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Paramount's Sherry Lansing Confounded by NEMESIS 'Failure', Says Misfire a Mystery


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Posted: 01:02:56 on February 15 2003
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Star Trek: Nemesis
The February 21st issue of Entertainment Weekly has a short article entitled "Falling 'Star'," according to TrekWeb visitor 'JoJoMorty'. In the article on page 12, the magazine speaks to Paramount head of motion pictures, Sherry Lansing, who echoes recent remarks by Rick Berman that the domestic box office failure of STAR TREK NEMESIS is a mystery.

"It was a very big disappointment to us and remains a mystery," Lansing says. "We can only assume that the fan base in some way has shrunk."

Although the reaction to the movie from many fans has been positive, EW tracks down a representative of those fans who believe the movie deserved to fail. Mark Anbinder, the VP of Starfleet, the International STAR TREK Fan Association laughs that Paramount "failed to get anyone but the fan base in the seats," according to the mag, which says Anbinder thinks NEMESIS failed even to reach that core audience. "I haven't even seen it a second time," he says.

Pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands now.

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Nemesis Rocks
By tremor ( ) at 06:02:11 on February 19 2003
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I love Nemesis as much as I like First Contact. Nemesis one the bast it Draws with First Contact on this website.Well so far anyway

There still doing a 11 Rigth a hope so.
I seen thing about there going to be a 11 I just hope there rigth about there will be 11

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Nemesis Rocks
By tremor ( ) at 05:53:22 on February 19 2003
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I love Nemesis as much as I like First Contact. Nemesis one the bast it Draws with First Contact on this website.Well so far anyway

There still doing a 11 Rigth a hope so.

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Ive said it before.......
By cooper2000 ( ) at 14:53:38 on February 18 2003
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and I'll say it again. If fans can figure it out and we dont make any more from Trek and the Paramount Executives and Berman cant figure it out. What does that say??
Quality is down on Enterprise and the movie wasnt up to snuff.
Whats not to know?
I just cant believe that they have the wool pulled over their eyes to the extent that they have no idea what went wrong.
Do they ever read boards like these?
The movie wasnt marketed correctly and they edited it to smithereens. And the release date??? Hello!!! Those are three alone and believe me there are others.

Wake up Paramount!
You have to understand franchises if you want them to make you money.

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By iam ( ) at 10:55:02 on February 18 2003
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My God! Star Trek really is doomed! A mystery?!?!?! Is Paramount really so egotistical to think that STAR TREK could hold up to LORD OF THE RINGS? Give me a break. If Ms. Lansing could not see the folly of releasing Nemesis a WEEK before LOTR 2 TOWERS, then I am unsure as to why she still has job as well! THE FAN BASE MUST BE SHRINKING?!?!?!?!? really? You think? You go out of your way to alienate fans who have been watching faithfully since the 60's and you say this? No kidding!
I just can't believe the unreality of these people! Paramount..... its time to wake up and smell the Earl Gray Tea! (hot, of course)

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By Trek ( ) at 21:47:48 on February 17 2003
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After waiting a few months to see Nemesis( since I'm in Australia) and hearing the failure of the movie at the box office and some gripes from existing star trek fans, I was worried this could be the end for star trek.

So I went today to watch the movie with my wife, who by the way is not a trek fan and we both thought it was a great movie. I have seen all the previous trek movies and to me this is was probably the best told and close the wrath of khan. The space battle was incredible and realistic, if you could call it that.

I have read the comments people have made regarding the movie and these are all legitimate and would make the movie even better. However at the end of the day the movie is there to entertain and being a trek fan I just let myself enjoy the movie without worry if schinzon was credible as a young schinzon or if they should have had more dialogue etc.

I left the cinema wondering why some of the reviews have been negative. I think a couple of things could explain the poor box office. It can't be the movie as I thought the film "as a movie" was very good (much better than the last and probaly better than first contact), I felt if it didn't have Star Trek in the tile it would have proably done better with the critics. I know us fans do like to see the crew get back together, but the wider audience probably doesn't care. And also trek fans have become too critical of the movie especially of Berman and Co. We should support trek and if we like the movie go out there to watch it again and encourage them to make anothe one. I will be watching the movie again and buying the DVD when it comes out, as the long as they tell a good story I don't mind..

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By timmer33 ( ) at 13:54:09 on February 17 2003
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The actor playing Picard's clone bothered me. At no time did I think that could be a younger Picard. It didn't look like him or act like him. How could they have picked that actor? And why shave his head? Picard may have still had hair at that age. His lips were totally different. Man - it was so obviously not Picard. I agree with the Mirror/Mirror posts below ... it would have been better to visit that universe and ignore everything that had been done on it on DS9 ... find out what happened to Spock and his rebellion. That would have been interesting. Dark Mirror was okay ... except for the flying dolphin character.

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Why does this read like deja-vu?
By Cylykon ( ) at 11:33:07 on February 16 2003
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I read this article at MSN's Slate, today.

So, maybe the question isn't "who is killing the great chefs?" but "what business practices are killing the great chefs?" Perhaps there are those in Hollywood that have reached their level of incompetence and Hollywood itself isn't competent enough to know it.

Heck, I could do Berman's job and drive Star Trek right into the ground "faster and cheaper"!! Are you listening Paramount?

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Berman my man
By Steve Krutzler ( s_krutzler@trekweb.com) at 21:19:23 on February 15 2003
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Sorry, you posted in some fixed width font that was interferring with the display of the page so I had to delete your post. Please feel free to post again but without any special font tags or anything.



-Steve Krutzler
==V/-/== Rocks

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Sherry, dear....
By prometheus 59650 ( ) at 12:23:50 on February 15 2003
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...I hope you read this, or maybe a lackey of yours will read this, not be in the mood to stroke your ego, and pass it on:

A.)The fan base has not diminished significantly. This should be witnessed by the your general merchandising numbers, which, while they probably have gone down, are still profitable as witnessed by the fact that companies still vie for the Trek license.

B.)You do not understand your product. Trek film is a niche market. (Science fiction) And generally tailored to a specific subset of that niche (Trek fans) Trek's greatest successes have come when they have been able to craft a story to have broader appeal and not just serve as a cast reunion for fans. First Contact and The Voyage Home achieved that because the threat was clear, did not require immersion in the vast Trek lore to understand, and touched on universal emotions and themes.

C.)Nemesis genuinely attempted to do this, but it fell flat due to hackneyed editing that seems to have been done solely to keep the film at 2 hrs. Gone were many of the feelings that Picard should have had about time "gaining" on him and what that means for a man who has spent his life on the frontier.

Gone was the introspection that he should have gone through as his "family" moves on. Gone was any substantive background on the antagonist. Without it, he was largely a one note caricature that the casual viewer would have a hard time relating to. Gone was much of the emotional struggle that one should have seen between Picard and Shinzon. There are other examples, but my point is clear. To meet an arbitrary time limit and pick up the pace much of the ability to relate to story and character and the emotional payoff the casual viewer needs was gutted.

D.) You should know, that in terms of film: 1.) The movie goers resources are finite and 2.) That money is spent MONTHS in advance of release. You placed a film that was deficient for the reasons descibed above in the midst of one of the most high profile holiday seasons in history. So, OF COURSE it performed more poorly than expected. There is no mystery.

Give the franchise to someone who respects it. Berman has called it "silly" on more than one occasion. Give it to someone who can write. And, most importantly, give it to someone who honestly has something to say.


"Remember all that 'We come in peace' stuff? ...Bite me." --Colonel Jack O'Neil, Stargate SG-1

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Fan Base Shrunk
By Dukat ( ) at 12:03:24 on February 15 2003
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I don't think she is blaming the fans when she says that somehow the fan base has shrunk. But at the same time, her statement makes it seem like a mystery as to why. Well Sherry, clearly you are not reading this board-- clearly you have not been talking to trek fans for the past 5 years. Right or wrong, it has been clear that the fan base has been fracturing since before DS9 left the air, but with greater speed after Insurrection, Voyager went solo, and Enterprise came on the air.

I feel this fracturing within myself. First, I really, really liked Nemesis. I grew up on TOS, and was there for every episode of TNG as it aired the first time. loved DS9, started to grow tired of Voyager, and I like Enterprise, but to admit I am not making the event of seeing it each week like I did with DS9 and TNG. I could not be more excited about DS9 coming to DVD. So I go between loving it and neutral depending on the product.

One reason is that I am getting older, and married, just don't have the fanatical interest that I once did. Another reason is that there is so much in the way of hours of trek. Lastly there are so many characters. TOS was about 3 guys. Every show since then has been about 7, with DS9 having about 20 primary characters. With so many characters, why am I caring about what happens to this crew? There is another crew who will have stories next week.

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Paramount's got lousy spin control
By Akita1999 ( ) at 10:59:08 on February 15 2003
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Sherry Lansing's comments are merely propaganda. She's regurgitating the party line that "Nemesis" was a wonderful film and somehow fewer fans caused the film's failure. This attitude of "blame the fans" is really a hackneyed response from Paramount.

It is true fewer fans went to see Nemesis than other Star Trek movies in the past. It is ridiculous to contend, however, as Paramount does, that there must be fewer Trek fans, and that's the reason for the film's financial failure.

We've debated why Nemesis failed in the past, so I'm not going to repeat my thoughts as to the film's quality and reasons for financial failure again. Suffice it to say, Paramount is responsible for the product it puts out. And it is responsible for satisfying the consumer. Here's an idea Paramount: work harder on the quality of the product. To paraphrase "Field of Dreams," build a better Star Trek movie and the fans will come.

It is clear to me that Paramount has taken the Star Trek fans for granted since TNG's heyday. Paramount is in denial about Trek fans and their reaction to Paramount's product. Now that there is successful competition for the typical fan's dollar, Paramount doesn't know what to do. So the suits blame the fans.

I love Trek and will maintain my loyalty to the product and other fans. But I'm unwilling to let Paramount blame me and Trek's other fans for Paramount's failures.

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The bottom line, as I see it.
By Hbasm ( ) at 10:28:10 on February 15 2003
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I agree there is no easy explanation to all this. But I think, competition in the sci-fi genre is the primary reason for the declining interest in the Star Trek series, and thereby also responsible for Nemesis's failure.

You can argue about the quality of Star Trek, but unless there were a lot of alternatives, it wouldn't matter. This probably saved Star Trek in the past.

The worst thing people can do now, if they are unsatisfied with Nemesis or things in general, is to shoot down Star Trek completely. A spirit of support would, on the other hand, be helpful.

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How do you know Braga DIDN'T have anything to do with NEMESIS?
By Shaun ( ) at 10:23:20 on February 15 2003
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To respond to the earlier thread below... is it such a leap of imagination to assume that Berman probably threw Braga the NEMESIS script and said something to the effect of, "Here, spruce this up a little." Wasn't that a common practice with Ronald D. Moore and Braga during TNG's heyday, to "touch up" scripts they didn't originally write, because they supposedly "knew" more about STAR TREK than anyone else? Didn't Roddenberry do the exact same thing on every other episode of the original STAR TREK? NEMESIS stunk and Braga is a poor, hack writer... it wouldn't surprise me if the two were involved somehow. I'd even go so far as to say the lamest lines in the movie could probably be reasonably attributed to Braga. His dialogue always sticks out like a sore thumb.

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No mystery to me
By jasetkirk ( ) at 07:46:46 on February 15 2003
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It would be easy to blame Insurrection and the mediocrity of Star Trek since the end of Deep Space 9, but you would have to take that into account.

To be honest, First Contact was a MUCH better film and appealled to both the fan base and the general audience.

Nemesis didn't appeal to me as a fan - a bald clone wants revenge, evil-Picard???

To appeal to the fans, it should have been the mirror-universe Picard, and played by Patrick Stewart.

It was really a self-gratification movie for the egos of Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart, the latter of which butchered the 9th movie so much that we were left with the bland Insurrection, and not Piller's reportedly dark and excellent draft involving the deactivation of Data and a Picard imposter.

And to be honest, I won't be seeing it again either. Parts of it REALLY bored me. It was terribly paced. It had TV episode moments, that don't fit on the big screen. Great scenes were few and far between. At least when First Contact switched from action scenes it had CONFLICT. We were faced with literally 5 to 10 minute scenes at a time of just TALKING.

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By Tbar ( tbar@divertigo.com) at 00:37:36 on February 15 2003
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I've seen it three times....

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