Two years on from the release of Star Trek Beyond, and there's still no firm details on when or if we'll be seeing Chris Pine and co back of the USS Enterprise. Generating a modest $364 million worldwide against a production budget of $185 million, Beyond wound up the lowest grossing in the rebooted franchise and writer and co-star Simon Pegg has an idea why.
Speaking to The Geek Exchange, Pegg commented that he felt the marketing started too late and misled audiences on the type of movie they would be seeing.
"I think it was poorly marketed to be honest. If you look at a film like Suicide Squad, that was around for such a long time before it finally came out and people were so aware of it. Whereas with Star Trek Beyond, it was left too late before they started their marketing push. It still did great business, but it was disappointing compared to Into Darkness."
Pegg goes on to add that there was one thing in particular about the trailer that he found especially vexing.
“Because it used Sabotage, which was our surprise moment in the end. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise and they blew it in the first trailer, which really annoyed me. They also made the film look like a boneheaded action film. And they were scared, I think, of mentioning the 50th Anniversary. It was fumbled as a thing; they didn’t know what to do with it and it’s a real shame. But I came away from it really, really happy and very proud of it."
It's difficult to disagree with Pegg, for a franchise marking its 50th Anniversary there was a lack of celebration from Paramount. Suicide Squad might have been a terrible film, but you can't argue that Warner Bros skimped on the advertising as they tricked us all into thinking it might actually be good.
I'll be honest, the trailers for Beyond didn't do much for me, and as Pegg comments, it looked "like a bonehead action film". But I was glad I ventured to the cinema to see it as Star Trek Beyond was a heap of fun and felt like a love letter to the original series. It's worth noting that internationally, Beyond scored $184 million, that's a huge bump from the $127 million the first reboot generated, but a massive drop from the $238 million that Into Darkness pulled in back in 2013. However, the domestic box office told a very different story with Beyond's $158 million ranks as the lowest in the franchise behind Into Darkness' $228 million, and the whopping $257 million 2009's Star Trek claimed from US audiences.
Before the third movie in the rebooted franchise, Paramount announced tentative plans to bring back Chris Hemsworth as Kirk's dad in a time travel orientated sequel. There's not been much in the way of updates on that proposed project, but there have also been no firm details that Star Trek 4 is definitely happening. Quentin Tarantino is reportedly in talks with Paramount and J.J Abrams for a more 'hardcore' approach to Star Trek, as unlikely as that may seem, Tarantino is a huge Trekkie, and the studio loved his pitch. We'll have to wait and see what happens, but a Star Trek movie from the mind of Quentin Tarantino is a highly appealing proposition.
It's no secret that Paramount is still having a tough time generating blockbusters, the box office shortcomings of Transformers The Last Knight proved that enabling Michael Bay wasn't a sustainable business model. The success of CBS' Star Trek Discovery shows that there is still a big audience for the franchise. Fingers crossed there's an announcement soon about the future of the current iteration of Star Trek, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year.