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Simon Pegg blames bad marketing for Star Trek Beyond's lackluster box office

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Mar 26, 2018, 12:34 PM EDT (Updated)

When Star Trek: Beyond opened in 2016, it was meant to coincide with Star Trek’s 50th anniversary — a fact that was strangely absent from the marketing done on the film. While the third entry in J.J. Abrams’ movie reboot (set in the Kelvin Timeline) managed to capture the feel and sense of adventure of The Original Series, it didn’t manage to capture the box office.

Star Trek Beyond grossed $343 million worldwide against a $185 million budget, which put the franchise’s cinematic future in a bit of peril — until Quentin Tarantino recently stepped in to breathe in some fresh buzz. So why didn’t the audience flock in droves to see director Justin Lin’s Star Trek movie on the big screen? Simon Pegg, who plays the Enterprise's chief engineer, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, has an explanation.

“I think it was poorly marketed, to be honest,” Pegg said in an interview with Geek Exchange. “If you look at a film like Suicide Squad, that was around for such a long time before it finally came out, and people were so aware of it. Whereas with Star Trek Beyond, it was left too late before they started their marketing push. It still did great business, but it was disappointing compared to Into Darkness.”

Regardless, Pegg seemed to be proud of the Star Trek movie they managed to make, saying: “From a professional standpoint for me, it was such a great experience in the end, because the critical response that we did get was exactly what Doug Jung and I and Justin Lin had hoped for, which was a much more favorable response in terms of being Star Trek and not just something there that’s disguised as Star Trek.”

The Shaun of the Dead and Mission: Impossible - Fallout actor also touched on what he views as a disappointing first trailer (he said the second one was better by his estimation, but may have been too little too late), which hinted that the movie would be all action with little character moments.

“I was really angry about that,” Pegg about the first trailer, “because it used ‘Sabotage,’ which was our surprise moment in the end. 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 really annoyed me. They also made the film look like a boneheaded action film. And they were scared, I think, of mentioning the 50th anniversary. It was fumbled as a thing; 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.”

While Pegg said a Star Trek Beyond follow-up script had been written (the fourth movie was supposed to see Chris Hemsworth return as Capt. Kirk’s dad, George Kirk), that has been put on hold since Tarantino is flirting with the sci-fi franchise with a new idea and a writers' room that includes The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith. Do you agree with Pegg's assessment as to why Star Trek Beyond was a disappointment at the box office?

(via Geek Exchange)