Producer Rick Berman
talks extensively about the box office performance of STAR TREK NEMESIS in his latest Update with the Star Trek Communicator
for issue #143, hitting newsstands soon. NEMESIS made less than $50 million domestically, making it the lowest-grossing of all ten STAR TREK pictures. Berman, however, is weary of the culprit.
"It is really easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback. You can blame it on the competition, you can blame it on what month it was scheduled to be released in, you can blame it on the movie itself, you can blame it on the fan base deteriorating to some degree," Berman told Dan Madsen. "I think it is silly to make a guess as to what causes a film to do very well or
not do very well."
Berman is open to the possibility that the STAR TREK franchise is simply over-saturated right now.
"Star Trek can be over-exposed; the audience can be saturated with Star Trek," he says. "It is definitely a possibility. But I think that if you look at the first night grosses of the movie,which are almost entirely fans, the fact that those first-night and second-night numbers were considerably
down from previous movies tells
me that the fans were just not coming
out like they were before."
Berman says he and the studio were confident with the film's marketing campaign and didn't feel like MAID IN MANHATTAN constituted "major competition." He continues that less fans turned out than for previous movies.
"I think the fact that the first weekend boxoffice was down is definitely an indication that the fans were holding back a little bit. That is certainly a major comment, and whether that has to do with the over-saturation of Star Trek is a very valid question."
He also says that STAR TREK's audience has aged considerably since TNG, when asked by Madsen what he thinks STAR TREK's main audience is today.
"If you realize that The Next Generation
has been off the air for eight years,
the fans of that series have obviously
gotten eight years older," he admits. "Indeed, the
younger ones are no longer young, and
the older ones are eight years older. I
think that... that the audience has grown a bit older and the younger audiences are more familiar with Deep Space Nine and Voyager and Enterprise. I think the fact that our core audience has gotten a little bit older is something hard to ignore."
Although he says the studio has not begun discussing the fate of the STAR TREK movie franchise, Berman thinks taking advantage of the now five television series with a mixed-cast movie could be feasible.
"I have discussed it with a few people," Berman says. "Itís possible. Obviously, we did that with GENERATIONS. Now that we have The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, I think the sky is the limit in terms of mixing and
matching... If people knew
what it would take to
make box-office hits they
would be very rich. Whether
it means a change in cast or a partial
change in cast, or whether it means a
longer wait, or it means a drastic
change in concept, I donít know. We
will obviously be discussing that over
the next year, and everybody will take
an educated guess."
The exec also discusses the STAR TREK NEMESIS DVD as well as additional discussion of ENTERPRISE and the NEMESIS aftermath in issue #143 of the Star Trek Communicator, which will be available soon. The issue also features an interview with ENTERPRISE writer/producer Chris Black, a feature on the TOS episode "Journey to Babel," and a new interview with Anthony Montgomery. You can read some of Berman's ENTERPRISE remarks here.
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