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Lord Dalek

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I seem to recall "Dr. Who and The Daleks" was made about a year and a half into the 26 year original run of Doctor Who, with little involvement from anyone who worked on the original series, and wasn't considered all that great even back then.

Of course it doesn't help that it was a severely cut down version of a 7 part children's tv serial which, unlike most british televsion of the era, we actually have in its entirety. Interestingly the film version, in retrospect, might be better in that regard as the original version of "The Mutants" is a 3 1/2 hour slog when watched in one go. But its not for reasons of visual effects shot overkill, oh no. Serial B is a mess because of the slew of scenes where The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan are constantly captured, thrown in cells, escape, get thrown back into cells, escape, and constantly bicker amongst each other and later with the leaders of the Thals. Its a four parter stretched to seven because of production troubles and you can tell from the flab on screen. Yup my very first ever B&W Doctor Who, shoulda quit there but instead went ahead and watched The War Games which is even LOOOOOONGER and has even more scenes of arguing and cell tossing. And that one's a masterpiece!

...what was this about again? Oh yeah Star Trek. Carry on.
 
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ScottRE

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Oy vey all of this bickering....

We love what we love.
I love the first three films endlessly. The tour around the Enterprise has more emotional impact than the long docking sequence from 2001 because of the past connection. Star Trek III is another emotional journey and my favorite film of the franchise.
I kinda like the 4th. The jokes have gotten stale and there's not much left to it. I love the 23rd century bookends, though. The music is dire.
I consider the 5th a fun film that I revisit a lot more than the 4th. It has ambition and even a few moment of awe.
I find the 6th to be okay but with as many flaws as the 5th, just different. The characters are treated badly and there is ZERO suspense in Kirk and McCoy's situation.

None of the films reach the heights of the best of the TV series, anyway. These are reunion films with larger budgets than the Gilligan, Jeannie or Bionic reunions. And they're better than all of the TNG films combined.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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As to whether Star Trek: The Motion Picture brought in non-trekkers, consider that it generated the most worldwide boxoffice of the film series until First Contact.
 
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Worth

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As to whether Star Trek: The Motion Picture brought in non-trekkers, consider that it generated the most worldwide boxoffice of the film series until First Contact.
Depending on how it's calculated, adjusted for inflation, it's either the most successful or second most successful Trek film at the box office, just ahead or just behind Into Darkness.
 

Colin Jacobson

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As to whether Star Trek: The Motion Picture brought in non-trekkers, consider that it generated the most worldwide boxoffice of the film series until First Contact.

I know "TMP" attracted a good # of non-fans. It was a massively hyped "A-list" movie.

The problem is that so many of those non-fans didn't become fans. They just weren't turned on by what they saw.

Look at it this way: if "TMP" was the big success Paramount expected, why would the producers feel like they needed to regroup and make a sequel with a substantially smaller budget? If "TMP" had been the hit they expected, the sequel would've had a much easier development process...
 

Dave H

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While TMP is either my favorite or second favorite Trek film, I think because it was the first Trek movie is why it generated such high ticket sales. It wasn't because of high acclaim; hence, one main reason we saw how/why Paramount went into such a different direction with Wrath of Khan.

It's almost analogous to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. It was way up there in Star Wars box office history initially though not because it was widely considered a great Star Wars movie, but because it was the first SW movie in 16 years.

Curiosity and initial excitement of a franchise first or new movie such as Star Trek or Star Wars can carry sales a long way especially before days of the Internet (or early Internet in the 'Menace case).
 
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Lord Dalek

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IIRC TMP only had a net profit of 7 Mil after leftover production costs from the aborted Phase II development were subtracted. By comparison Star Trek IV yeilded EIGHTY despite taking in 6 less in total cume.
 

ScottRE

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Star Trek films seem to do best financially when they offer something new, either the first movie after a long gap, a fresh take on the concept or comedy / time travel: almost anything but the actual series format. Once curiosity is satisfied, things die down and films struggle to succeed. I really don't think the masses want to see a traditional Star Trek movie. I can't imagine a film more boring to non-fans than say The Search for Spock or The Undiscovered Country.
 

Colin Jacobson

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While TMP is either my favorite or second favorite Trek film, I think because it was the first Trek movie is why it generated such high ticket sales. It wasn't because of high acclaim; hence, one main reason we saw how/why Paramount went into such a different direction with Wrath of Khan.

It's almost analogous to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. It was way up there in Star Wars box office history initially though not because it was widely considered a great Star Wars movie, but because it was the first SW movie in 16 years.

Curiosity and initial excitement of a franchise first or new movie such as Star Trek or Star Wars can carry sales a long way especially before days of the Internet (or early Internet in the 'Menace case).

I agree completely.

With "TMP", "Trek" had become such big business in its decade off the air. It went from a failed TV series to a hugely popular cult show in syndication.

The hype around "TMP" meant that even people who weren't into "Trek" would see it out of curiosity, just like "Phantom Menace" brought in people who weren't all that interested in "Star Wars".

Of course, "Star Wars" worked from a much bigger pool of existing fans than "Trek" did.

Nonetheless, the fact "Trek" had become so well-known in pop culture over its decade off the air left a lot of people curious to see "TMP".

I don't think it's a mistake to state that the final product turned off a lot of those people. As I noted, if "TMP" had been a true "big hit", then Paramount would've wanted to stay the course with a sequel.

Instead, they slashed the budget and largely started over to "re-prove" the big screen viability of "Trek".

We can debate about how "Trek" fans received the movie in 1979/80, but overall, the movie left an aura of failure - one much greater than you'd think for a film that was 4th at the US box office for 1979 releases...
 

Josh Steinberg

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Paramount certainly failed to cultivate an audience despite the massive reservoir of good will that J.J. Abrams generated with his 2009 film.

My entire life of being a Trek fan before that movie was essentially spent in hiding - don’t admit it in grade school or you’ll get beaten up in the playground. Don’t admit it in college or you won’t have people willing to partner with you on group projects. Don’t admit it in the office or you’ll get picked on during the weekly department meetings. For those people who weren’t hostile about their dislike, there was always a plethora of excuses for why it was something they couldn’t try - that it was too goofy or too serious, that it was too complex or not complex enough, etc., etc., etc. People who studied the civil war so they could participate in a step by step reenactment would say there was too much to keep track of in Star Trek to even give it a try. People who obsessed over every second of Lost or Lord of the Rings would say that sci-fi/fantasy wasn’t for them.

In my view, Trek itself was never the issue. It was the perception that people who liked Trek were all out of Shatner’s “get a life” sketch was the issue. That it was terminally uncool.

There was a brief window with the Abrams film where that could have changed. It was treated by a general audience as a summer blockbuster, not some impenetrable, alien thing. People who never would have considered Star Trek before went and saw it and liked it. I was stunned at how many conversations I had about Trek with newcomers in 2009.

And then Paramount spent four years waiting to do a sequel out of deference to a filmmaker who wasn’t interested in returning to direct. And in that time, that new audience faded away. Hiding Trek fandom became a thing for me again. People who told me they loved the movie in 2009 were telling me by the time the sequel came out that they weren’t Trek fans and claimed either that they hadn’t seen the movie I knew they had seen, or claimed they didn’t like or couldn’t follow something which I had seen them do fine with. The “get a life” image took over again.

Now when I was growing up, this was pretty much also true with comic books. And yet, the MCU is the biggest thing in filmed entertainment now. And I think the reason for the disparity, at least in part, is that Marvel just keeps making the movies, takes the work seriously, honors the time and emotional investments of long time fans, but doesn’t hold itself back trying to appease any one group. They keep picking stories that can be appealing on their own and as part of a larger whole and have faith in what they’re doing and I think people respond to that. There’s no guarantee that characters like Thor would have become fan favorites. But Marvel committed to the idea and when they made their Thor movie, they didn’t do it with a “let’s hope people like it and if they do maybe we’ll one day make another one.” They made one movie while practically simultaneously putting Thor in an Avengers movie and planning a sequel. They created a pop culture roller coaster and invited the audience to come with them.

If you want to have a successful franchise in the modern era, one movie every four years doesn’t cut it. I think that is the biggest cause of theatrical Trek’s recent struggles. They’re not nurturing their audience, and the audience has found other things to do. They’re playing only to the audience that’ll show up no matter what instead of giving a larger audience cause to show up, but expecting that larger audience despite not putting the effort into maintaining it.
 

Lord Dalek

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IV: 80.5m
II: 67m

III: 47m
FC: 33.5M
GEN: 30.5M
VI: 29.3M
TMP: Between 7m to 19m. Accounts vary.
ST 2009: 10.7M
I2D: 4.9M to -7.6m
V: -19.5M
INS: -57.2M
BYD: -119M
NEM: -122.7M

IV made a bundle because it had crazy legs. II because it was made for peanuts. But when half the franchise outright flopped...
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Paramount certainly failed to cultivate an audience despite the massive reservoir of good will that J.J. Abrams generated with his 2009 film.

My entire life of being a Trek fan before that movie was essentially spent in hiding - don’t admit it in grade school or you’ll get beaten up in the playground. Don’t admit it in college or you won’t have people willing to partner with you on group projects. Don’t admit it in the office or you’ll get picked on during the weekly department meetings. For those people who weren’t hostile about their dislike, there was always a plethora of excuses for why it was something they couldn’t try - that it was too goofy or too serious, that it was too complex or not complex enough, etc., etc., etc. People who studied the civil war so they could participate in a step by step reenactment would say there was too much to keep track of in Star Trek to even give it a try. People who obsessed over every second of Lost or Lord of the Rings would say that sci-fi/fantasy wasn’t for them.

In my view, Trek itself was never the issue. It was the perception that people who liked Trek were all out of Shatner’s “get a life” sketch was the issue. That it was terminally uncool.

I feel yah, Josh... though that wasn't my experience, but then again, I didn't become a (moderate) fan til ST:TNG in the late-80's during my college years -- well, I was actually always interested as a kid, even back in the mid-70's Hong Kong (on some TV channel that specialized on western programming) before immigrating here, but my parents weren't interested and steered us away from it.

Sorry to hear you were bullied for it. I don't recall kids being bullied specifically for stuff like that, including comic book collecting, but they/we might get bullied for being geeks (or nerds, if you wanna draw some kinda nuanced distinction) in general, which is more apparent to bullies via the way we dress, speak, carry ourselves, etc than just some particular hobby/interest... though they all overlapped. Actually, I probably got bullied a bit more for being small and Asian than anything else. None of that really carried into college though (or even high school in general)... but I'm sure it really depends on the particular crowd and sociocultural environment -- my alma mater up in Ithaca isn't exactly a huge, cool kids university... though there are certainly significant pockets of them cool (and some quite rich) kids who wouldn't associate w/ the rest of us all that much, if at all...

Still, despite my interest, I've pretty much always had a hard time getting over the old fashioned, antiquatedly low budget and tech look of TOS, and I suspect that's a problem for most modern viewers -- and most/all the various pos-TOS series before the recent new ones probably also felt a bit that way to many others...

_Man_
 

Colin Jacobson

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Paramount certainly failed to cultivate an audience despite the massive reservoir of good will that J.J. Abrams generated with his 2009 film.

2009 made $385m WW, "Into Darkness" made $467m WW.

How is that failure to cultivate an audience?

For contrast, "TMP" made $139m WW vs. $97m WW for "Khan" even though the latter got a warmer reception.
 

Lord Dalek

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Well Into Darkness did preform below expectations and Beyond just flat out flopped, which is why the film franchise is currently in limbo again...
 

Josh Steinberg

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2009 made $385m WW, "Into Darkness" made $467m WW.

How is that failure to cultivate an audience?

Star Trek ‘09 grossed more domestically than Into Darkness did. Into Darkness overperformed internationally which is an anomaly for Trek, which box office wise has always played better domestically. Less people saw Into Darkness in the states than saw the ‘09 movie.

The numbers make it seem closer than it was - ID about $30 million less, but ID also came out after the post-Avatar premium theater boom and sold a lot of IMAX, 3D and Atmos tickets at prices above what people paid to see the earlier film.

That’s not doing the Marvel thing I was mentioning earlier, where their films generally build on audience size over time. That’s what Paramount was hoping for and financed and marketed the film as that kind of tentpole, but that’s a long time between films in today’s environment.
 

Lord Dalek

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Star Trek ‘09 grossed more domestically than Into Darkness did. Into Darkness overperformed internationally which is an anomaly for Trek, which box office wise has always played better domestically. Less people saw Into Darkness in the states than saw the ‘09 movie.

The numbers make it seem closer than it was - ID about $30 million less, but ID also came out after the post-Avatar premium theater boom and sold a lot of IMAX, 3D and Atmos tickets at prices above what people paid to see the earlier film.

That’s not doing the Marvel thing I was mentioning earlier, where their films generally build on audience size over time. That’s what Paramount was hoping for and financed and marketed the film as that kind of tentpole, but that’s a long time between films in today’s environment.
This. Three years of mockery over JJ's lens flare obsession and Fast & Furious 6 took a shovel to Into Darkness's domestic box office.
 

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