Hollywood Reporter has an interesting article regarding lessons learned from the Summer 2013 Box Office smackdown.
The undying spectre of a PACIFIC RIM sequel is once more evoked (the film is being scripted as I understand it - but the existence of script does not a movie guarantee), and the article also pings STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS…and what its performance might mean for another jaunt to the Final Frontier.
Seems there are budget concerns about the upcoming third installment, which’ll once again be scripted by Orci and Kurtzman. Such concerns may help to illuminate the recent rumors of ATTACK THE BLOCK’s Joe Corninsh directing the project - given that he realized so much with so few resources during the making of that picture.
Paramount also will look to save money on another Star Trek -- a franchise, but not quite in the top tier. This summer's $190 million production Star Trek Into Darkness has earned over $462 million worldwide; its international haul has exceeded expectations at $234 million, but domestically, its $228.5 million hasn't matched the first film. Whereas the first two were shot in L.A., the next will be filmed in a more tax-friendly location. "We're making it for what it should have been shot for last time if we had made it outside of L.A., which we would have done except that [director J.J. Abrams] didn't want to," says a studio source. "That was a $20 million issue.”
…says THR HERE.
So - is this a bad thing for TREK 3? Not necessarily. Yes, INTO DARKNESS got a lotta bang for its $190ish price tag. But, as a point of comparison, look how much bang ELYSIUM got for a $115ish million pricetag (I didn’t like the film too much at all, but it had tremendous visual qualities and scale and certainly suggests a lesser budget could be stretched a very long way). Also, it should be noted that some of the very best STAR TREK...ever…took place in limited confines (The Original Series' BALANCE OF TERROR being one example). Tremendous and costly scale is not required to make good TREK. Period. And, at the end of the day, it's also possible Paramount may be able to realize a full-scale production at lest costs by shipping the show to areas with greater incentives and whatnot. My point being: lesser budget doesn't automatically denote shittier quality, whatever the mechanics driving the decision.
My personal belief is that STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS was seriously hamstrung by the PR coyness leading up to its release. Its vague trailers made it damn near impossible for audiences to glean the heart or drive of the film - and I’ve heard from a number of folks who dismissed STID entirely simply because they couldn’t get sense of the picture’s pulse from the promos. Perhaps rethinking that Team Abrams tap dance might help matters progress more smoothly next time around?
Come what may, throughout history it’s been proven that many directors do their very best work on more restrictive budgets - as imagination and creativity must compensate for the excessive/“anything goes” nature a larger budget often affords. It’ll be interesting to see how such challenges are met by helmers of large-scale projects in the coming months/years…
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