Why Star Trek: The Movie Costs So Much More Than Star Wars

Although it was meant to compete with the success of Star Wars, Star Trek: The Motion Picture ended up costing a lot more and earning a lot less.

Star Trek: The Movie was destined to be a blockbuster at the level of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. It had the benefit of an established property behind it, and Paramount was beginning to understand just how dedicated the show’s fan base was. And after a long period stuck in development, the movie it finally hit screens in 1979. But something happened along the way that raised eyebrows.

Star Wars reflected an astonishing return on investment, raising $ 775 million worldwide (and counting on) a production budget of $ 11 million. But despite being the most established franchise at the time, Star Trek: The Movie It fared much worse: a starting budget of $ 15 million skyrocketed to $ 44 million before a disappointing $ 139 million box office return. It was enough to make a profit, but it was a long way from Star Wars and far from what its producers expected. Ironically, the reasons why stem from the qualities that should have given you Star trek the advantage over his space opera rival.

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The simplest and most basic reason for the discrepancy is that A new hope it’s just a better movie – faster, more exciting, and infinitely better standing up to repeat views than the visually beautiful but dramatically inert Moving picture. But beyond that Star trek faced a series of unexpected obstacles due to both his status at the point The movie was produced and the fact that it was released after A new hope it had become a phenomenon. Nobody expected A new hope to become more than an afterthought. In fact, according to The secret history of Star Wars, Lucas submitted the film to both United Artists and Universal, who rejected it. Disney and Paramount also passed, and Lucas was only able to successfully sell it to 20th Century Fox after the success of its previous film American graffiti. And as relatively small as his budget was, it actually exceeded the $ 8.5 million the studio had allocated to him.

In short, no one really believed in the movie other than Lucas, and its limited release with minimal marketing in 1977 spoke to that. Yet despite the odds, it became a phenomenon and spawned the franchise that continues to flourish today. Star Wars It did so, in part, by differentiating itself from other science fiction films of the time for reasons that had nothing to do with its budget. He was upbeat and upbeat, and since no one expected it, his success seemed even more spectacular in hindsight.

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Star Trek: The Movie He had none of those advantages, and the producers, including Gene Roddenberry, were still not sure what they had at the time. The pop-art aesthetic and boundless optimism they reported The original series disappeared from the pop culture scene, replaced by dirtier and more vivid space operas that embrace darker themes. Roddenberry began developing the film’s script in 1975, as syndicated ratings for The original series began to rise. But according to The making of Star Trek: The Movie, the script went through multiple drafts and numerous high-profile sci-fi writers, including Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Harlan Ellison, who were rejected by a nervous study. Too many cooks spoiled the final script, which Roddenberry submitted in March 1977 and described as “written by a committee.” Unfortunately, that draft was also rejected, and at the time, the study seemed to have lost interest.

The success of A new hope and Steven Spielberg Close Encounters of the Third Kind However, he changed his mind. The budget for Star Trek: The Movie Inflated and ambitious release dates were set in hopes of capitalizing on the public’s newfound interest in science fiction. But with development still a disaster and time suddenly a factor, the budget was increased in an effort to keep up with A new hope game-changing special effects. That became a recipe for disappointment. In the midst of all the delays and production developments, key elements of the formula were lost: the characters became scarred and passive, while the visuals were filled with sterile browns and grays. It didn’t look or feel very alike Star Trek, despite all the money that was spent, which eliminated the very quality that allowed it to compete with A new hope first. The film was turned into an empty picture frame, and the highest budget was spent incorrectly.

Nicholas Meyer came to rescue the series with Khan’s wrath, which reduces costs by reusing the footage from the effects of The movie and return the focus to the show’s beloved characters rather than an empty show all by itself. But that came after expectations were severely hampered, a rebuilding effort after the costly disappointment that preceded it. The movie survived thanks to the goodwill of Star trek fans, but he worked hard to produce those meager results. Regardless of the expectations or undue interference of the study, A new hope started an equally successful franchise at just a quarter of the cost.

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