Star Trek Prime Universe Megafranchise

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by intrinsical, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In point of fact they got butts in theater-seats just fine when any effort at all went into making and marketing the movie. ;)

    (That is an interesting comparison, though: actually if the MCU had restricted themselves to the most recognized heroes in their stable, the Iron Man and Thor movies and the Avengers series as we know it never would have happened.)
     
  2. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Iron Man and Thor may not have been the most recognizable Marvel heroes, but they were and are a hell of a lot more recognizable to the general public than Jonathan Archer or Ben Sisko. "Jonathan who?"
     
  3. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Than Archer, probably. (Still in denial about DS9, I see? :p)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  4. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, going by Google NGram on a comparison of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Benjamin Sisko, Kathryn Janeway, and Jonathan Archer:

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/interactive_chart?content=Spider-Man%2CIron+Man%2CBenjamin+Sisko%2CJonathan+Archer%2CKathryn+Janeway&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CSpider%20-%20Man%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CIron%20Man%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CBenjamin%20Sisko%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CJonathan%20Archer%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CKathryn%20Janeway%3B%2Cc0

    Sorry for the horrible URL, but I can't seem to embed the Google NGram directly on the BBS. Note that Google NGrams are not ideal measure as they only report on the appearance of phrases in books which Google Books has digitized, and of course it takes time for things to be talked about in print, and something can be the subject of considerable written attentions without really being part of public consciousness and vice-versa.

    (Unfortunately for our purposes the term ``iron man'' is used for more than just the comic book superhero, who debuted in 1963. So I've used a time frame which starts at 1960, so that the base level for 1960 to 1965 can be used as a rough level of definitely non-comic-book references to Iron Man.)
     
  5. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    I am not a comics guy and before the MCU lit the big screen, the characters I know in order from most familiar to least familiar are Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man. I had heard of some comic loving friends mentioning the term Avengers in but I had zero idea who is in the team or what they do. I did not know of Thor or Loki (to me, they were viking? gods) and I have never heard of Guardians of the Galaxy. In 2000, I would have laughed if anyone told me a movie centered on Iron Man or Thor would be a box office success.

    So to me, it doesn't matter if the public is familiar with DS9, VOY or ENT. What's more important is the treatment given to these characters. Frankly, I felt that the producers and writers of the TNG movies had already burnt out from churning out 7+ years of Trek. They were limited by vision, scope and budget. What they gave us was more 1997 Batman & Robin than 2012 The Dark Knight Rises.
     
  6. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If Insurrection, Nemesis and Enterprise hadn't flopped as hard as they did, an Avengers-like crossover movie may have been in the cards.

    Now? Not so much.
     
  7. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Right. IIRC, Iron Man was a b-level hero in the comics, and Robert Downey Jr. was seen as a gamble (and why they could afford to get him to play the lead). It's only recently and because of the success of the movies that we think of both Iron Man and Downey Jr. as A-listers in their fields because it's been a couple years.

    Well, it's a bit of prioritization, though. If you hadn't been a big Captain America or Thor fan and scoffed at the idea of them getting movies (as we all had), the idea was definitely eased by Iron Man and the studios' willingness to devote significant time and strategy to unveiling additional heroes and projects one at a time, to build that familiarity until it could be something that Marvel could harvest into big movie bucks.

    As it is, in order to make a Trek megafranchise, you'd have to devote a ginormous amount of planning just to begin to get people reacquainted with the characters and, more importantly, expose them to a new audience. However, Prime Trek doesn't have a major marketing outlet in the form a gigantic comics conglomerate. Prime Trek doesn't have an animation studio that keeps pumping out a new batch of shows every two years. Prime Trek doesn't have the pop culture capital to appeal to a large amount of cross-marketing with other brands. And Prime Trek as it is right now won't attract A-level actors to draw in crowds. On the scale that we're talking about here, it's beyond having a decent script or a doable budget, we're talking about a huge promotional strategy that involves countless factors that need to be reined in. In-universe scale is quite different than the scale of business that the machine needs, and without money or the investment, there won't be a film medium to tell a story that respects the characters the way you'd want it. After all, the story needs a medium.

    And the thing is, whatever chances that Prime Trek has with that, however slim, is already being occupied by JJTrek, and as Paramount learned the hard way during the Berman era, oversaturating the market with Trek will ultimately weaken the brand. JJTrek would have to get out of the way, but seeing as how it's made Paramount more money than most of past Trek and that it's now elevated to studio tentpole status, that won't be happening anytime soon.
     
  8. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think substituting "Peter Parker" and "Tony Stark" probably provides a more accurate picture of the bottom end. (Although, the hyphenated nature of "Spider-Man", makes me more confident of that one)

    new chart
     
  9. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't know about Google N-Grams, thanks to those who posted them. I don't know that they're much use for measuring pop culture notoriety but they're fascinating anyway.

    NB that Prime Trek does in fact have a vast extended universe of novelizations and comics (they've now made the transition to manga format -- a mixed blessing IMO but it's by far the fastest-growing sector of the comics market -- through Tokyopop*). A bit fan-specialized but then any comics pretty much are. As for cartoons, Marvel's current output is concurrent with the MCU, it wasn't a precondition.

    Neither, of course, did the current MCU prior to its existence.

    Since it basically doesn't exist on-screen right now, this isn't saying much. This is like saying prior to the first Iron Man movie that Iron Man was a washed up b-lister who could only attract a nine-time loser like Robert Downey, Jr. :p

    Really the barriers to a TNG reboot aren't as formidable as all that, except of course that as long as JJTrek persists there's no reason to do it. I don't know that JJTrek really has a life beyond the next film -- though who knows how long they'll keep trying to flog the formula after that -- but post-that, who knows? I think that people who are loudly declaiming that TNG is dead and shall never rise again perhaps protest a tad too much. I myself would prefer a total from-scratch reboot of the property, but I wouldn't be at all sad to see a TNG reboot happen if it was done well.

    (* Bad example, it turns out. The manga was short-lived and @*&!-ing terrible.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  10. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought he was pretty much A-level. :shrug:
     
  11. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No.
     
  12. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think he was pretty solidly a second tier hero. What's more impressive about the MCU is that it is mostly B-level guys*, because Marvel had given away the rights to their heavy hitters to other studios already and basically had to make do with what was left over. (Although, they're now going to exploit a loophole to bring mutants to the MCU, by using the characters, but not calling them mutants.) This summer will be interesting, because with Guardians, they getting into the third/fourth-tier guys, and I'm not all that convinced that's going to be popular with general audiences.

    * = Hulk is probably the only A-level one, but I think they've given up on him as far as features go, at least for now
     
  13. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It has a talking raccoon. I'm going to watch! Also, Prime Trek needs a talking raccoon.
     
  14. anh165

    anh165 Commander Red Shirt

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    It is because trek fans would go see it regardless of how poor the films were.

    Rick Berman and his collaborates have rode the franchise for what it was worth and most trek fans tolerated mediocre 1990's standard TV on the silver screen, they had their time and for the sake of Trek surviving with a new generation of viewers it is in good hands now with the current writers and producers.
     
  15. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That didn't work with Nemesis, though, did it?

    The fans are of course remarkably forgiving to a point, and the studios eventually abused that forgiveness (and general audience fatigue) to the breaking point. But we're talking about the future, now, not the past, and the TNG properties (the original TNG especially) being bigger than Berman I think it's probably past time for people to put down whatever axes they're post facto grinding with him. :p
     
  16. HIjol

    HIjol Admiral and Consummate Peacemaker Premium Member

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    In a time and place long past...
    Here is what I posted for the 50th Anniversary thread, waaaay back last sometime when I was an Ensign or so...seems sort of appropriate for this discussion...I will try again...( I made some tiny edits for clarity)

    ...stay with me with here, please...

    Cameron gets $1B (1 Billion) to come up with a Trek that encompasses as many REASONABLE iterations of Trek as he can bring together in One Big Story Line...all of them from TOS to TAS (TAS showing in given scenes on the rec room TV screen, for example) to VOY to DS9 to the Movies and beyond...

    Wait, wait, wait!!!...hear me out...

    The Money comes from a combination of "Us" fans Crowdfunding, potential stars deferring salary for percentage, Studio(s) doing the same, and merchandising money factored in...

    Of course we could not have main stars like "Bones" ("...dammit, Jim...I'm dead!...) as main characters for a lot of screen time, but combine what they did in DS 9 "Trial and Tribbles-ations" with what Cameron and the technology today is capable of, and just about all of the stars, dead, alive, alive too old, or borderline, can have their moment...

    ...the best part, to me, is the Crowdfunding could give us some participation, if not an eeentsie bit of story control/direction, and the money would be there to carry it off with Cameron's name on the package...

    ...feasible?...I want it to be...
    ...doable?....I have no doubt
    ...visionary?...of course!
    ...delusional?


    ...ok, let me have it!!!!! (Again! ;) )
    ...thanks for "listening"...!
     
  17. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Much as I love Trek, if I were to be part of raising a billion dollars for something, I'd rather it be something a little more meaningful in the real world. Like an action campaign on climate change or electing America's first female President or something.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    To any film buffs out there: Has a film that flopped as badly as Nemesis did ever received a sequel?
     
  19. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently they're still making Highlander sequels, among other things. I don't know if the previous Highlander sequels flopped as badly as Nemesis* but they can hardly have been a license to print money.

    * Though I actually suspect Nemesis did technically make some money. We pretty much know they didn't spend &!*#-all marketing it, after all... ;)
     
  20. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or, alternately, Nemesis established the floor for 'Star Trek fans' who can be reliably expected to show up to anything with 'Trek' in the title.

    As ever, the 'fans' are seldom enough to warrant more than a second-thought, business-wise.