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Has Star Trek lost warp speed?

January 6th, 2003

Has Star Trek finally come to an end? The long-running television series that spawned the long-running movie franchise recently ran out of steam at the box-office. Despite good reviews, Star Trek: Nemesis has grossed just $39 million since its Dec. 13 debut and looks to finish at around $45 million, making Nemesis the worst performing Trek film in the saga. The tagline of “A generation’s final journey” seems to have been right despite plans for another entry in the series.

The first venture, The Motion Picture, was the highest-grossing sci-fi flick of 1979, surpassing even Alien, with a final gross of $82.2 mil. The other Treks have entered our culture in more ways then one, especially the second, The Wrath of Khan, considered by Trekkers to be the definitive Trek experience. Then there’s the “odd numbered” Trek movies, like Search for Spock and Final Frontier, that are supposedly the weaker films in the series. But, for every Final Frontier, there’s a First Contact.

Nemesis’s failure could be from the story’s lack of action. The film contains more human drama and racial elements then most Trek movies, but is far from the melodramatics of Final Frontier, in which a Vulcan hijacks the Enterprise in his quest to find God. It’s just a shame that the Star Trek franchise will sputter instead of going out with a bang, as Nemesis, the movie, does. The last Trek film, Insurrection, grossed $70 mil in December of 1998; 1986’s The Voyage Home still holds the record as the highest-grossing movie in the series, with $110 mil.

Matthew Dalton

Filed under: Star Trek: Nemesis