Star Trek Beyond had an opening weekend that met with Paramount’s expectations, and amid the stellar reviews, it appeared as if the controversial Simon Pegg script was able to overcome some early bad publicity.
Pegg decided to turn the popular Sulu character (originally played by George Takei, now by John Cho) gay, in honor of Takei.
The only problem, for many Star Trek purists anyway, was that the character was always written and portrayed as the exact opposite in the original timeline.
Some fans couldn’t embrace the logic that a simple shift in the timeline would alter one’s sexuality, while a number of older fans not quite on board with the progressive movement didn’t appreciate what they considered to be a bold politically correct injection into their entertainment.
Still, the good buzz was enough for Paramount to be optimistic — so much so that it had already green-lit a fourth Star Trek film with the original series crew while CBS simultaneously announced Star Trek: Discovery, the latest television show set in the “Prime” timeline, all before the new film had made its money back.
— Heroic Hollywood (@heroichollywood) July 24, 2016
Well, Friday results are now in, and it looks like the bet isn’t paying off as well as Paramount would have hoped.
Star Trek Beyond is looking at a worldwide take of roughly $129 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and it has fallen to No. 3 — a staggering 69 percent drop from where it was with last week’s opening.
Considering that the third film in the so-called “Abramsverse,” named for the 2009 director JJ Abrams, cost $185 million just to make, it’s looking iffy as to whether this entry will earn back its money.
PREVIOUS STAR TREK BEYOND COVERAGE FROM THE INQUISITR:
Quite the drop from last weekend. If the trend holds through Saturday, STB could end up being considered a flop despite the strong opening.
That’s because films like Star Trek and Star Wars to a lesser degree are considered “fast burns” in the entertainment industry. They make the lion’s share of their money in the first two weeks and, to some extent, week three.
A look at the strong opening of the latest Ghostbusters is one such example. After three weeks, the film is running on fumes, and it still has about $13 million to go before it covers its costs.
Similarly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, while by no means a disappointment, came up short from both Titanic and Avatar in spite of returning the original cast.
— SensaCine (@SensaCine) June 29, 2016
But beyond the “fast burn” nature of a Star Trek film, some on social media are now wondering if intolerance is to blame for the steep drop, covered in part here at The BitBag.
While the U.S. has largely embraced the LGBT community, the world has been a little slower to catch up, and there are, in fact, still plenty of fans in the U.S., who have expressed outrage at turning a favorite character gay.
It’s a possibility that many of the more open-minded Trekkers are now considering. But what do you think, readers?
Was the decision to turn Sulu gay embraced by most fans, and is it playing a factor in the possible failure of Star Trek to make its money back by the end of its theatrical run? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Paramount]