Was moving 'The Next Generation' over to movies a bad decision?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Lance, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    It was a terrible decision by Paramount to rush "Generations" into production so it could be released a few months after the end of TNG. The actors were obviously burnt out.

    They really should have delayed that movie a bit to work on the script and the effects. I still can't believe they had to nerve to reuse old Bird of Prey shops from TUC for GEN! Even AGT created new explosions and new ships like the future Enterprise D and the future Klingon Attack ships.
     
  2. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    If anyone hasn't listened to Moore and Braga's Commentary for Generations on the Blu-ray release, you should. It's hilarious. It's one long apology for screwing the pooch when it comes to the movie. Not defining the Nexus as deeply as they should, lackluster end to Kirk and the ENT-D, crafting a story about death and mortality and failing to present that as deeply as they intended and Soran's motivations. Brilliantly summed up that their reach exceeded their grasp.

    First Contact was done by the same people worked on GEN. Berman, Braga and Moore, and it was amazing improvement. Surmised up what TNG needed to be as a movie for theatres: a go get'em action/adventure series with the character's the fans of the show loved and general audiences could appreciate. I think about what Pirates of the Caribbean series has done and is very popular and has survived to make numerous successful movies and more to come.

    Unfortunately INS decided to take huge steps backwards and hash out a story that the audience had seen time and time again and was ultimately what doomed the franchise for films. The story of a people oppressed and victimized for their resources (usually brown people) by white people(Admiral Doughtery and Ru'afo)has be rehashed to death and is uninteresting. No one cares because we know how it ends. Something like Avatar which made 2.7 billion is theatres with the same story as INS, Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves and Fern Gully; is a different story. Avatar was a success because the story of exploitation for natural resources is third in line to the attention of the audience. Whatever resource the villains in Avatar were mining, you and audience forget about because you are so distracted by the visuals, landscape, main character's drama and the whole adventure happening on screen. The conflict over resources is just something to have a big battle at the end over. INS feels small, is presented small, and is ultimately forgettable. They couldn't even spring for brown/blue/fairy people for the ENT-E crew to save. Just a crowd of unsympathetic hippy white people who i think i saw in the DS9 season 2 episode "Paradise". A go get'em action film with a grand adventure would've been a good follow up to First Contact. To be be fair though. INS flies it just doesn't soar, and it certainly doesn't hit warp speed.

    Lastly NEM I think was the last chance to get the public's attention in Trek but the damage had been done. VOY closing out it's meandering series with a whimper, and ENT launching it's first unaspiring season. NEM's biggest flaw is that it's biggest catch to audiences and fans is "come pay see the TNG crew in a movie". And that sucks. Star Trek X could've featured any story with the TNG crew and i still think it would've done poorly. They tried for a balls to the wall action film which the fans and public responded to positively in FC and the Dominion War battles, but it wasn't enough. Maybe if there wasn't a 4 year gap between INS and NEM, and maybe if NEM was a bigger picture (in the sense that we see more of Romulus outside of sets, and more of the universe the crew inhabits) there could've been a greater rewatch effect and resulted in more ticket sales. The Star Wars prequels all feel like big pictures when most of the shooting takes place on green screen. However the world of Star Wars feels so much bigger because there is so much to look at. NEM feels small by comparison to something like Episode I and II. One of the benefits i like in JJ's film. Scope and scale of the film feels large.

    With a smarter producer, better allocation of resources and tighter control on screenplays that would be sure bets to make as much money as possible. I think the TNG film franchise could've flourish. Look at the James Bond series. It has 23 offiical films and spread across 50 years and they are still making them and they are still making money. While there have been a few films that haven't performed as well by Bond standards "On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever and The Man With the Golden Gun" they weren't complete failures. Look at the Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan eras. With films like "Moonraker, Octopussy, A View To a Kill, Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day" all these films have issues in one way or another but the producers filled them and marketed them with things they know the audience liked and wanted to see. Moonraker is an obvious attempt to cash in on the Star Wars craze in the late 70's but it made the most money in the franchise until 1995 when Goldeneye was released. Die Another Day is way over the top but it's filled with all the tropes and flashy things audiences at the time wanted to see.and before Casino Royale in 2006 Die Another was the highest grossing Bond film. What I'm trying to say is doing the "right thing" (Rick Berman) : keeping the franchise as close to the original vision of the show and Roddenberry's ideas, is not always "smart thing" (JJ Abrams and Bond producers) : making your films the biggest money makers you possibly can.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  3. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    All long-running franchises depend on refreshing and renewal. That's the true success story of James Bond (and Dr Who). NEM takes definite steps towards that in it's script, but is arguably too little too late. If INS had been advertised as "A Generation's Final Journey...", and this had been followed up by Star Trek X establishing a brand new crew for the future... well, how that would have played out is anyone's guess. I do know that as a finale NEM is a disappointment compared to AGT. AGT feels like a true finale, NEM is just disappointingly limp. NEM brings back Guinnan and Wesley Crusher for glorified cameos. I'd like to have seen a 'final' movie of some sort that incorporates them into the plot, ties up the loose ends, and strives to bring in a fresh set of faces to replaced the tired worn-out ones. Say what some might about the deleted scene from NEM introducing the new XO of the Enterprise, but it's surprising how much it hints at a fresh outlook. A bit more restructuring like that (maybe even replacing Picard?) couldn't have hurt.
     
  4. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    a new crew introduced for a new TNG picture? I don't think that would have worked. INS did poorly enough on its own, I don't think they would have gone that route.
     
  5. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    I of course realize those are not adjusted but absolute figures are what most people use to compare films. STFC still made the most in absolute dollars for any of the movies before ST09. ST09 and STTMP sold the most tickets. There are often inaccuracies with using the adjusted numbers based on what method used to adjust, and international sales were less accurate back in the 70s and 80s and figuring out the ticket prices is even more problematic.

    I'm still trying to figure out why STTMP's original take of $175 million has been readjusted from almost every source I see to $139 million.

    RAMA
     
  6. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Add to the fact that TNG was also in syndicated reruns by this point. I vividly remember it being on weeknights at 7PM in my area while it was still in first run every Saturday at 7PM.
     
  7. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Captain Captain

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    I don't know if it mattered how long they waited, 2 years or 10.
    It still remain two badly written stories
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You wait ten years and it likely isn't two burnt out series writers writing the big screen version.
     
  9. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    Good points, I agree. It could almost be seen as a cash grab because now we have to go to the theater to see something we could once watch for free. But with most paying for either cable or dish TV we were paying for it, so what do I know? :guffaw:
     
  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    you wait ten years and Stewart's almost a senior citizen at the start of the film series. TNG went off the air a very popular show, there was no reason to wait very long for the movies.
     
  11. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    I have not read the entire thread but if more of the TNG movies had been successful I do not think this thread would exist.
     
  12. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I still don't know why they WAITED four years after Insurrection to release Nemesis. If they wanted to stop doing TNG films then stop.
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    well, that's kind of tautological, no?
     
  14. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    I surmise the decision was to focus on VOY and get it "working". I thinking blaming VOY is a bit over the top, but when you look at INS and NEM as films at the time 98 and 02. The only draw for audiences is to come see the TNG crew in a feature films. INS failed to aspire to anything great. The entire Dominion War (The largest Intergalactic War in Trek history) is skipped out for the TNG crew and we get a mediocre story fit for tv TNG. NEM had scale and scope in some parts, but it was too late to salavage the films and NEM failed to some up "All Good Things" in the TNG swan song.

    Rick Berman was the executive producer for VOY and the TNG films at the time. DS9 was essentially Ira Behr's child at the time. I suppose you could say Berman didn't keep his eye on the ball. VOY being free to watch but TNG now pay for view.
     
  15. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Voyager would have been in its FIFTH season by then, I don't think that was the reason. More likely, the delay was a result of INS disappointing box office results.
     
  16. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    ^ The story which was Berman and Piller's decision to go with. New TNG was for paying customers. They needed to develop movies that people would want to PAY to see over and over. They failed to sell TNG to audiences.

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    I'm sure we've all seen this. My point is, with movies you have to sell them to the audience. With a franchise movie like Trek you have to make it as appealing to fans and general audiences alike. Rewatch value in theaters and people telling family and friends to go see a certain movie is how movies can be sucessful. INS takes for granted audience tastes and presumes everybody will like and go see the film multiple times because TNG was a breakout tv show and popular. Generations made the same presumption as INS in my opinion. FC and NEM try there damnedest to appeal to the masses and make as much money as possible. FC succeeded while NEM floundered.
     
  17. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    I do wonder if 'mass market appeal' is a large part of it. FC clearly tapped into something that the other three TNG movies quite frankly didn't (GENS had the benefit of coming off the back of TNG ending and the crossover with Kirk, but internally it was arguably far too inwards looking to have true mass market appeal). NEM screwed itself over by advertising "A Generation's Final Journey...", subconsciously planting the seed into the minds of casual movie-goers that it was another naval-gazing exercise for the fans rather than a good movie in its own right. I'd actually say NEM had the potential to tap into the same broad appeal as FC, but as I say they fumbled the ball.
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think NEM never really had a chance. The franchise was clearly struggling by that point and suffering from fatigue and over-saturation. Combine that with the lousy marketing of NEM(I don't remember seeing ANY commercials for it in the weeks leading up to it), and you get a recipe for failure. Remember that even before word of mouth could take effect, NEM STILL opened up second at the box office to "maid in manhattan" of all movies. Even had NEM been better regarded, it would likely have made 60-70 million at most. There just wasn't the fanbase interest at that point.
     
  19. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Using the Consumer Price Index, the inflation calculator on this site... http://www.westegg.com/inflation/ reveals 1979's $139,000,000 to be worth approx. $432,787,275 in 2012 money. Out of interest, according to Box Office Mojo, First Contact took $146,027,888 worldwide in 1996, which translates to $210,978,720 2012. I have no idea if this is the most accurate, or even an appropriate, method of comparing box office figures.
     
  20. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Accounting for inflation, STID's take domestically rises to over $403 million total as well ($278 million domestic). Probably over $420 million worldwide.

    It is partly this disagreement on accuracy both amongst fans and the business that I don't normally like using adjusted figures.