Ratings for current Star Trek series may be hindering big budget film release

It’s been four years since Star Trek: Beyond released

For months upon months, rumors have been bandied about as Paramount tried to decide upon a script for the next Star Trek movie it would produce. Noah Hawley had one under consideration. Then there was Quentin Tarantino’s idea and Robert Sallin’s. None of them have caught the network’s eye enough to be greenlit, and though Paramount has confirmed a movie is still on the table. The question is: which table?

With Paramount changing its name to Paramount Movie Network and moving toward one movie release a week, it’s possible the next Star Trek could be heading in that direction. And it would certainly make sense if one were to look at the ratings and numbers for CBS All Access’ current Star Trek series, Picard, Discovery, and Lower Decks.

Picard costs an average of $8-9 million per episode while Discovery costs an average of $8 million. Between the two series, the network essentially already has a yearly budget of close to $180 million, not counting the cost to produce Lower Decksot more. Though both Picard and Discovery have been renewed, there is no clear indication of the ratings each are garnering per episode. And like any network, Paramount is in the business to make money not throw it away.

Star Trek: Beyond, which premiered in 2016 grossed $343.5 million at the box office against a budget of $185 million. Though it kept an even pace with Into Darkness’ budget, the cost to produce a bigger and better movie to draw in the fans would have, most likely, exceeded $200 million. So it’s entirely possible the numbers are the reason for the hesitation in choosing a new Star Trek script to focus on.

While a big budget movie will stretch the wallet immensely, a made for television movie would certainly give the network some breathing room. Even with a modest budget, it could produce a movie that would wow Star Trek fans and give the network a huge and much-needed boost.  Whatever the reason behind Paramount’s hesitation to focus on the next Star Trek movie, fans who aren’t watching the series on CBS All Access are getting antsy. Hopefully, Paramount will make a decision soon and move the franchise forward.

Next: Paramount pausing Noah Hawley's Star Trek film is a bad sign