Chris Pine Doesn’t Want Paramount To Chase $1 Billion Box Office For ‘Star Trek 4’

Paramount plans to release their next Star Trek feature film in time for Christmas 2023, which will bring the Kelvin crew back together for a follow-up to Star Trek Beyond. Members of the cast have been expressing excitement over the project, including star Chris Pine. But the man who plays Captain Kirk is now speaking out about Paramount having realistic box office expectations.

Everyone is excited… but still waiting for that script

In an interview with Deadline, Chris Pine gave another update on the status of the movie with a bit more detail than was in his previous comments. He still hasn’t seen the script, but he has been having meetings about the project and remains enthusiastic:

I met the director, Matt [Shakman], who I really like. I met a producer on it that I really like. I know JJ [Abrams] is involved in it in some respects. I met the new people over at Paramount, which is many different kind of relations. I really liked them. Everybody seems excited about the prospect of it. There’s just simply no — I don’t have a tangible script to look at.

Conceptually, I love it. I love Star Trek. Again, I love the messaging of it. I love the character. I love my friends with whom I get to play. It’s a great gig. I mean, it’s a gig I’ve had, working and not working, for 15-plus years. It cemented the career that I have now. I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s given me so much. I think there are plenty of stories to tell in it.

Chris Pine with producer/director JJ Abrams and co-stars on the set of Star Trek Into Darkness

The $ Billion dilemma

Paramount released three Trek films between 2009 and 2016, and struggled to find a way to move forward with the film franchise after Beyond underperformed the previous two films with a worldwide gross of $343 million. In that same year, a Marvel movie (Captain America: Civil War) made over $1.1 billion. Pine talked about how the Star Trek films have been held back by what he sees as unrealistic, Marvel-level aspirations:

It was always this billion-dollar mark because Marvel was making a billion. Billion, billion, billion. We struggled with it because Star Trek, for whatever reason, its core audience is rabid. Like rabid, as you know. To get these people that are interested that maybe are Star Wars fans or think Star Trek is not cool or whatever, proven to be … we’ve definitely done a good job of it but not the billion-dollar kind of job that they want.

I’ve always thought that Star Trek should operate in the zone that is smaller. You know, it’s not a Marvel appeal. It’s like, let’s make the movie for the people that love this group of people, that love this story, that love Star Trek. Let’s make it for them and then, if people want to come to the party, great. But make it for a price and make it, so that if it makes a half-billion dollars, that’s really good… So I mean, if I had my business suit on, that’s what I would do, but I don’t know where that is. That’s all above my pay grade.

In the last two decades, Paramount has only broken through $1 billion on two feature films (both Transformers movies), but other Transformers and Mission: Impossible films have performed well in the half-billion to billion range, and the studio is currently working on multiple films for both of those franchises. Paramount has held up Star Trek as its third tentpole franchise. Producer J.J. Abrams (who also produces the Mission: Impossible films for Paramount) has moved Star Trek close to the same zone, but Pine may be correct that the Star Trek franchise might not have the same level of global appeal.

A film that grosses $400 million, $500 million, or maybe $600 million (which would be just a bit more than the inflation-adjusted box office of Into Darkness), can certainly turn a profit if it can keep the budget under control. That would include actor compensation, and it was the studio’s request to cut Pine’s salary that stalled the previous attempt for a follow-up to Beyond in 2018. Hopefully, Pine, Paramount, and Abrams can find the right solution to make a Star Trek film with a big enough budget for popcorn movie excitement but not break the bank where anything short of $1 billion will be seen as a failure.

Chris Pine with John Cho, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and Zachary Quinto at London premiere of Star Trek Beyond 

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keep budget near to the Alien prequel films (100-130m). avoid splashy action scenes (just a couple big ones ok like in II/III/VI/FC. not like every other scene), embrace the Trek legacy/universe (possibly previous Trek actors/captains etc) and the general ‘feel’ of those 80s TOS movies

Then you’re making the film for like $50mil after the actors get paid. Can’t be done.

The actors will want about 70m? Wow..

Perhaps I overstated this a bit. But $40 to $50 mil for sure.

they should do a back end deal instead of up front.
zoe definitely doesn’t need an big up front fee

Sounds like Mr Pine has been lurking in the comments section on Trekmovie!

Could be! Or he’s just a guy with more common sense than the people running the studios.

Hes Tiger2 lol

Haha I was starting to wonder the same ;)

Sounds like people see movies like Joker and The Batman and others, and just want a return to making really good films on their own where the appeal isn’t forced. It doesn’t mean the film doesn’t have action or great production design and costumes, it just means you focus on presenting a compelling full-bodied story first and stop thinking “how do we get (this audience or that audience) interested in this universe. For as much as I enjoyed the 2009 film, I got so tired of JJ asking ‘how do we make it like Star Wars’ or ‘how do we make it cooler?’ That’s just the wrong approach for long-term relevancy.

We’ve had this conversation before. Trek will never, ever be a billion dollar franchise. Paramount makes money making a Trek movie for 100MM. Dial back the CGI. Any character not named Kirk or Spock is expendable. It’s not that hard to figure out.

Oh, and speaking of figuring it out…no script, no movie.

You can’t make it for $100 mil when the actors fees are at like $80mil to start.

This is why these movies cost in the $200 mil level to make at least unless you start with a new lower cost cast.

Pine made 6MM for STB. Assuming everyone made that, that 42MM. Assuming they all make 10MM (they won’t), there’s 60MM. I’ll stand by my initial comment, that anyone not named Kirk or Spock is expendable.

That’s because with Beyond he was still on his ORIGINAL deal.

Also, I do think that within the next 10-12 years that a Trek film will top $1B. The TV franchise is bringing in new fans, plus movie ticket inflation will make a Billion easier to get to by the 2030’s, so yea, it’s likely to happen if they make some better movies a decade or so down the road.

You can’t make inflation adjusted argument without acknowledging that all aspects of a production will also be adjusted. A billion dollar box office isn’t impressive at all in some inflated fueled wasteland where moves cost 800MM to make.

Setting aside for the moment that some fans still argue that streaming Trek is just a loss leader for P+, fans wanting theater content for what they are seeing on streaming, are going to want to see what they get on streaming. Which actually isn’t a horrible thing, actually, as that will keep payroll under control

You specifically said:

“Trek will never, ever be a billion dollar franchise.”

I simply don’t agree with that. By 2035 at the latest, I think a Trek movie will top $1B. The “will never, ever” phrase is ludicrous, no offense. Of course eventually a Trek movie will exceed $1B. “Never, ever?” I am not buying that, man.

Agreed. I don’t think a billion dollars is ever in sight of a Star Trek movie as much as they try. Now if they want to aim for $500 million with this film, that’s plausible at least. I still don’t think it will make that but it CAN make that if they get enough hype and interest for the next film.

Star Trek is a middle tier franchise in both film and television. It’s been an underdog since the day TOS arrived and while it’s certainly bigger and more expansive today, it’s still not a huge one compared to the others. The TV shows are apparently doing well but I doubt any of them would do amazing on a regular network either. Successful probably but not huge.

And you’re right, the next movie probably should be around $100 million. I don’t see it happening. especially with this cast, but that’s probably what they should be aiming for considering what these movies pull in.

You and Phil love this “never” and “ever” thing on this. LOL. Give movie ticket inflation alone 20 years and a Trek movie will have to eventually top $1B. I think it will happen sooner given the TV franchise is creating a bigger audience, but even if that is wrong, well movie ticket inflation over the next couple of decades will get us there.

“Never” and “ever” are not supportable claims to make on this just based on movie ticket inflation over time alone.

My prediction — In 10 to 12 years a Trek movie will top $1B. It’s possible this is overly optimistic though, but it’s coming eventually.

I am a numbers guy in my job and I do a lot of projections, etc. I mean sure maybe in 10-20 years it can reach a billion, but that’s not the same thing either because as said you’re talking about ticket inflation and not actually an increase in ticket sales. That’s not quite the same thing. And I still doubt it will even get that high. but is it possible, yes it’s possible, OK? But probable? That’s where I still have my doubts.

And I really don’t know if the TV franchise is creating a bigger audience. I mean maybe, but it could just mostly be the same hardcore bunch just watching it constantly too. It’s hard to say without any data backing it up and frankly all the sites that are talking about the new shows are the same usual suspects when it comes to Star Trek like here for example. And yet, everyone who is talking about it here are the same people whose been watching it probably since the 90s. I’m not trying to sound cynical lol, I love this franchise. But I’m a realist too.

As I said, Star Trek is a middle tier franchise. It always has been. There is nothing wrong with that either, not every franchise has to be the biggest on the globe. As long as we are still getting content and its quality content, that’s all that matters. Star Trek isn’t going anywhere, but I also think trying to turn it into some big tentpole film franchise is not working either. I think there can be a middle ground between budgeting something between a WOK or a STID though. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Yea, I really can’t disagree with your thoughts on this.

Look I’ll give you a specific example of what I mean and why I have my doubts because the biggest problem Star Trek has is increasing it’s international market share. This is not a surprise to anyone here, but it’s a very big hurdle for Star Trek to get over and I’m sorry I don’t think it will, at least not at that level anytime soon.

Let’s look at the first Kelvin movie as an example. The biggest market is no doubt the American/Canadian one. The first film made $257 million in North America alone. That is the biggest market by a landslide.

Now, what was the second biggest market? It was the United Kingdom. Do you know how much it did there? $35 million. Do you see the astronomical drop between the 1st and 2nd biggest markets? It’s barely made 13% of what it made in America and this was the second biggest market for the film. What was the third biggest? That was Germany and Australia that both tied with a whopping $12 million. And every market after that got less than $10 million. That’s not exactly strong BO. These are anemic numbers once you get outside of America.

And both STID and Beyond have practically the same ratios with these countries. The ONLY reason STID did better than the first film was because of China. It was the second biggest market but still only brought in $60 million. But yes better than the UK by a mile. In Beyond it brought in $65 million. Again, better, but still far far from a healthy BO outside of America.

The ONLY reason STID did as good as it did was due to China. That’s it. If it wasn’t for that, STID would’ve made roughly what the first film did. And nothing could save Beyond.

That’s really the issue, the countries outside of America where Star Trek is supposedly ‘popular’ are still waaaay behind America’s marketshare. And of course the movies haven’t been increasing sales in America, but decreasing. Every film has brought in tens of millions of less in America, not more. So if the biggest market for this franchise is losing money, then its a far off mark to see how they make up that marketshare with a 15 year old movie franchise? And we know you can not depend on China because that country is so fickle. It may not even release the next Star Trek movie there.

Now I get your point, you’re not necessarily talking about these movies and a decade in the future. I get it man, the problem what’s ALWAYS been the issue with Star Trek and that is the international market is very, very soft. Paramount has thrown all kinds of money in foreign distribution and yet, it can’t even reach 50% of the marketshare.

LOOK at the countries that make a billion dollars man. Pick one, ANY one and see how strong the international market matters? MAJORITY of movies that has made a billion dollars does it because it’s international BO is 60% or higher. Some has gotten there with 50% and a scant few with 40% but those are obviously HUGE movies like Avatar or Endgame.

STID and STB international BO share was around 50% which sounds good until A. you take away China and B. factor in the American BO drop and it looks much less impressive.

So to simply say it’s going to make a billion dollars SOME day is pretty naive given the trend Star Trek movies has always done. The problem is until you increase the international markets by a HUGE factor, then no, it probably won’t be making a billion dollars any time in the next several decades unless something just turns the tide in a major way. But I’ll say it again, the U.S. market is it’s biggest indicator and unless it makes $5-600 million in America alone, then don’t hold your breath lol.

But I took the time to write this to explain to you I’m not just pulling this out of my you know what. When I write something, I think about it. I been following movie BO for 30 years now and Star Trek as an international driver is so far below what most billion franchises do it’s going to take a miracle to ever reach it and depending on more than China. A lot more.

Not only that, but with all the issues the West is having with China right now, it’s possible that they may not be distributing Hollywood movies in a big way in the future.

Again, good thoughts and solid logic here. I generally agree with you.

I’m glad you understand what I’m saying!

And of course it doesn’t mean it’s TOTALLY impossible, I’m only saying it’s improbable at the moment given the trends of the last few films. But yes things like that can happen.

Biggest example is TDK. I can’t remember where I read this from (this was in 2008) but before that film was released WB projected it to make around $5-600 million total. Batman Begins only made around $370 million so it was a conservative but logical estimate. It ended up making a billion dollars, so these things can happen. Of course a lot of that was over Heath Ledger’s death but the film was just really good too and it swept a wave of hype no superhero film ever did at that time.

And the irony is LIKE Star Trek, Batman was never a big international film franchise. It did well, but it did around 60% of BO in America, but just bigger BO in general. TDK was the first film in the franchise to make the closest to 50% abroad and TDKR was actually the first Batman movie that brought in more abroad and that took seven films to get there. But once the films started to at least generate abroad around what it made in America, that’s when it surpassed a billion dollars and why foreign BO is so important today.

So it’s not to say that can’t happen with Star Trek one day, but it’s odds are just lower until the international BO is at least as strong as it’s domestic. Until then, the chances of happening are low.

Just a note: You cannot directly compare the $35 million in the UK to the $257 million in the US in absolute numbers because the UK only has about 20% the population of the US. So of course, their numbers will be lower.
That said, Trek definitely has ways to go internationally. You mention Germany as probably the biggest non-English speaking market for Trek besides China. Avatar made about 12 times as much as Star Trek 2009 in Germany. In the US, Avatar only made about 3 times as much as Trek. Interestingly, Star Trek 2009 sold fewer overall tickets in Germany than Nemesis did in 2003. The biggest Treks in Germany were Insurrection and First Contact. None of the Kelvin movies got even close to those numbers. So there seems to be a potential audience that Paramount isn’t tapping into.

Obviously I know that. The point is UK IS the second strongest market (when you avoid China) for Star Trek films and THAT’S the problem. When your second biggest market for a franchise has a much smaller market share overall, then you have to boost the bigger ones out there LIKE Japan, France and so on. Obviously Paramount deemed that for China but as discussed, A. it’s actual market share is even smaller considering the population obviously and B. it’s a very fickle market so you can’t depend on it. And Star Trek doesn’t have much of a history there outside of these movies.

As you said, Germany is actually a strong outlet for Star Trek too. But I actually didn’t realize Nemesis sold more tickets there than the 2009 film. How did THAT happen lol. I didn’t realize the other TNG films did so well there either and I know the distribution was smaller there than the Kelvin films. But I been to Germany and TNG definitely has a pretty big hold there although all Trek is generally popular. Still surprising. Germany should be MUCH bigger than what it’s been doing with the Kelvin movies. It’s over three times the population of Australia with a stronger currency but still tied with them for third place. That’s crazy for a country that has a strong Star Trek base.

But we agree, there are other places to grow the market. That was really the point with the sequels. The idea always was America would be the biggest obviously; definitely the first film. But then the hope seem like the international market would grow at a bigger rate because chances are America was only going to reach a certain point since Trek obviously have a ceiling here too, just a bigger one. It just looked like it already hit it’s zenith in America after the first film and been declining ever since while there was an uptick internationally, still only a tiny one.

But all of this is also why I’m not as positive about the next film. It can definitely make money but between STID and STB was showing major cracks since the hype died in even the most popular countries. Part of it was just how badly Beyond was marketed but I think the interest the first film started to gain was already fading seven years later. And now we’re talking seven years after that.

That’s what star trek fans have been saying for over thirty years. I personally believe Star Trek belongs on tv with a smaller budget. The grapes that yield the best wine are from hard, infertile ground. Make it worth loving. It doesn’t have to be a flawless spectacle.

“let’s make the movie for the people that love this group of people, that love this story, that love Star Trek. Let’s make it for them and then, if people want to come to the party, great.” – 100% this.

They really should abandon the film idea and put this crew on a 5-6 episode show runs. The casting was stellar and would be such a waste if we don’t get more than 3 or films out of them

In fact I was just thinking the same thing. Everyone is doing streaming these days and if Paramount doesn’t trust this group to do well at the box office they can just spin them off to streaming.

Except that the new Batman is killing the box office, and we still have COVID concerns. As those concerns hopefully wane I would not be shocked if Top Gun II does $1.5B+ worldwide, and Avatar 2 $2.5B+ world wide later this year…reinvigorating the tent pole box office dreams of gold for all the movie studios.

Considering that the movie market is changing, thanks to C-19, any movie that is going to be made will end up on a streaming service within a short amount of time. You can still do a ‘Trek movie for those who want a theatrical experience. Having seen all the previous ‘Trek films, I certainly don’t want that to end, but you have to have a good script that is worthy of a theatrical release. You just have to have a good “hook” (i.e. Man v. Man, Man v. Nature and/or Man v. Self). And, yes, having a “I’m going to seek revenge on…” IS a bit played out, IMO.

This is what we’ve been saying for years! Here’s hoping that Pine is just relaying the talking points the Paramount brass are telling him about the new movie: that they are going for a lower budget but focus on story and character instead of set pieces and spectacle.

You don’t actually believe that, do you? ;-)
Paramount wants Trek as one of the very few tentpole franchises they own.

Paramount, owing to +, might be going more towards a volume of franchises, each costing small amounts but earning steadily, rather than expecting everything to be TRANSFORMERS times INDIANA JONES. The way they’ve embraced streaming and reanimated damn near every conceivable property, like FATAL ATTRACTION and GREASE to name just the two that come readily to mind, makes me think that could be the way the whole company goes forward in this decade.

And it could be smart, because nobody knows how many people will be going back into movie theaters in the future, especially since giant TVs are already such a thing. I don’t think it is a sure thing that a zillion people will go see multiple AVATAR movies (my guess is that the dropoff in box office after the second one will be enormous, but then again, I barely got through the first once one time, on cable, and haven’t enjoyed anything of Cameron’s after T2. I’ve only managed about 15 minutes of TITANIC, and it was stuff I found laugh out loud funny, but I’m told it wasn’t supposed to be funny, the really blue looking stuff after the big boat sinks.)

Doubt James Cameron at your own peril. He ALWAYS proves the “internet doubters” wrong.

Only if box office is your sole arbiter of taste. Subtract ‘inspiration courtesy Harlan Ellison’ from James Cameron at the start of his career and you’d probably have had a movie lucky to debut on HBO instead of the really good theatrical feature TERMINATOR that resulted.

It’s perfectly fine that you don’t like him — but my post wasn’t referring to subjective opinions on the quality of his work.

Everything he has been attached to that he wrote but didn’t direct has failed. Dark Fate, Alita Battle Angel. I hope he has success with Avatar 2 and it doesn’t fail. But then again its Disney Avatar, and not Fox Avatar. It could make money like Disney Star Wars and be garbage. Because that is all people care about how much a film makes.

he’s not good at side projects like spielberg has been over the years with amblin, dreamworks

He didn’t direct them — exactly! Next?

especially if its a sequel.

It is to dream

Exactly. No way they are giving that up. We can wish it away all we want, but I think the will actually double down on this new movie and I bet it costs north of $200 mil to make and market.

Well, allegedly studios spend more than $100 million on marketing alone these days so that $200 million figure you bet would actually make the movie considerably cheaper than the previous three Kelvin timeline movies.
Personally, I think the studio will probably try to lower the production budget compared to Beyond but I don’t think they will abandon the tentpole formula, as some seem to hope here.

They can’t continue with the bloated bad robot Disney Star Wars level budgets, honestly i don’t get why they can’t do what they did when they had Harve Bennett making these. Have someone from the tv side figure out how to make them for way less. A 200 million film needs to make 400 million, and if they spend 100 million on advertising it has to make 500 million just to break even.

I’m assuming that he is talking in line with studio talking points. It would be hard to believe that he is making a statement about a limited earnings without the studio previously briefing him. If this really is the studio’s approach – I appreciate it. Not because I would the number of viewers to be limited. No, just because it is my belief (not knowledge of course) that financially restrained Star Trek has usually resulted in better stories. If the next movie needs to fill the air time with story and dialog because there is no money for 500 space battles, then I am all for it.

Rick Berman once said: “The art is to make a 50 million dollar movie look like a 100 million dollar movie.”

The art is in making the viewer not care how much it cost, not in what it looked like it cost.

There is artistry involved in what Berman talks about, but it artistry driven by and inspired by logistics, so I’d consider it ingenious pragmatism more than any true art (exception to that rule would be William Cameron Menzies, but I think we’re talking Trumbull-level genius there.)

And having made zero-budget spaceship movies in my teens and 20s, I do know something of what I speak. Many of my solutions were ingenious (and I saw some of the very same solutions implemented in films like 2010, THE LAST STARFIGHTER and ALIENS later on — they all used the little cases that 9-volt batteries used to be displayed in – Lance Guest even wore them on his forearms, and the packing for fluorescent tubes, which are all over the Leonov’s ceilings), but if it was art, it was definitely with a lower-case ‘a.’

Yet none of the Trek movies he made did that. Even with First Contact, the deflector dish battle at the end looks like is was done on way too small of a budget — it looks horrible today.

Do you remember seeing the concept art for the deflector dish fight? Made it look like the battle inside the volcano at the end of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, like a Bond-sized epic. I think a big part of the problem is that the lighting on that set was not in keeping with how great most of the miniature E-e stuff looked, plus the wire work was always laughable, especially that part where Stewart peter-pans his way from one side to the other.

All of Berman’s TREK features seem to miss key movie essentials, like going big for the finish (except NEM, where they do go for a big finish but you don’t even care because the whole thing stinks on ice, even in a vacuum), but they also trash the characters. I was never a Picard fan, but in FC he’s not remotely even close to delivering Picard, so it marks a step down from the already sunken-living room level he was at before.

Great post — I agree 100% with you on this one!

According to its wiki page, First Contact had a budget of $45m and made $146m at the box office. Of the TNG movies, only Nemesis made under $100m.

Strange New Worlds seem to be what the Kelvin universe should have been. Can then not do a new Kelvin universe movie with the excellent Kelvin cast but use the SNW sets, ships, etc. They look more functional and visually stimulating like TOS. The ships look better. And aim to do a fun action/adventure TOS motion picture.
Into Darkness showed how you just can’t inject TNG with technobabble, starships that last only 30 seconds in combat and nonsensical horrid political analogies into the coolness of TOS and end up with a fun movie. It’s too bad they can’t build a time machine to go back and remake into Darkness where Kirk finds himself answering to a Strategos Kahn whom Starfleet discovered and is depending on to protect the Federation after the loss of Vulcan. And only on the frontier when being asked to perform unethical missions does Kirk start to realize the mastermind at Starfleet HQ isn’t what he appears to be. Then do Star Trek TOS movies as if it really is the five year mission. Instead you just have to ignore Into Darkness.

Yes! By all means let’s pretend that Into Darkness never happened! That’s my personal solution, lol! ;)

Unfortunately, it took a while for the IP holders to actually get this point of yours. IMO, if there was going to be a reboot, vis-a-vis the Kelvin Timeline, you could still use the existing characters, but use them in a brand new way. Half-way through ITD, I expected Khan to actually be mollified a bit, having exposed the real villain. But, they didn’t, which was disappointing. Heck, if I had it my way, I would have done a Roger Korby story, where it would be like “Invaders of the Body Snatchers” meet ‘Trek, where, in this iteration of the timeline, Korby was further ahead in taking over the Federation, than he was in TOS. It would explain why the Federation was so advanced, and why Federation society was so “perfect” (“Yeah, because machines were replacing humans!”). In fact, any number of episodes in TOS could have been fertile ground for a new story.

TOS was lightning in a bottle: 3 seasons, syndication, TAS, 6 movies (excluding Generations)

TNG had seven seasons, but only three movies — with Nemesis killing the Star Trek motion picture production line

DS9, VOY ran their course on TV. ENT killed the television franchise.

Say what you will about Discovery, Lower Decks, Picard and Prodigy: Strange New Worlds seems to be re-invigorating Trekkies/Trekkers. Forums on the interwebs are demonstrating that. Only the viewing numbers will authenticate whether it is more successful.

With that in mind, the Kelvin TOS movies started strong with the 2009 release, then box office revenues diminished. Pine is correct: Aiming for a billion dollar movie is not feasible. Pine is also correct: make a movie for the fans. Make a movie which gets back to the heart of Star Trek. Not a Star Wars pew-pew, save the universe from an intergalactic threat. Tell a meaningful story. The characters are established; the chemistry between them is solid.

Again, Star Trek went for 18 years and 25 seasons from TNG to Enterprise. It’s beyond bizarre when people try to down play the huge success the franchise had and the hundreds of millions it bought in with both advertising and merchandise in that period but then say the new shows are a huge success because there are a lot of them on at the moment. And I don’t disagree but it’s all brand new. Fans haven’t had a show for over a decade until Discovery. Let’s see if we are still talking about them 18 years from now as well. Star Trek simply needed a break after Voyager. Very few franchises run as concurrently as Star Trek did even today. The only one that came closes in the sci fi realm was Stargate. It’s mostly a lot of police and authority shows that seem to have long term appeal like Star Trek with NCIS, Law and Order, CSI, etc. Because they keep making them!

TOS had 3 seasons and SIX movies (you can’t include Generations lol) and a lot of that was up and down as well. The show was nearly cancelled every year. TAS didn’t last even two full years. It had six episodes in season 2 before it was cancelled.

Paramount+ has reinvigorated the franchise but I’m not entirely sure if Star Trek itself has been reinvigorated. Remove Discovery or Picard from Paramount+ and shift them to cable or broadcast and it’s unlikely they could drive the kinds of ratings they would need to sustain them.

In short: Without Paramount+ they would likely have been cancelled by now..

You know I try to be really fair about these issues and I have said many times I think Discovery is probably doing great on Paramount+ or it wouldn’t be on season 5 now. But yeah, it’s apples and oranges putting these shows on a fledgling streaming site versus a long time network with plenty of popular shows already on. Star Trek is the biggest thing on P+ right now.

But I would question how well they would last on say CBS or even another cable network because they would have to compete in different ways and probably on the same channel with bigger shows on them. The reality is something like NCIS probably gets tons more viewers than any of these shows get at a fraction of the cost. We’re lucky because the franchise is on a site where they can get premium views but still probably on the level of what UPN was back in the day. I don’t see five Star Trek shows concurrently running on a network UNLESS the budgets were much much less. And we’re talking about shows that only go around 10 episodes a season,not the 25 a season like the past.

I love Star Trek obviously, but the success of the franchise depends on a lot of special conditions bigger franchises don’t have to worry about.

the OT movies did well in the 80s, especially TVH.
TNG was the highest rated ‘trek’ on tv and highest rated genre show alongside ‘x files’ in the 90s.

The fact all the spin offs actually went longer than TOS and TAS kind of proves how oddly bias people view these things lol. So yes even with the later shows not being as strong as TNG, they still managed to stay on the air for quite awhile. Enterprise was the only one that was prematurely cancelled.

But most of the shows were pretty successful and I’m convinced if Enterprise didn’t come on the air until a few years after Voyager it would’ve done better too because there would’ve been more of a hunger and not ‘another one?’ type of response it got after 21 straight seasons of Trek. And I’m still convinced people weren’t overly excited about a prequel show at the time either. I certainly wasn’t, I can tell you that.

Indeed, Hollywood needs a dash of realism in its thinking. Not every boat in the harbor has to be a mega yacht.

True! Many of the best episodes of the original series (and the shows since then) are often intimate stories.

It is a bit ironic Pine is saying this now considering that was a big reason why they wanted to lower his salary for the Hemsworth film in 2018. Again, not blaming the guy but it was obvious Paramount knew then the next film probably wasn’t going to be huge and looks like they were trying to keep costs down. I think they know the score today. The movies did fine, at least the first two, but far from amazing given their budgets.

Personally, I’m guessing the next film will bring in somewhere in the range of $350 to $450 million. Maybe I’m wrong and it will double that. Either way, that’s really what they should be budgeting the next film for and around $130 million tops. If it ends up being a bigger success then budget the next one after that for more. But these films should be under $150 million. It’s crazy what they were before.

“It is a bit ironic Pine is saying this now considering that was a big reason why they wanted to lower his salary for the Hemsworth film in 2018.”

Exactly! And one would assume he is saying this right as his agent is probably trying to get his $30 mil contract for this film, right? LOL

I assume you’re joking but if they are giving this guy $30 million for these movies they are more inept than even I thought lol. I remember reading he was suppose to get $6 million for the next one which is still on the low end of these big franchises, but considering these films barely break even as it is in the theaters, it’s a pretty big salary. Tom Cruise only gets $10 million up front for the Mission Impossible movies, at least the previous ones. That’s how they keep those budgets in line and those movies make a ton more. But yes he makes a lot with the back end deal obviously.

But Pine and the other cast salaries are a reason why they cost so much now. It’s exactly why I thought they were done with the Kelvin cast and would start over with cheaper actors for the next movie.

I conjectured that $30 mil because I read years back that he and Hemsworth each wanted $20 mil for the last one. Maybe he will do this one for $15 mil? That $6M figure for Beyond was still on his original deal though — he going to get way more than that I think on this one.

LOL that would be a pipe dream. If that’s the money he wanted to do Star Trek then no wonder they turned him down. That’s ludicrous. NO star makes that kind of money today UNLESS they are working in billion dollar franchises. Tom Cruise doesn’t get that kind of money anymore, not upfront anyway.

When people hear a star getting $30-50 million that’s not the salary, that’s just whatever percentage points they agree upon of what a movie revenue draws in. Anyone who is paying Pine more than $5 million for any movie is overpaying that guy considering none of his films are actually hits outside of Star Trek and Wonder Woman.

The days where movie stars were getting $20 million upfront is not common these days because movies have gotten ridiculously expensive. Long time stars like Harrison Ford and Johnny Depp can command more than that in sequels like SW or POTC, but those are exceptions. Today very few unless as said they working on big sequels like Marvel or Star Wars. In fact thinking about it, both Daisy Ridley and John Boyega made around $3 million each for TROS because they are still not huge stars outside of SW and those movies made 4-5 times of what the Kelvin movies did overall. But they might have made more overall if they had back end deals.

Pine was suppose to get around $3 million for Beyond but then was able to double that once his contract was done but they still weren’t shooting it because of all the delays. So he lucked out and took advantage of it. My guess is Paramount probably wanted to pay him maybe half of what they paid him for Beyond when that film didn’t do as expected. Solely my speculation.

Yet I’m guessing he wants $30 mil, with the other actors together probably brining the total actor budget above $80 mil at least.

So regarding “this brilliant opinion of his,” I would say he’s part of the problem rather than being part of the solution.

It’s like Warren Buffet saying that he wished his stocks weren’t priced so high. LOL

You might want to offer up a citation for that 30MM, by most accounts he gets 5-10MM per project.

Yeah maybe that’s for the entire main cast or something but it’s no way Pine is making that lol. Certainly not for Star Trek. That would be insane.

RDJ only got a $10 million salary for Iron Man 3 and he was the biggest star in MCU easily by then and that franchise was raking in money. All the money he made from those movies came with the back end deals. So he made way more than his salary but only because how big the films themselves did.

The only actors I know who worked on Star Trek films that got over $10 million was Patrick Stewart for Nemesis. And he was with the franchise for 7 seasons of TNG and 4 films. I think the Kelvin cast are all getting million dollar pay checks, but I doubt any of them are getting more than $10 million.

But IM3 was nearly 10 years ago. That $6M figure was for Beyond BTW, which was on his original deal though. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get at least $15 mil for this one.

If they are paying Pine $15 million for a Star Trek movie, either he has the best agent in the world or Paramount is that inept.

Now I went and looked at Tom Cruise salary for MI Fallout and yes it’s a lot more than what he got for IM3 and IM4 which was $28 million. But there is a LOT of caveats with that. For one thing, he’s a producer on these movies so he already gets a producers fee on top of being the star. And both Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation brought in around $700 million each and Fallout is the sixth film. So with that kind of money, yeah it’s going to be easier to demand what he wants as the lone star of the franchise. Those movies don’t exist without him.

No one is paying Pine $15 million when the last movie he did in the franchise made half that and bombed at the BO. How do justify paying him $9 million more after the last one flopped? This is just basic economics.

To put that in perspective, Gal Gadot got only $10 million for Wonder Woman 1984 and the first film made over $800 million. Yeah Pine isn’t getting that for Star Trek lol.

Given all of this, it is kind of crazy what Stewart made on the TNG movies. Allegedly, he got $13 million for Nemesis, on a movie with a reported $60 million total budget. Yes, he had done 7 seasons and 3 movies before, but still. And let’s be real, we all like Patrick Stewart but he isn’t really famous outside of Trek and the X-Men franchise (where he played a supporting character).

Exactly and why there were no more TNG movies. They priced themselves out of the market once Nemesis bombed and it didn’t look like the movies were going to make that much more even if it was a success. TNG honestly had one more film in them and then it would’ve been done anyway because, as started, these movies have a ceiling but the stars keep getting paid more and more.

That’s why I don’t believe Pine is getting that much. Yeah the movies make a lot more than TNG obviously, but they cost astronomically more too (Beyond marketing alone cost twice as much as Nemesis did) which is the entire issue; keeping the costs down if they want to make more of them. And the guy NOT a star no matter how much they try to make him one.

I like Pine, I think he’s a good actor and definitely should be making films, but just not a star either.

Nemesis didn’t bomb because of Patrick Stewart. It bombed because of a combination of issues: poor timing, weak or an otherwise incompetent director, and a less than steller script. I’d say poor timing was a very big factor too often overlooked. It wasn’t a great movie, but it probably is better than its BO indicates.

Its was destroyed by the competion and it never had a chance against that. I’d argue Beyond didn’t face the kind of mammoth competition that faced Nemesis either.

Beyond faced Ice Age Collision Course for example… that’s the FIFTH sequel to an animated movie… with an 18% rotten rating on rotten tomatoes.. yet it smashed Beyond a the box office.. that’s an embarrassment frankly.

What did Nemesis face… Lord of the Rings… taking $950 million BO. That’s the single element that sunk it dead before it had any chance. Maid in Manhatten is irrelevant. The scifi and fantasy itch was being satisfied with the LOTR and there was also continuing interest in Harry Potter I’m sure throughout the holiday season that year.

The point is Beyond didn’t face intense competition like other trek films did and it didn’t do well. Against a bigger movie I think Beyond would have sank Nemesis style. This is why Paramount I’m sure have been so slow and reluctant to be bringing another Kelvin film out.

I didn’t say that Nemesis bombed because of Patrick Stewart. The hard truth is that, after the stars had been paid, about half of the movie’s budget was already gone so there wasn’t a lot of money left to actually make the movie. This has been a big problem with basically all Star Trek movies except TMP and the three Kelvin films.

Based on Beyond’s performance at B.O I’d say IF they really want to go ahead and do another Kelvin movie, which is risky, that all the cast accept an equal paycheck of around $500.000.

The film budget should be around $80-100 million. Now you have an affordable movie that is as least risky as they could really go.

If this is not serviceable then Paramount should just end Kelvin and either keep the films rested for the next decade or start completely fresh and go in another direction entirely.

LOL harsh!

I agree the budget should be in that range but I think $80 million is a bit too low. $100 million sounds fine. I think they can go up to $120 million and should be fine BASED on how well the 09 and Beyond did. Anything over that will feel risky IMO but definitely nothing over $130 million. That should be the top range, period. But of course knowing Paramount, it will probably be $175 million or something lol.

LOL I got it confused. I saw IM3 and I thought MI 3. That’s where the Tom Cruise examples came from.

Still the point stands. Pine is not in a billion dollar franchise, .He’s not even in a half a billion one to demand anything over $10 million.

They should speak with Nick Meyer he can make something for the fans for $100m or so!

Nick Meyer pitched them a new Star Trek movie over a year ago…they never called him back.

A movie? Interesting. I remember hearing about a Khan prequel series but not a movie. Any word on what it was about?

He never said what it was about but he did say it would be something different involving completely new characters which piqued my interest. He said he pitched it to Paramount but never heard anything. And that was literally over a year ago now. It was actually posted here on TM. This was the only place I saw anything about it at the time. You can read it here:


Who would play Khan though, the casting of such a role would be everything. You need someone charismatic, who absolutely rules the screen and enraptures the audience. And has the intensity and intellect behind the eyes. Like this guy is not to be trifled with and is threatening but charming as well. You would have to believe its the same Khan in this new actor. They would have to be Ricardo without aping his performance and at the same time recreating the role over. And honestly it sounds really bad without the Kirk element because he wouldn’t have a foil.

Gilbert Gottfried

Well, then maybe he should start by asking for less money upfront. They won’t need to gross so much if they cost less.

That is the solution for making a financially successful ST movie. Keep the whole budget down, cut back on the ‘tail wagging the dog’ of overpriced visuals and pricey actors, and make a movie about *people* and *story* instead of glitz and explosions, But no, that makes too much sense, right? ;)

If they start making them solely for Trekkies there isn’t any more money on the table. We went through this with Nemesis. They needed to make Trek less weird and geeky and unapproachable to get the filmgoer and non Trek fan. But even so they still have a ceiling. The 2009 one was the most cinematic and highest grossing since the motion picture. But if Chris is admitting the Kelvin Timeline formula is a failure, maybe its time to to just end the JJverse. Make Streaming shows on the cheap for Paramount plus, get out of the movie business. Don’t bother competing with Disney.

I disagree Nemesis was not a good movie with a terrible director. Star Trek First Contact was a great movie. If ST FC never happened and you take that same script and pump 200 mil into it today you will get 600 mil in return. Both Nemesis and Insurrection felt like big decent Trek episodes. They did not feel cinematic.

You know what would work. The temporal cold war and what happened to the Klingons! Maybe Carl hid them.

I think its harsh to call the Kelvin movies a failure but they never lived up to their expectation either. To be VERY honest, when you look at the Rotten Tomatoe scores, these movies should just be doing so much better.

The casual audience LOVES these movies. I don’t care what anyone says, you can read a sample of any of the reviews anywhere, they are highly rated. But there is still a big segment of people who are just not interested in watching a Star Trek movie, at least not in the theaters.

It doesn’t matter who is in them, how slick they look, how popular the directors and actors are, it has a hard time getting over the hump with the name ‘Star Trek’ in the title. Even Bob Orci admitted this when he said film executives asked him do they have to keep name Star Trek in the title because it’s more of a minus to a section of the population.,,and they know that.

They don’t have to get out of the movies but they have to cheaper in a BIG way. Not at the level of the TOS and TNG films, but they shouldn’t cost more than what MCU pays to make something like Ant-Man, movies that costs tens of millions less than the Kelvin movies but has earned hundreds of millions more.

“Do we have to call it “STAR TREK?” asked Paramount marketing team. I pointed out no other movie had been simply called Star Trek. And I told them, “The future begins.” Initial poster was exactly what I prescribed.

It was a brilliant movie. And it has aged very well. Someday i’d like to read a book about the making of those first two films. How they came together. The cast is brilliant. Editing and cinematography, music are all top shelf. And i hate that everyone knocks Into Darkness, saw that in Imax. It was far out, just frickin awesome. Still like a direct sequel to Into Darkness that resolves all the set up threads. Like what happened to Khan, Carol Marcus, is a war with the Klingons going to break out. Beyond just skipped over all of them. I’d also like to say how much i liked Transformers Prime. Frank Welker and Peter Cullen were some of my favorite actors as a child, and the series was the best since generation 1.