Why Into Darkness might become Star Trek's 1st international hit

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Apr 11, 2013, 12:43 PM EDT (Updated)

For all its success in the U.S., the Star Trek franchise has never garnered a lot of international box-office love. But here’s how the studio hopes to change that with Into Darkness.

The international market has become bigger and bigger with each passing year, with many hit films matching or exceeding their U.S. haul overseas. Well, most blockbusters, but not Star Trek. J.J. Abrams’ first Star Trek film raked in $257 million in the U.S., but just $128 million everywhere else. Not bad, but definitely not great.

To change that with the sequel, the studio is trying to transform the “movie” into an “event,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. To do that, they’ve cranked up the international marketing budget to rival similar tentpoles (i.e. The Dark Knight Rises), and they’ve made a concerted effort to debut new footage and hold major cast press junkets in international markets.

By hitting everywhere from England to Japan as hard as Hollywood, Paramount hopes to replicate the success. It also explains why the studio held a marketing stunt to suspend a Starfleet logo over London, and plans to debut the film a week early in some international markets.

They’ve even tweaked the marketing approach completely in some territories to play up Benedict Cumberbatch’s new villain and Kirk’s quest to stop him, to entice audiences with a classic good-guy-vs.-bad-guy angle. Hey, whatever works, and makes enough money to guarantee more Star Trek films.

The approach has worked for a lot of recent sci-fi tentpoles, and it’ll be interesting to see if all the extra attention can get international audiences to finally head where no man has gone before.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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