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J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK Officially Biggest STAR TREK Ever!!

I am – Hercules!!

A rare box office story here at Ain’t It Cool, in celebration of the news that “Star Trek” is not only back, it is now bigger than it’s been in its four-decade-plus history! Numbers: BOX OFFICE (domestic grosses in millions) $43.2 Nemesis (2002) $52.2 The Final Frontier (1989) $70.1 Insurrection (1998) $74.8 The Undiscovered Country (1991) $75.6 Generations (1994) $76.4 The Search For Spock (1984) $79.9 The Wrath of Khan (1982) $82.2 The Motion Picture (1979) $92.0 First Contact (1996) $109.7 The Voyage Home (1986) $240.8 Star Trek (2009)* *as of Monday Yes, this year’s “Trek” took eight days (!) to exceed the 1986 “Trek’s” whale-sized franchise-record gross. But the figures above don’t tell the whole story: BOX OFFICE ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION (domestic grosses in millions; per $51.4 Nemesis (2002) $89.5 The Final Frontier (1989) $92.2 Insurrection (1998) $108.4 Generations (1994) $116.8 The Undiscovered Country (1991) $149.4 First Contact (1996) $156.4 The Search for Spock (1984) $176.0 The Wrath of Khan (1982) $212.7 The Voyage Home (1986) $240.7 The Motion Picture (1979) $240.8 Star Trek (2009)* *as of Monday Impressively, the new “Trek” needed only 46 days to exceed the number of tickets sold by 1979’s “Trek.” The ’79 “Trek” had more than a year of cinema play to draw on, including the kind of repeat business you never see today. Remember that when “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was released in 1979 the home video industry barely existed. Less than one percent of U.S. households owned VCRs. Less than eight percent of U.S. households were wired for cable TV. The lag between theatrical release and a film’s debut on VHS and Betamax was more than a year. Thirty years ago a hit movie could linger in cinemas far beyond a year, because that’s where all the money was. Today most of the money is in DVD and Blu-ray, which is why major movies like “Star Trek” are now obliged to vanish from cinemas in the space of three months. A little known fact is that dramatically shortened cinema-to-DVD “windows” have in the past half-decade eroded U.S. cinema ticket sales into a steep decline. The number of domestic cinema tickets sold last year was only 1.36 billion, down 15% from the 2002 peak of 1.59 billion and the lowest since 1997 (the year DVD was introduced to U.S. markets). So, again, for Abrams’ “Star Trek,” in this diminished cinemagoing environment, and with its tired franchise and no-name cast, to emerge as such a juggernaut is dang impessive. Needless to say, the new “Trek’s” home entertainment sales will effortlessly eclipse all its prequels (or sequels, if you care to look at them that way). All this suggests, of course, that “Star Trek” will live long and prosper in movie and TV form at least until Chris Pine is as old as William Shatner. Maybe J.J. Abrams will hire “Star Trek” vet Bryan Fuller to make a new TV series. Maybe he’ll hire “Star Trek” vet Ronald D. Moore to run another. Maybe we’ll meet Jack Black as Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Maybe we’ll meet Nestor Carbonell as Khan Noonian Singh. Maybe we’ll run into a Q played by Bill Murray combating a Trelane played by Vince Vaughn. Maybe Kirk will seduce Olivia Thirlby as a nakedness-prone Borg Queen. CRITICS (favorable reviews; per Rotten Tomatoes) 21% The Final Frontier (1989) 36% Nemesis (2002) 49% Generations (1994) 50% The Motion Picture (1979) 55% Insurrection (1998) 76% The Search For Spock (1984) 82% The Undiscovered Country (1991) 84% The Voyage Home (1986) 90% The Wrath of Khan (1982) 91% First Contact (1996) 96% Star Trek (2009)
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