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Paramount Rolls the Dice on Star Trek

| 4 May 2009 19:05
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Paramount Pictures isn't screwing around with Star Trek: The studio has sunk $150 million into promoting the film in an attempt to get beyond the traditional Trek fan base and turn it into a genuine summer blockbuster.

Paramount wants Star Trek to be a hit and it's pulling out all the stops to make it happen, dropping $150 million in advertising on top of the actual movie budget of $140 million. It's a big chunk of change, particularly given the whimpering end-notes of the Star Trek film franchise thus far: The last three Trek movies - First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis - have suffered steadily declining revenues, with Nemesis being the first to not premiere at the top of the charts and ultimately bringing in only $67,000,000 worldwide. But Paramount believes the publicity blitz and the involvement of director J. J. Abrams could be enough to turn things around.

"Our goal was to go back to the beginning and relaunch this for a broad audience," Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore told the Los Angeles Times. To that end, the studio formed partnership packages with ABC's Lost and Fox's Fringe and laid out big bucks to run a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl last February. Abrams and members of the cast and crew have also been sent on a world-wide tour to push the film in as many countries as possible. "We want to introduce the movie to a younger audience in the U.S. who didn't get to see the last Star Trek movie, and international audiences who don't have any awareness of it," Moore added.

It seems to be working. Early "buzz" is positive and despite sharing the month of May with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Terminator Salvation, Airlock Alpha says fans and the industry continue to be focused primarily on Star Trek. There's still a certain degree of risk in the strategy. Star Trek will need to thoroughly outperform its predecessors for Paramount to even break even, much less turn a profit. But the studio appears confident in its success: It has already commissioned two writers to begin work on a sequel.

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