Star Trek Into Darkness Financials
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $228,778,661 48.9%
+ Foreign: $238,602,923 51.1%
= Worldwide: $467,381,584
Plus sales of DVDs and broadcast revenue
Total production budget $190 million
Hmm, since Juno tagged me :) It is my opinion that the Studio can’t decide who their target audience is. Is it a new audience who knows nothing of Trek? Or it’s solid, reliable fan base? Star Trek 2009 missed both. By trying to appease both, they pissed off the fans and the newbies were moderately satisfied but unenthusiastic. The fans were disappointed because we were fucking HYPED to see Kirk & Spock in action again, and we got Star Trek Lite instead of a real Trek movie.
When STID came along, the fans went (hoping against hope), the newbies were not terribly impressed this time around. It performed more poorly than they expected it to, which means their expectations weren’t realistic. That’s what happens when you thumb your nose at the fan base and hope the scifi geeks will turn out. Problem is, others are doing similar things better, and those companies like and appreciate their fans.
What Star Trek has going for it is this wonderful cast (I went to see it to see the CAST), good effects, great music, wonderful costumes and I personally like the production design.
What they have against it, is everything else - tired plots (on the second movie, dear god!), people who don’t understand the characters who are writing and directing the movie and a Studio that’s reluctant to invest in it 100% and treat it like a redheaded stepchild.
To summarize: it didn’t make as much money as expected because they captured the look of Trek without capturing the heart of Trek. Can’t fix that with a pretty cast, and it is showing up at the box office, where it counts.
Let’s hope that the third time is the charm, and they do well enough that perhaps the cast will sign on for more movies. This is the final picture for their contract, and I worry that we might lose folks like Quinto, Pegg, or Saldana.
Please don’t make sweeping statements about what “fans” thought of the AOS films. I’ve been watching Trek religiously since the 70s, and I love the new films. In the end, what we fans think is irrelevant however. They are the two highest grossing Trek movies out there, and Trek 09 has the highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes. STID has a very respectable 87%, (90% audience approval). Only Wrath of Khan and First Contact are higher.
ALL the Trek films were “Star Trek lite.” A two hour film serves a different function for a studio than a series. There’s only one Trek movie in unexplored space (STV), only two that don’t take place at least partially on Earth (Generations, Insurrection), and only TMP and Voyage Home don’t feature some villain as a threat to the crew; both DO however feature giant spaceships threatening Earth.
Stop trying to compare four hours of AOS to 700 hours of TV series, and instead compare it to the other twenty hours of movie. You will see a lot more consistency. More than that, compare individually those other films to the 700 hours of Trek and see how much THEY don’t meet that standard. I am a huge fan of the Roddenberry vision, but keep in mind he only made ONE movie, which most fans I talk to don’t like (TMP), and the now universally acclaimed Wrath of Khan was bashed by many fans—and by Roddenberry himself—as being too action oriented, too violent, having too military a Starfleet, and “missing the heart” of Star Trek.
This link is an archive of “Starlog” magazine, whose letters page was as close as we had to internet message boards back in the day. Go ahead and look up the reactions to the various Trek movies when they came out, especially TWOK. The arguments sound very familiar.