The movie cost four times as much as Star Wars

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Although it was supposed to rival the success of Star Wars, Star Trek: The Motion Picture ended up costing a lot more and making a lot less.

Star Trek: The Movie was intended to be a blockbuster at the level of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. He had an established property behind him, and Paramount was starting to understand just how dedicated the show’s fan base was. And after a long time trapped in development, the film finally appeared on screens in 1979. But something happened along the way that raised eyebrows.

Star wars reflects an astonishing ROI, totaling $ 775 million worldwide (and in cash) on a production budget of $ 11 million. But despite being the most established franchise at this point, Star Trek: The Movie far worse – an initial budget of $ 15 million climbed to $ 44 million before a disappointing box office return of $ 139 million. It was enough to make a profit, but it was far from Star wars and far from what its producers had hoped for. Ironically, the reasons for which derive from qualities that should have given Star Trek the advantage over its space opera rival.


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The simplest and most fundamental reason for the deviation is that New hope is simply a better movie – faster, more exciting, and standing infinitely better for repeat viewings than the visually stunning but dramatically inert Movie. But beyond that, Star Trek faces a number of unexpected obstacles due to both its status in point The film was produced and the fact that it was released after New hope had become a phenomenon. Nobody expected New hope become something other than an afterthought. Indeed, according to The secret story of Star Wars, Lucas presented the film to United Artists and Universal, who turned it down. Disney and Paramount were also successful, and Lucas was only able to successfully sell it at 20e Century Fox after the success of his first film American graffiti. And as small as his budget was, he actually went over the $ 8.5 million the studio had given him.

In short, no one really believed in the film except Lucas, and its limited release with minimal marketing in 1977 was talking about it. Despite the odds, however, it turned into a phenomenon and spawned the franchise that continues to thrive today. Star wars did so, in part, by setting itself apart from other sci-fi films of the time for reasons unrelated to its budget. He was upbeat and upbeat, and because no one expected it, his success seemed all the more spectacular in hindsight.

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Star Trek: The Movie didn’t have any of these perks, and producers, including Gene Roddenberry, were still not sure what they had at the time. The pop-art aesthetic and boundless optimism that informed The original series has faded from the pop culture scene, replaced by grungier, livelier space operas embracing darker themes. Roddenberry began developing the script for the film in 1975, as ratings syndicated for The original series started to soar. But according to The Making of Star Trek: The Movie, the script went through several drafts and many top sci-fi writers, including Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Harlan Ellison, all of whom were turned down by a nervous studio. Too many cooks spoiled the final script, which Roddenberry returned in March 1977 and described as “written by a committee.” Unfortunately, this project was also rejected, and at the time, the studio seemed to have lost interest.

The success of New hope and that of Steven Spielberg Encounters of the Third Kind however, changed his mind. The budget for Star Trek: The Movie inflated and ambitious release dates have been set in hopes of capitalizing on new public interest in science fiction. But with development still a mess and time suddenly a factor, the budget has been increased in an effort to keep up. New hope game-changing special effects. It has become a recipe for disappointment. Amid all the delays and developments in production, key elements of the formula were lost – the characters became silent and passive, while the visual aspect was filled with sterile browns and grays. It didn’t or did not look very much like Star Trek, despite all the money spent, which eliminated the very quality that allowed it to compete with New hope in the first place. The film became an empty picture box, with the higher budget being spent in all the wrong ways.

Nicholas Meyer came to save the series with Khan’s wrath, which reduces costs by reusing the effect sequences of The film and put the emphasis back on the show’s beloved characters instead of an empty show for itself. But it came after expectations were severely hampered – a rebuilding effort from the costly disappointment that preceded it. The film survived thanks to the goodwill of Star Trek fans, but it worked a lot to produce these meager results. Not bound by expectations or undue studio interference, New hope launched an equally successful franchise at just a quarter the cost.

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