So, the numbers are in on “Star Trek Into Darkness” and they aren’t as good as the opening for Iron Man 3. Come on, y’all. Was I the only one who saw the dreck that was Iron Man 3? It was like cold pizza; in fact, it was like cold, 10 for $10 pizza. And, Iron Man didn’t even do half of the upfront trailers and promotion that Star Trek did! Iron Man couldn’t have been more accessible to the masses than this Star Trek. Maybe, it was because people love Robert Downey, Jr? But, let’s face it; for all my critique of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” it was still a muuuuuuuch better movie.
Did Paramount get it wrong by doing all these sneak previews and opening internationally first? I think so. The international opening is less of an issue than the sneak previews. It seemed like people were seeing the movie a week before it opened and I think that made people forget what weekend it actually opened. After seeing all these reviews pop up, I had to check to see whether I had missed the opening. Yes, ME, Captain Jackson. So, you know if I almost missed it, people who didn’t care definitely missed it. I think the studio also screwed up on basic playground psychology– people like to be first and, if they can’t be first, they lose interest. After seeing all these reviews and feeling like they weren’t in the in-crowd, a lot of people who were looking forward to the movie probably said, “Eh, I’ll get around to it.”
We can’t discount the fact that, despite having the same rating, Iron Man seems like a much more family friendly movie. Do you want to have to explain death to your children after seeing Star Trek or do you want to explain all of Tony Stark’s sexual innuendos to the kiddos? Toss up. I hadn’t thought about it, but does anyone actually die in Iron Man? The reboot of Star Trek didn’t have to be like this, but I guess that was a calculated decision by the studio. I wonder if they regret it a bit now. Here’s why you have to see Star Trek anyway:
Nerds lose. And, we have to win. Arguably, Tony Stark is one of the smartest people alive, but his persona is much about self-interest, bling, and glitz. He doesn’t really know how to work in a team. Even though he has renounced his ‘lord of war’ ways, he still has all the treasure that came from that life. Star Trek is about teamwork. The team is ordinary, not of any extraordinary superpower or superintellect; they work harder. That’s the secret sauce in the Star Trek Universe and real life.
If you love or even just kind of like science, we have to keep supporting Star Trek and its ideas. Looking at the last 30 years, from cell phones to Skype to Apple’s SIRI, we have Star Trek to thank for shaping our daily lives in concrete ways. I know that we aren’t in the 24th century with the reboot, but we have to keep young people thinking about teleportation, warp speed, tricorders, and a world not dependent on money. Star Trek is the medium for that. If Star Trek movies don’t do well, then we don’t get any more TV shows to give us time to explore those types of questions.
Believe it or not, despite all of our progress, residential segregation by income and, in some cases race, is on the increase in the United States. By extrapolation; without some significant effort, our young people won’t encounter the sorts of diversity that many of us enjoyed coming up. Star Trek Into Darkness is an extremely racially and ethnically diverse (money isn’t an issue) crew and just seeing that is beneficial, even if one doesn’t realize it. We learn and grow just by being around each other. We know how easy it is to offend people when we go to other countries, whatchu gon’ do when E.T. shows up? Mess around and star an interstellar war, that’s what. Yes, I’m looking at you, my white brethren, who decide that the best way to build trust with your garden-variety black person is to dap them up and offer your best approximation of ebonics. Honestly, most of us enjoy a good laugh as soon as you’re out of earshot.
Okay, I know I’m getting too philosophical, but there ain’t no way Iron Man should be doing better than Star Trek. Stretch your brain. Go see the movie!