Star Trek 2009
Copyright © Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Star Trek (2009)
Production Budget: $140,000,000
Worldwide Box office: $386,839,614
Total Profit: $246,839,614
Return on Investment: 176.3%
As we come to the first movie in the Kelvin Timeline it’s worth mentioning that the narrative around the success of the franchise has largely been driven in the past decade by the notion that the current string of movies has been the highest grossing of the entire franchise by a wide margin, and while true from a dollar for dollar comparison, Star Trek Beyond, the lowest grossing movie in the Kelvin Timeline had more than double the total box-office dollars as the highest Prime Timeline movie, as well as 50% more profit in dollars, the entire Kelvin Timeline sits at #8 or lower on the list when we look at Return on Investment. So while big budget action movies draw big box office money, there’s clearly something to be said for the power of the Prime Timeline and of classic trek.
The announcement of a reboot of Star Trek by JJ Abrams was one met with a decidedly mixed reaction, and while I can’t speak fans I can try to relate my own thoughts at the time, personally I had hoped for years to see the return of the Next Generation cast, handing off the franchise to the crew of Deep Space Nine, Voyager or even Enterprise to continue the big screen version of the series. I never really liked the idea of a young Kirk, Spock and McCoy, as it had been previously rumoured as a pitch for a tv series where the trio would attend Starfleet Academy and become the people we knew on Star Trek: The Original Series. I never saw the point of recasting these iconic roles when we could just as soon follow a new crew, or new cadets through their journey.
But the casting was strong, I was relatively happy with each choice as it was announced, and I recall being particularly impressed with Karl Urban being cast as Dr. McCoy, so I went in to the movie having avoided all spoilers and theories and decided to let the movie stand on it’s own merits. I came out of the theatre impressed, not with the fact that it was really an action/adventure movie, that part I could take or leave, but I was particularly impressed with the notion of creating this alternate timeline as a means to preserve the Star Trek I had gown up with in it’s own static warp bubble, while allowing for limitless possibilities in this other universe. The mirror universe was fair game, so to me the Kelvin Timeline was equally fair game.
It brought Star Trek back from the long sleep that followed Star Trek: Nemesis, and in many ways was a superior movie to Nemesis, so while we can argue all day about whether Kelvin is Trek, the truth is Kelvin is important to Trek, and has ultimately treated the Prime Timeline with a great deal of respect, if only by staying out of it. and for that I support it, as clearly do fans, with a solid 176.3% ROI, giving it the highest return of the bunch.