurette out. I happen to think it looks more compelling than STB at this point. TMNT II is coming out in June and has a couple of trailers as does Warcraft with a couple of trailers. Finding Dory, Central Intelligence, and Now You See Me 2 are also slated for late June and had trailers.

How about last time the marketing campaign was poor and they are trying a different approach here? Maybe it will work, maybe it will not but so far, I prefer it this way. Happy to wait until later in the month for one full trailer.

This has bomb written all over it.

The context of the rushed production schedule should be taken into account, though- especially considering that unfinished effects were placed into the first trailer. And with reshoots just completed, it’s entirely possible that there has not been sufficient completed promo material to release until now. (Much as it was with TMP; everything finished up at the last minute).

@ Andrew: They have said that the reshoots were essentially some small pick-up shots, nothing that will change the movie fundamentally. But I agree that VFX might lag behind because of the compressed production schedule. Then again, some other recent blockbusters seem to follow a similar promo timeline as Star Trek Beyond, as others have pointed out.

Errata: Idaho should be Iowa

Gobble, gobble. I smell turkey.