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

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#2041 of 2629 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted October 07 2013 - 08:24 AM

While there have been instances where the Enterprise had to act in a military fashion, their mission was "to seek out new life"... hardly a military mission, unless it is conquest.

 

Gene Roddenberry disagreed with the script's naval texture and Khan's Captain Ahab undertones, but was mostly ignored by the creative team (http://en.wikipedia....e_Wrath_of_Khan)

 

I quote Nichelle Nichols here: ""Portraying Starfleet as a military organization flew in the face of everything Star Trek stood for [....] At one point I forcefully but tactfully reminded Meyer and Harve [Bennet] that Starfleet was the philosophical descendant of NASA, not the Air Force."

 

It is my only minor quip with TWOK, otherwise, it was pretty spot on by a director who was not even familiar with Star Trek beforehand.



#2042 of 2629 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted October 07 2013 - 09:01 AM

Then, with the 2009 movie, you have this little snippet spoken by Captain Pike himself:

 

"You understand what the Federation is, don't you? It's important. It's a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada..."

 

While the current dictionary definition of "Armada" does not necessarily connote a military force, the etymology of the word indicates that its roots are indeed miltaristic in nature.

 

The fact of the matter, though, is that a militaristic Trek has greater appeal to key demographics than a scientific Trek and is an easier sell to studio bigwigs.

 

The best hope is that these "actiony" ST movies garner enough mainstream momentum to allow the franchise to "dial it back" a bit with a more thought provoking entry and then that movie has to deliver in both box office and mass appeal if any chance is to exist for additional movies in that vein.


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#2043 of 2629 OFFLINE   Joel Fontenot

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Posted October 07 2013 - 09:48 AM

The idea of de-militarizing Star Trek came from Roddenberry basically changing his mind on what Star Trek was. As Kevin says, the original series most definitely had militaristic undertones - even if it was more of the structural elements rather than an overt mission. After all, most of the producers, including Roddenberry himself, and production designers, were ex-military men. So, that mentality and influence was still relatively fresh.

It was only later that we hear of Roddenberry's displeasure at the "militarizing" in ST:II.

Edited by Joel Fontenot, October 07 2013 - 09:52 AM.

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#2044 of 2629 OFFLINE   Ted Van Duyn

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Posted October 07 2013 - 10:22 AM

While there have been instances where the Enterprise had to act in a military fashion, their mission was "to seek out new life"... hardly a military mission, unless it is conquest.

 

This is not a stab against you in any way, but I find this statement ironic when it comes to Gene Roddenberry and his intended message of Star Trek. As a pure blooded Star Trek fan, I'm not afraid to say that Gene wasn't good at conveying that message either, and the biggest piece of evidence supporting that point just happens to come from an episode that your name and avatar come from.

 

When Star Trek was under the threat of cancellation during it's second season and things were looking grim, Gene decided to take what could have potentially been the last episode of Star Trek.... and turn it into a backdoor pilot for a show that has almost nothing to do with Star Trek. You say that the Enterprise and the Federation's mission is to seek out new life and new civilizations, well how exactly do you do that with missions like this?

 

Kirk: Captain's log. Using the lightspeed breakaway factor, the Enterprise has moved back through time to the twentieth century. We are now in extended orbit around Earth, using our ship's deflector shields to remain unobserved. Our mission, historical research. We are monitoring Earth communications to find out how our planet survived desperate problems in the year 1968.

 

Really? A starship that's designed for deep space exploration is assigned not only go come back to Earth, but also go back in time and just listen to how we survived 1968? They're space explorers, not historians. Does no one on Earth or in Starfleet have a crew on a smaller scale ship that can do this? And to make matters worse, we get dialogue like this,

 

Kirk: Our record tapes show, although not generally revealed, that on this date, a malfunctioning suborbital warhead was exploded exactly one hundred and four miles above the Earth. 

 

So they already have a detailed history of what happened in 1968, making this entire mission completely pointless. And why 1968? Wasn't there a much darker, more mysterious time where all sorts of stuff happened on Earth?

 

  1. Spock: No such vessel listed. Records of that period are fragmentary, however. The mid-1990s was the era of your last so-called World War.
  2. Spock: A strange, violent period in your history. I find no record what so ever of an SS Botany Bay.
  3. Spock: Your Earth was on the verge of a dark ages. Whole populations were being bombed out of existence. A group of criminals could have been dealt with far more efficiently than wasting one of their most advanced spaceships.

Yeah, but who wants to know what happened during that era when we can know what happened in 1968 when we already know it?

 

Written by Gene Roddenberry.



#2045 of 2629 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted October 07 2013 - 10:36 AM

A few quick responses:

 

1.  Roddenberry's complaints about Star Trek II were pretty much based on the fact that Paramount had removed him from any position of authority for the movies.   He was very unhappy about being shunted off to the side while Harve Bennett, a producer he had thrown off the set of one of his shows in the 60s, was given a position that Roddenberry still wanted.   So, understandably, Roddenberry was ready to complain about pretty much everything in the movies after TMP.  

 

2.  The notion of Starfleet not being a military organization didn't start up until somewhere around TMP, as Roddenberry re-evaluated the series.   Even in TNG there is a conflict in this line of thinking, since it's still clearly a military group.  There are occasional bits of dialogue in TNG to say "We're really a scientific and exploratory organization" but the reality is that the Enterprise is always ready to defend itself and/or anyone else who needs it.   At one point, Kirk tells Spock, "We're the only policeman on the block and a crime has been committed."   Granted, Kirk also knows that armed force is not always necessary or appropriate.  As he puts it, "We're not going to kill TODAY."  But that doesn't mean that Starfleet doesn't have a fleet of ships that are quite well armed, and a corps of enlisted people and officers who have been trained as military officers.  And we are regularly shown that Starfleet cadets learn battle tactics and maneuvers as part of their training, just as present day Naval Academy members do.  

 

3.   I don't have an exact number on how much Paramount spent on Star Trek Into Darkness, but I do know that they had a strong interest in trying to show that movie as profitable and successful in the public eye.  Showing a budget level just under 200 million kept them out of the scrutiny that greeted elephants like Man of Steel and Lone Ranger.   I frankly wouldn't trust any budget number from any movie unless I could actually see the numbers myself and what source was providing them.   The production company's internal numbers would tell us that, and those guys are not about to let that kind of information go public.  

 

But we're avoiding the real issue here as far as profitability goes.  Tino is correct that the multiplier can vary between 2x and 3x the production budget.    It can also be higher than 3x.    One major variable is the ratio of the marketing budget to the production budget.   In many cases, the studio spends far MORE on the advertising than they spent on the movie.  One example of this is The Purge, which was reputed to have a budget of 3 million.  Riiight.  They spent more than a month in that house shooting for that low of a budget.   A typical hour of network television costs at least that much and gets shot in 8 or 9 days.   There's a major disconnect with the reporting of that number for The Purge, only some of which I can account for in terms of cast and ATL people taking very little money up front and deferring everything for points on the back end.   Even past that issue for something like The Purge is that we know that Universal spent FAR more than 3 million marketing it - I'd estimate they spent at least 20 million or more on the U.S. marketing, given all the commercials, billboards, etc.    And Universal made a tidy profit from the movie, even with the profit participants getting their cut.  With the home video release, Universal should be able to instantly double the nearly 65 million the movie has already taken in, and that's without them having to spend any real money creating extra content for the Blu-ray or DVD.

 

In the case of Star Trek Into Darkness, I've tried to just be conservative and leave the production budget number at 200 million.  I would easily add that number again for the marketing, given the blitz Paramount did around the world.  (And the worldwide marketing paid off - this movie made more overseas than any other Star Trek movie and as a franchise first, actually did better overseas than at home.)   The next 200 million after that is really covering two areas.  One is that Paramount had to take out large loans to finance the movie.   The interest payments on those loans over two years or more can get pretty steep, not to mention the other financial costs that get involved.  Then you have the multiple profit participants taking their piece of the pie, which would include the whole gang at Bad Robot.   And then you have the fact that Paramount doesn't get every dollar that comes in from theaters domestically or overseas.  They get a falling percentage of the proceeds, with the biggest haul coming with the opening weekend.    And you have to factor in that international distributors get their own percentage of whatever comes in, so that Paramount gets an even smaller piece of that pie.

 

So given how high the budget was, at 200 million, I really do think they were looking at needing to gross at least 600 million to break even.   And I think they were hoping to do far better than that, given that they spent extra money to convert the movie to 3D, and given that they thought they had a great position for their release.   Unfortunately, there were too many other movies out there that competed, and the real winners of the race this summer turned out to be Fast 6, Iron Man 3 and Despicable Me 2.   Doesn't mean that Star Trek ID did badly by any means.  It actually did quite well - better than any other Star Trek movie.   But the budget was simply too high for them to be able to recoup without a superstar boxoffice performance.   So they wound up falling short by around 150 million, which is about what we predicted would happen at the time.

 

The thing with Star Trek is that they can always make that money back with home video, and Paramount knows this quite well.   I would expect them to easily make the 150 million back and probably do much better than that when all is said and done.   But the hope is that they learned from what happened this year.  And all that means is that the next Trek movie, and there will be one without a doubt, will need to be made at a more reasonable budget.  Because if they had spent 100 million rather than 200 million on the movie, that figure of 450 million in box office would have put them way into the black.   Kind of the same thing that happened after TMP when they reduced the budget to make Wrath of Khan.  Khan was made for about 11 million, pulled in almost 80 million domestic, and that was before all the home video fun to come later.   I believe Paramount will do something similar with the next Trek movie, and if they can just get a good script and a solid director, we may be in for something very nice in 2016 or 2017.


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#2046 of 2629 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted October 07 2013 - 11:26 PM

@Kevin

 

This is assuming we buy into the production budget numbers as reported, i tend to believe the figures are massaged for tax reasons, having said that i do think they expected this film to make far more money than it did, they need to get the next one out by 2016, a 4 year wait is too long.


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#2047 of 2629 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted October 08 2013 - 01:05 AM

Malcolm, I hear you on the tax reasoning.  But no studio wants to show themselves taking even bigger of a bath than they're already enduring.  That's the kind of thing that worries the banks that loan them the money to make the movies, and humiliates the executives who approved the bloated budget in the first place.   That said, it probably depends on the size of the budget.  With a mid-range budget of 50 million or so, I wouldn't be surprised for the guys to pad the budget a little.  When the numbers are over 100 million or on the level of 200 million, feathering the bed starts to look to management and the shareholders as outright irresponsibility.

 

I agree that they'll want to get their next movie out soon, but that also depends on how quickly they can pull it together.  And whether they want the movie to be in competition with Abrams' Star Wars idea.   Given that the Abrams movie seems like it could be 2016 rather than 2015 (and Kathleen Kennedy has already as much as said this), I don't know that they want to have the Star Wars movie and the Star Trek movie competing for the same summer dollars.  We'll have to see how this plays out.  But I do think the next Star Trek movie will benefit from a reduced budget and from a stronger hand at the helm.


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#2048 of 2629 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted October 08 2013 - 05:12 AM

Abrams takes his time making movies (which is why the first Trek was delayed to '09 and the second to '13), but Disney has a lot riding on Star Wars. They may delay it to holiday 2015, but I very much doubt it will go to 2016. The corporate parent is anxious to get the Star Wars machine rolling, with stand-alone films and additional episodes. I'd listen to Bob Iger when he reassures shareholders that the movie will be out on time.


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#2049 of 2629 OFFLINE   Osato

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Posted November 24 2013 - 09:46 AM

Star Trek Into Darkness will be on sale at Wal Mart during Black Friday. $9.96. Going to try and pick up a copy in store. Perhaps they will match online too?

 

http://weeklyad.walm...=N&pagenumber=1



#2050 of 2629 OFFLINE   Jeff Robertson

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Posted November 26 2013 - 08:10 AM

I see some other titles there I am interested. Are they supposed to be available in store also?

 

 

Star Trek Into Darkness will be on sale at Wal Mart during Black Friday. $9.96. Going to try and pick up a copy in store. Perhaps they will match online too?

 

http://weeklyad.walm...=N&pagenumber=1



#2051 of 2629 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted November 26 2013 - 08:21 AM

I would imagine they will be available in store, but from prior experience, Wal Mart is going to be a nightmare on Thursday/Friday.  I wouldn't get your heart set on finding anything you're actually looking for. 

 

I think Best Buy is going to have the BD on sale too, based on their ad for cheaper.  And probably a little more controlled chaos.



#2052 of 2629 OFFLINE   Jeff Robertson

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Posted November 26 2013 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for the advice. I am not opposed to ordering online.   :)



#2053 of 2629 OFFLINE   Osato

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Posted November 26 2013 - 06:50 PM

Thanks for the advice. I am not opposed to ordering online.   :)

Same here. I'm hoping Amazon will match Wal Marts ad pricing. 

 

If not I'll go to the store to find a copy. I'm also watching Wal Mart's website for pricing changes as well. 



#2054 of 2629 OFFLINE   SilverWook

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Posted November 26 2013 - 07:18 PM

I saw it for 12 bucks in a Von's supermarket last night.



#2055 of 2629 OFFLINE   Osato

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Posted November 27 2013 - 03:03 PM

I would imagine they will be available in store, but from prior experience, Wal Mart is going to be a nightmare on Thursday/Friday.  I wouldn't get your heart set on finding anything you're actually looking for. 

 

I think Best Buy is going to have the BD on sale too, based on their ad for cheaper.  And probably a little more controlled chaos.

 

Yes BB will have Into Darkness - BB exclusive edition for $7.99 I believe. However they note limited quantities and ONLY IN STORE. : (

 

http://blackfriday.b.../#!/doorbusters

 

 

I'm hoping Amazon will match the pricing on Into Darkness. At this point I don't really care about the retailer exclusive extras. 

 

I also noted on the Wal Mart BF ad that quantities are limited. Hmm.

 

Should be interesting to see how this plays out.


Edited by Osato, November 27 2013 - 03:06 PM.


#2056 of 2629 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted November 27 2013 - 03:06 PM

Well, I was in my local BB on Sunday...they didn't have a single STID that was going to be on sale on any shelf.  My conspiracy theory is that they're hoarding them for tomorrow.  I doubt there were will any problem in finding them.


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#2057 of 2629 OFFLINE   Osato

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Posted November 27 2013 - 03:07 PM

Well, I was in my local BB on Sunday...they didn't have a single STID that was going to be on sale on any shelf.  My conspiracy theory is that they're hoarding them for tomorrow.  I doubt there were will any problem in finding them.

Good to know.



#2058 of 2629 ONLINE   Tino

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Posted November 28 2013 - 01:34 AM

Amazon has price matched STID. $7.99 now
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It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#2059 of 2629 OFFLINE   Osato

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Posted November 28 2013 - 06:13 AM

Amazon has price matched STID. $7.99 now

 

Thanks! Ordered!!!



#2060 of 2629 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted November 28 2013 - 08:46 AM

The 3D version is also $14.99 at Amazon and Best Buy.


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