Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
May 11, 2009
William Shatner is very disappointed in all of you.Kim Hollis: Star Trek earned a jaw-dropping $79.2 million from Thursday evening until Sunday. What are the primary reasons that Paramount was able to hit it out of the park with the Star Trek reboot?
Josh Spiegel: First of all, this film came out at the right time. It's been long enough that most people have forgotten the last two Star Trek films, Insurrection and Nemesis, which were both flops. Second, the movie has looked like, from the first major trailer being released, like it could easily please Trekkers and non-Trekkers alike with enough callbacks to even the most familiar Star Trek references and lots of action. That, more than anything else, is what I would call the biggest reason that this new Star Trek film works: you really don't need to know anything about the mythology of the show aside from the characters' names (and the original series has been around for over 40 years, so you'd have to live under a rock to not even recognize the name Spock) to enjoy it.
David Mumpower: There are several factors at play here. After the creation of Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise effectively on top of one another, Star Trek had gone well past the saturation point as a marketable product. We've gone almost exactly four years since the departure of Enterprise, which wasn't that watched anyway. If we go all the way back to Nemesis in 2002, that film was basically ignored, meaning that except for diehards who suffered through Voyager, there has been no real Star Trek impact since 1998. That means all of the people who comprise the core movie-going demographic were between the ages of five and 15 when the last significant Star Trek outing was in theaters. Paramount viewed the landscape and made the correct decision to go back to the core premise, a hetero life partnership between Kirk and Spock. They saw the revenue Zero films like Casino Royale and Batman Begins earned, and they made the perfect gamble here. Alternately, the explanation is as simple as "They hired J.J. Abrams." The Mission: Impossible 3 crew must be green with envy over this box office. If only Tom Cruise hadn't gone on Oprah that day.
Pete Kilmer: Paramount made a smart move in getting Abrams and his Supreme Court to handle the Trek franchise and in going back to the beginning. Abrams and his writing crew made a terrific choice in making a film for everyone, and yet they made a film for the hardcore fans as well. With the inclusion of Nimoy and his story line, they've made sure to embrace the hardcore fans who want to go along for the ride. The old canon exists for them; it's not been thrown away like what happened with Mission: Impossible and other adaptions. Following the examples of Batman Begins and Casino Royale was a smart, smart move.
Max Braden: I think as David and Pete mentioned, previous origin story/reboots have helped set the stage for a Star Trek reboot to work. It also wouldn't surprise me if leaving out the alien villain from the trailer helped. If it had been promoted like Nemesis with a lot of alien emphasis, new audiences might have been turned off at the idea that they'd be entering an unfamiliar universe and trying to catch up. The more familiar humanoid environment makes it more approachable to new audiences.