Simon Pegg: Poor Marketing Hurt Star Trek Beyond's Box Office

Actor and screenwriter Simon Pegg believes 2016's Star Trek Beyond ultimately suffered at the box office due to an inept, poorly-timed marketing strategy. Compared to its 2013 predecessor, Star Trek Into Darkness, Beyond under-performed and became somewhat lost in an overcrowded swirl of summer blockbuster sequels, reboots, and Marvel offshoots including Suicide Squad, Jason Bourne, and Ghostbusters. The fact that Star Trek Beyond was released on the franchise's 50th anniversary was curiously downplayed in publicity materials, despite 2012's Skyfall demonstrating that a 50th anniversary can translate into big box-office numbers, if handled correctly.

Critics (including Screen Rant's Ben Kendrick) praised the film upon release, with the overall consensus finding that the sci-fi opus was a breath of fresh air in a season full of cinematic disappointments. Nevertheless, the accolades weren't enough to inspire any sort of box-office bonanza: On its opening weekend, Star Trek Beyond only brought in $59.2 million - not a dismal failure by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly a step down from the $70.1 million Into Darkness earned on its premiere weekend.

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In anticipation of his upcoming turn in this summer's Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Pegg philosophized on what went wrong with the publicity campaign for Star Trek Beyond. "I think it was poorly marketed, to be honest," he tells Geek Exchange, noting that a film like Suicide Squad was hyped for ages prior to release: "People were so aware of it." Conversely, he thinks the marketing team for Star Trek Beyond waited far too long to drum up anticipation:

"It was left too late before they started their marketing push. It still did great business, but it was disappointing compared to Into Darkness.”

Star Trek Beyond and standalone movies

Pegg was doubly unhappy with the publicity push because the trailer's inclusion of Beastie Boys' propulsive 1997 hit "Sabotage" undermined what was supposed to be a thrilling musical cue in the actual film:

"I was really angry about that. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise, and they blew it in the first trailer, which annoyed me."

In the end, Pegg thinks the marketing campaign made Star Trek Beyond look like nothing but "a boneheaded action film". He's also convinced that marketers were "scared" of making a huge to-do out of the Star Trek franchise's 50th anniversary: "It was fumbled as a thing," he says. "They didn’t know what to do with it and it’s a real shame. But I came away from it really, really happy and very proud of it.”

As well he should. Chock full of winking retro references, the film is a treat from start to finish and demonstrates why we need more standalone films. Directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious), the blockbuster continues charting the new adventures of Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the USS Enterprise as they brush against new dangers and explore new worlds. Soon enough, they also have a new arch-rival in their midst: the nefarious Krall (Idris Elba), who fiercely objects to the Enterprise's mission and warns that the frontier will “push back.” And push back they do.

MORE: Simon Pegg Says Tarantino's Star Trek May Not Be Rated R

Source: Geek Exchange

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