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Star Trek 4 Reportedly Shelved By Paramount

Discussion in 'Movies' started by dpippel, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Message #41 of 178 Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Yes Paramount is responsible. But at this point Paramount made perhaps the only logical choice—admittedly driven by their own epic mismanagement of Star Trek—to stop the production of future super-expensive Trek movies.

    The first two new Trek movies as has been demonstrated with production budgets and box office returns basically broke even. Star Trek Beyond probably lost Paramount more than 50 million dollars. Let's look at the numbers from box office mojo:

    Star Trek Beyond
    Domestic Total Gross: $158,848,340
    Distributor: Paramount Release Date: July 22, 2016
    Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Runtime: 2 hrs. 0 min.
    MPAA Rating: PG-13 Production Budget: $185 million
    Total Lifetime Grosses
    Domestic: $158,848,340 46.2%
    + Foreign: $184,623,476 53.8%
    = Worldwide: $343,471,816

    Since only about $172 million of the gross box office gets back to paramount, and since the production budget doesn't include worldwide advertising costs of at least $60 million, there's clearly a real loss on the theatrical release for Beyond of at least $70 million dollars. That's not some Hollywood accounting trick—it's lots of real money that's been vaporized by Star Trek. Since physical media has declined drastically in the last 5 years, and even most Trek fans were lukewarm at best about Beyond, it's highly unlikely that blu-ray sales for Beyond were significant. But let's say blu-ray plus streaming adds up to $20 million, that still means they've lost a large amount of money on this Trek, and didn't really make much money on the first two either.

    So I blame Paramount too, mainly for their massive mismanagement of the whole Trek franchise, but at this point a mercy killing seems the only way out. This whole reboot didn't respect much of the universe of Star Trek as it had been built up from 1964-2004. The whole-massive budget clean-slate approach instead has I think permanently damaged Star Trek.

    Star Trek Discovery, which for many Trek fans is a serious disappointment, has taken a similar approach with similar results.
     
  2. Message #42 of 178 Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    I enjoyed Star Trek 2009 despite its rampant stupidity. The cast was great and the visual effects were top-notch. The writing and direction were meh... but still better than Nemesis. Cinematography looked good but didn't need to fire spotlights into the camera lens every ten seconds. Whatever.

    The thing is, they spent all their cleverness on the initial premise, which was admittedly a brilliant one.

    Rebooting into an alternate universe was really the way to go. It totally worked. But I never felt like this was going to be a sustainable concept going forward. The first big misstep came with Into Darkness. Then Beyond just basically ignored the alternate universe altogether. These last two movies were typical examples of Trek's third season conceptual erosion issues and leanings towards artificial excitement (i.e. Who are we going to almost kill this week?).
     
  3. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    I don’t know if that’s correct. That sounds high. How exactly are you arriving at these numbers (how much Paramount gets)?
     
  4. Message #44 of 178 Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Overall something like half of worldwide box office goes back to the studio, but clearly that varies....

    Here's a quote from one article....

    "So a studio might make about 60% of a film's ticket sales in the U.S., and around 20% to 40% of that on overseas ticket sales."

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/093015/how-exactly-do-movies-make-money.asp

    So c. 50% could well be high. If it's lower than that clearly the losses on Trek are larger.
     
  5. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Hence my statement that Beyond was the only one that “under performed”.
     
  6. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    Yeah...no. I'm almost positive that's not going to happen.

    https://deadline.com/2018/11/jj-abrams-bad-robot-new-films-stefan-grube-logic-megan-amram-1202501991/

    Abrams is currently looking to relocate his production company Bad Robot to another studio (likely Disney) following the expiration of his current deal with Paramount. I'd say that will prevent him from directing another film for Paramount anytime soon, as his focus will be on the new projects with which Paramount won't have any involvement.
     
  7. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    I never knew that. That would have been really neat had it played out as planned.

    I am through with current Star Trek anyway. I think we got a good trilogy of films that were very fun, and entertaining but in my heart they never fulfilled my true Star Trek needs on the big screen. I still remember watching TNG movies as they were released and leaving the theater completely satisfied (I even liked Nemesis). To me the Trek films that started in 2009 were like the Star Wars prequels. I enjoyed those as well, but never to level of the original trilogy.
     
  8. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    It seems pretty ridiculous that they spent so much on these films given their long history of relatively modest returns. $190 million budgets? No wonder Paramount is struggling, if management is making decisions like that.
     
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  9. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.


    You guys know I love Star Trek and have since The Original Series. I’ve liked every series to date. Each one has something to offer and appeals to a different generation and or fan.


    As I was reading this thread, something came to mind. As we all know, Star Trek was born as a TV series. It was owned by Desilu. Then in 1968, Lucille Ball who was running the studio after her split with Desi Arnez, decided to sell the studio and Paramount took over. They had a TV arm back then and produced quite a few very successful TV shows as well as acquired many successful TV series such as Star Trek and Mission Impossible. I don’t claim to understand all the corporate machinations going on, but it became a business to make money and Gulf and Western was one of the early corporate owners with Paramount. How this plays into it will be seen later.

    In the 1970’s as a very young Star Trek fan, it did not matter to me. A new Star Trek movie seemed like a great thing and to see the TOS crew back in action was a large deal!

    Star Trek was in development hell in 1976-77 as Roddenberry tried to relaunch the series at Paramount's request for a proposed 4th TV network. But the corporate suits saw money when Star Wars was such a huge hit in 1977. So they asked, hey what do we have that we can make?

    So Star Trek leaped up on to the big screen. Everything got upgraded. The first film I still think is a very good film with a great concept. It was exploring the unknown and seeking out new life forms. The second film was a fun action film with some character bits for Kirk and Spock to work out. The fourth and six were great stories that Star Trek always did well on TV, morality tales. At that time, before TNG was on the air, these films did well. There was less competition too.

    But the TNG films proved that Star Trek 2 type stories that focused on Picard and Data were not working.

    I’ve said this many times on the forum in Star Trek threads, Star Trek was better on TV. TV suited what Gene Roddenberry wanted to do too. It let him tell stories about people and morality plays. Science Fiction gave him cover to avoid the censoring of ideas considered controversial at the time.

    The Next Generation succeeded in moving along those lines of morality tales.

    And I wish I could find the quote printed somewhere, but back in the 1970’s, or maybe it was the 1990’s, I heard Gene Roddenberry say that he hopes Star Trek continues after he’s gone and hopes that those making it make it will make it better then he ever could.

    And so if Star Trek Is no longer done on the silver screen I wouldn’t feel too bad. They’ve devolved into action films. And they don’t allow for all the characters to shine. I really hate to admit this, but I read something Alex Kurtzman said yesterday that I actually agree with. To date, Star Trek has been done the same way over and over with diminishing returns. So it has to evolve. While time will tell if Discovery will be as great as TOS and TNG, I agree Star Trek has to evolve. And I think the streaming thing is not a bad idea. And the new Short Trek’s and other Star Trek series they have in mind might be the better avenue for Star Trek.

    Of course I would love to see Captain Kirk and Mr Spock and Dr McCoy continuing to explore strange new worlds. I’d rather they do it with the same integrity as it was originally done. It can be bold and new. ( we have the series on Blu Ray, so it can be revisited). If CBS had full control of the franchise, maybe Kurtzman is the guy. I’m not convinced yet. But Star Trek films just don’t work anymore as they’ve been made. And yes, Paramount didn’t do much to support it. Star Trek works better I think as continuing stories weekly that explore ideas and issues. This is just my opinion.

    So sorry I don’t mean to sour those who are fans of the films. It’s no fun to see your favorite film franchise get shelved. It was always a guessing game if another Star Trek film would get made after the first, then the second. And after the 5th, I was so happy they got a chance to do one more.

    As much as I know you guys hate All Access. As of now, I think our hopes are now with CBS.
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I do think that overall, Trek is better suited for the small screen. I am intrigued by the possibility of getting a variety of shows that cover different parts of the universe with different styles and formats.

    But damn, I really have enjoyed the Kelvin movies. I really think that despite Paramount’s mishandling, they turned out great. It’s a shame that they blew it.

    We could have simultaneously had a big screen franchise and a small screen universe, with something for everyone. So close!
     
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  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I think the big misfire was Into Darkness. Remaking the most famous Star Trek movie in a way that felt disrespectful to and exploitative of the franchise's history alienated a lot of people, and dampened enthusiasm for Beyond. I also think it was a huge mistake to spend months saying Cumberbatch wasn't playing Khan, only for him to be playing Khan.
     
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  12. Message #52 of 178 Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    I had never seen anything Star Trek prior to the 2009 movie, and I went to it because, with a clean slate arising from the reboot, I knew I could come in and watch that and understand it without having to do homework. There had been so much Star Trek content prior to that movie that it became a barrier to entry for me, and the new movie removed that.

    I have never seen The Wrath of Khan and therefore enjoyed Into Darkness more than most people seem to have, because I hadn't seen the thing they were remaking. I knew the name Khan and that he was a major Star Trek villain, and I had of course heard the rumor that Cumberbatch was playing him, but otherwise nothing going into that film.

    But the "reveal" of Cumberbatch as Khan within the movie didn't even work. Even if you ignore the fact that everybody suspected he was going to be that character, it doesn't work because the crew of the Enterprise doesn't know who Khan is when he said it any more than I did. (Actually, they probably knew less than me because I was at least aware of The Wrath of Khan being a previous movie title in the franchise.) So why should his simply saying that name provoke a reaction in these people who haven't heard of him before?

    They have to call the Leonard Nimoy version of Spock in order to be filled in that he was bad news. So in terms of the moment where he said his name for the first time, he might as well have said, "I am Larry" or "I am Bob" or whatever and it would have had the same impact on the characters in the scene. It was a reveal designed for the audience of the movie rather than something that would be an effective shock for the characters, which would be problematic even if the audience hadn't seen it coming. The fact that the audience did see it coming made it worse, but it wouldn't have worked in either case.

    Once I found out through discussions with other people that Into Darkness had borrowed so substantially from Wrath of Khan, it seemed to me that doing so was counterproductive to the point of rebooting the franchise in the first place. The alternate timeline established in the first reboot film allowed them to go into new narrative territory with the original characters that wouldn't be already known to a wide audience. And yet they decided to retread an old narrative instead of taking the opportunity provided to do something new. Even though I liked Into Darkness overall, I'm sure it was influenced by the fact that I was one of the relatively few people who hadn't seen the story before. If I had seen The Wrath of Khan first, I'm sure I would have similar issues with it as pre-existing fans did.
     
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  13. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Josh, it would have been nice to have a big screen Star Trek and Star Trek on TV too. I’m usually the glass is half full type so there is still hope another film will be coming. And we will have the CBS Star Trek shows on streaming.

    I’d been thinking earlier that these three Kelvin films are kind of like an experiment. They really did try something different with the alternate universe. Will another regime reboot the Star Trek films again? Will the films be under one roof again, maybe under Kurtzman? I guess time will tell.
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    What???? How is that even POSSIBLE?!? :eek:
     
  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Prior to the 2009 movie, I had seen one episode of TNG, First Contact (and that was only to see the Star Wars Special Edition trailer) and maybe an episode of TOS. Thanks to enjoying the Abrams movies, I ended up watching TOS and TWOK.
     
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  16. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    What??? Sorry Travis, but you and Jake need to turn your Geek Cards in to the authorities TODAY. Do not pass Go. Do NOT collect $200!!! ;)
     
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  17. Tom St Jones

    Tom St Jones Supporting Actor

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    Somehow I missed that development.. Still, it doesn't mean Paramnt couldn't get him back (if they wanted him badly enough) for a one-off. Just a matter of $$, terms and quality of script - not necessarily in that order..
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I think we all know that I make up for it in many, many other ways. :laugh:
     
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  19. Message #59 of 178 Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    On the one hand, I do think there were certain problems in how they approached Star Trek Into Darkness, most of all in the casting of a Caucasian actor in the role of a Sikh (though from what I recall, it's hinted that surgical alteration was possibly performed on Khan after his reawakening and recruitment into Section 31). On the other hand, I think STID is my favorite Khan story in a lot of ways. It's the first time since "Space Seed" that we get to see Khan as a sane but ruthless man who had an admirable intelligence and regard for his people. Everybody talks about how great and iconic The Wrath of Khan was, but its story is dumb as a brick, and it reduces what used to be a complex, nuanced character to a scenery-chewing cartoon obsessed with revenge toward a man who wasn't even responsible for his hardships.

    TWOK's Khan is a deranged fool who gets his people killed for no good reason. STID's Khan is a leader who cares for his people and seeks their liberation, and it was very intriguing seeing that side of him once again. It also helps somewhat that he actually gets to interact directly with Kirk, rather than just being on a viewscreen because their scenes were filmed months apart, and that we get to see him in action as an ally, however briefly. (I always love team-ups between heroes and villains. If they can unite against a common foe, it creates hope that they can find other common ground.)

    Despite problems like casting and "magic blood" and the like, it's pretty much the richest, most multilayered and developed portrayal of Khan among his three screen appearances. Certainly enormously more so than the caricature he was reduced to in the vastly-overrated TWOK.
     
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  20. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I've enjoyed everything Star Trek since I was old enough to understand TOS.
    When I was a kid in the early 70's i hated it.
    Couldn't stand it a little bit.

    After seeing the first couple of movies I loved them and went back and watched the show with an apprecuiation of what they were trying to do.

    Then TNG came out and I was hooked.

    I really liked the first two new movies too and even season one of Discovery.

    Still havent watched Beyond yet mostly because I forgot all about it.
    I added the digital code to iTunes so i guess I'll get around to it soon.

    I'd love to see another movie but that would be at least 3-4 years from now if ever and by then who knows I just might not care about ST anymore by then.
     

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