Star Trek films on Blu-Ray... what we know so far

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Scott D S, Sep 21, 2008.

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  1. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Obviously STID is underperforming a bit. It is definitely selling less tickets than the 2009 film, but what is annoying are the statements implying that it is some kind of disaster and a box office flop, which is ridiculous. This film has generated a lot of hate on this and other forums, which is surprising considering it is very well received critically. In the end, i believe it will be more successful than the first worldwide, even with inflation and the next film will not have any kind of reduced budget.And for the record, every big budget film now has to triple it's production cost to "break even" , that has been the norm for many years now. STID in no different.
     
  2. Lockjaw

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    Sorry, I wasn't more clear, in the last 1 or 2 years during an interview Shatner was asked about revisiting Trek 5 and that was when he blew off the idea. So it wasn't Paramount that asked him. He sounded like he was still bitter about the 2002 pitch he made to them. If they formally asked him, who knows if his attitude might change. But I think it's unlikely to happen anyway.
     
  3. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Thanks for the further clarification re Trek 5. I agree we're not going to see them revisiting this movie.

    Tino, you're correct to note that movies always have to follow the 3x rule to break even, but that was part of my point. I'm certainly NOT saying that the current Star Trek movie in theaters is a bomb or a flop, and I've been trying to be very clear about that. What I said is that the producers spent too much money on the movie for it to break even with the theatrical release. It's not that the movie isn't selling tickets. It's that the movie would need to sell a heck of a lot MORE tickets in order to get to the numbers Paramount wanted to see. Into Darkness will most likely outgross the 2009 movie by somewhere around 50 million dollars, which is nothing to sneeze at. But it cost somewhere around 50 million more than the 2009 movie to produce, which will leave it farther back when it comes to providing a return on the investment. It's not a small matter for the movie to make over 400 million dollars - that will make it the biggest grossing Star Trek movie ever made. The problem is that Paramount needed it to make over 600 million dollars, so the whole rest of the shortfall has to be made up on home video sales. Last time, they had a short hump of 65-75 million, and they clearly got over it without a problem. This time, it looks like they'll need to earn up to 150 million on home video, which is a much taller order. I think they'll get there, but it will take a lot more time.

    The simpler way to deal with this kind of situation for any studio is not to allow the budget to balloon that far the next time around. It's not a matter of Paramount doing what they did in 1980 and putting the franchise under the television end of the studio or anything like that. (And CBS is taking care of the television end of things anyway now). It's not a matter of Paramount telling Bad Robot they have to use the sets from the "New Voyages" videos. It's a matter of Paramount realistically looking at how much money they just spent on the last two movies, and how much came back in. As I said, if they had made both movies for 100 million dollars each, they would not have had any issues breaking even and going into profit on both pictures. 100 million dollars is a HUGE amount of money - it's more than any other Star Trek movie was ever given for production. It's more than twice what most of them were given. 200 million dollars is unbelievably high, and it's no surprise that they're now struggling to try to break even. So I would expect Paramount to insist that if a third film is made, it would be for 100 million rather than 200 million.

    This has nothing to do with the quality of the movie per se. I have not seen this one, and I likely will be unable to do so before it gets to home video. This is just a matter of dollars and cents, which is what will dictate how these decisions get made.

    To give a more historical example, I remember Steven Spielberg's 1941 having a high budget for its time and then not making the big money his other movies had been doing. That movie was actually called a bomb at the time, even though it did eventually earn its money back. But it had the problem that they had spent too much time and too much money making it for them to have a reasonable threshold to break even. Spielberg's response was not to say that he wouldn't work under a reduced budget or work more efficiently. Quite the opposite. He pledged himself to getting his next movie done on time and on budget, for a lower figure and a more ambitious schedule. That movie was Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg kept his word and got the movie done slightly ahead of schedule, and for a reduced budget from what he had had on 1941. The result was another big hit for him, and an important statement that the budget didn't need to keep getting bigger in order to make a great movie.
     
  4. FoxyMulder

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    Regarding budgets and Hollywood accounting, i tend to agree with the article in the link below.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121018/01054720744/hollywood-accounting-how-19-million-movie-makes-150-million-still-isnt-profitable.shtml

    I have also read that it's not so simple anymore with how to work out how much a studio or cinema chain gets from the showing of the movies, i have read that during the first week the cinema chain gets 20% to 25% of the money, this progressively rises so that during the fourth week they are getting 80% of the money, here's the thing though, most movies make their money in the first two weeks, maybe three at a push.

    I think Hollywood studio accountants are a bit like any other big business, they will try and find loopholes to avoid paying more tax on profits, to do this they will inflate the budget of a production, also do what is said in the link above, it all adds up to fiddling the figures, i tend to think most of these films cost less than they say and that means Into Darkness probably didn't cost $200m dollars to make.
     
  5. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    That is quite sad. Paramount could ask him to revisit it, however, for a future BD release. Then that would give collectors incentive to upgrade from their present editions. I mean, a future boxed set of all the Trek films with all previous extras and extended and directors' cuts would be an absolute no-brainer purchase for Trekkies, I would think.
     
  6. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

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  7. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Malcolm is correct in a couple of areas here.

    The studios take a much larger amount of the box office sales during the first week of release and it drops off after that. This is why the first week figures are so important to whether a studio feels the movie has made any money or not.

    Malcolm is also correct that studios will do a lot of fudging with the numbers after the fact to keep any movie from going into "net profit". This is not just a matter of taxes - it's a matter that the studio would have to share any net profits with a large number of participants. So they never show anything going into net profit. People got wise to this funny business over 30 years ago, and you began to hear about actors and directors demanding a share of the "gross profits" instead. The studios got wise to that method and redefined gross to essentially mean net. Actors and directors with clout got wise to this a few years back and began demanding "first dollar gross". The studios got wise to that response and began creating definitions of "first dollar" that would still leave the uninformed player getting a piece of the non-existent "net profits". And so the games continue.

    But that doesn't mean that the studio didn't actually spend the figure they're admitting - it just means that the studio then tacks on a bunch of costs over and above that number - including interest on their loans, advertising costs, overhead, etc. So while in reality a movie needs to make about 3x the announced budget to break even, it can never be shown to have done so. More costs can always be added on. That said, the actual production budget is a matter of record - at least what they're willing to admit to. In many cases, the budget may have been at that level, but in reality the producers spent MORE and the studio would rather not be embarrassed by such an admission.

    There's a paradox at work here. On the one hand, the studios can get away with telling the profit participants that they never make any money on their movies, but on the other hand, the studios are happy to brag in the trades how much money their movies are making. And if the studios show a lower budget figure on a big-budget movie, they can show themselves as in a much stronger position than they really are. You'd be correct to note that this sounds like insanity. The best example I can think of is the 1989 Batman movie, wherein Michael Uslan and Benjamin Melnicker gave WB the right to make the movie in exchange for a piece of the net profits. The 1989 Batman movie went through the roof and flattened practically everything else that came out that summer. WB and the producers set up to do a more expensive sequel for 1992, while at the same time telling Uslan and Melnicker that the movie had not been profitable. I remember Uslan's attorney at the time quipping "Somebody better get over to Warner Bros. and stop the bleeding!"

    For bragging rights, it makes sense that Paramount is trying to put the best face they can on this situation. They did something similar back in 1979. It's the same reason that the 3D theater owner is desperately trying to remind his patrons that he sold out some shows. But the reality of the numbers is something that exists outside of studio projections. In the end, a proper cost analysis will be done, and whoever produces the next Star Trek movie, should Paramount decide to do one right away and not wait, will have to deal with the accountants before any budget can be drawn up.
     
  8. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Forrest Gump is another example. It grossed some $330M domestically and the studio claimed it made no profit. It was the highest grossing movie of 1994, making even more than The Lion King.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1994&p=.htm

    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/25/movies/gump-a-huge-hit-still-isn-t-raking-in-huge-profits-hmm.html
     
  9. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    That was a great article Worth.They obviously were doing that with Star Trek The Motion Picture. It's amazing we even know what happened then as they piled on the costs of the aborted TV series onto the film budget. But I bet back then, they hadn't worked out this kind of film corporation plan yet.
     
  10. Stephen Brooks

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    Superman Returns was another one that got a bum rap. WB rolled 10+ years of failed attempts at at a Superman revival into Singer's budget for Returns. Sent from my SCH-S738C using Home Theater Forum mobile app
     
  11. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Yup, they saddled that fine movie with years of bizarre productions that never made it out of the starting gate. A shame too, because I always wanted to see what Singer had in store for his Part II.
     
  12. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    I thought Into Darkness was interesting. I'm looking forward to the blu ray and another viewing. Right now I liked the 2009 film a bit more than this one.

    I saw that the Star Trek films TMP- Nemesis are being packaged together in Star Trek The Stardate Collection.
    It's a repackaging of the blu rays. No new transfers or content. Thus far there is not a US listing of the set.

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_Stardate_Collection_(Blu-ray)

    It's a shame that Paramount does not rework the film transfers and also put the Director's Cuts and CE cuts out.

    Deleted scenes from Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock would be great too.
     
  13. Lockjaw

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    Well today the original set hit it's lowest price ever at Amazon $29.99.

    And once again I hope that signals that perhaps they are clearing inventory for a future upgraded release.
     
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  14. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Agreed. 2016 would make sense for the 50th Trek anniversary.
     
  15. Paul_Warren

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    Regarding Star Trek 5 Shatner & his daughter (who was the yeoman on the bridge with the beehive haircut) saw a fan created cut with some excellent CGI work created by pros earlier this year with a view to getting Paramount to distribute on disc. Paramount have not yet decided if they will or not look here if you want to see some of the enhanced CGI work which does enhance the movie where it really needs to be enhanced (they replaced almost every VFX shot in the movie)! lets hope Paramount either allow this to be released or create new VFX themselves....
    http://www.thecaptainkirkpage.com/trek5se.html
    Most of this work is just the previews not the final renders but they are still way beyond the original VFX ;)





     
  16. FoxyMulder

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    Stills looks poor to me. Maybe it's the low YouTube resolution or maybe it's just CGI, maybe something else, not impressed.
     
  17. Tino

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    IMO, They will NEVER revisit Star Trek V. Despite some fan love here, it's just not very well liked among the Star Trek community and therefore not worth the risk of investing funds to "fix" it.
     
  18. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Yeah, the time for V was when DVD was new and things like TMP's director's cut were happening. If Paramount won't even put up to do the blu-rays of the original films (and director's cuts) right, there's no chance of them revisiting V.
     
  19. Bob_S.

    Bob_S. Supporting Actor

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    Man, those cgi shots look WAY better than the original shots. I especially like the barrier scene and the shot going through the porthole window to show Spock in the darkened room.
     
  20. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    I have an urge to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan after just having watched "Into Darkness" for the 2nd time (awesome film!). For someone who isn't a "Trekkie" like myself, can anyone tell me if the "Into Darkness" storyline is a continuation of sorts of the storyline from the 1982 film? That scene of Leonard Nimoy in "Darkness" being asked if he'd encountered Khan previously led me to my curiosity.
     

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