Talk:Star Trek: The Motion Picture/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2


Isn't the nickname The Slow-Motion Picture and not The Motionless Picture? That's way I'd always heard it and I think it sounds better to be honest.Driller thriller 11:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I've heard both nicknames, as well as The Emotionless Picture (a second derivative, no doubt). If it is significant, then add a paragraph about the nickname(s). Darcyj 09:49, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I've always heard The Motionless Picture. Maybe it's a West-Coast/East-Coast thing? CFLeon 23:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Harlan Ellison anecdote

I added Harlan Ellison's anecdote (I cited the source from Stephen King's re-telling in Danse Macbre; it's not original research on my part) about the writers of this movie, to an earlier version of this article, but somebody removed it. Why? It's not just a funny story, it's actually relevant to the evolution of the motion picture, I think. (The anecdote involved a brainstorming session between various Paramount executives and science fiction writers.) Should I re-add the information, or am I risking a revert war?

Nit-picky technical stuff.

I don't want to be too much of a nitpicker but, near the end of this entry, refering to the shipboard phasers not working at warp speeds, it says, "This is actually irrelevant, as the ship was traveling at warp speed at the time. Phasers, as recorded in TNG, do not work at warp speed, because they are based on phased light energy, i.e. only work at sublight speeds. The fact that they were cut off was irrelevant - even if they were powered, it still would not have worked. (There are odd occurrences in TNG, DS9 and Voyager where phasers are used during warp. These are likely simply canonical slips.)"

This is somewhat inaccurate as Phasers do work at warp speeds but their accuracy is significantly diminished. Per the "Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual" shipboard phasers are only 25% accurate at warp speeds. Phasers have been used at warp speed at one time or another in every Star Trek series where shipboard phasers were available. [unsigned]

Also, the fact that they're in a wormhole means the ordinary rules needn't apply. They were certainly approaching that asteroid a lot slower than warp speed, or they would have been pulverized before they knew what they were going to hit. Either the asteroid was also moving at warp speed, or both it and the Enterprise were moving at sublight with respect to the wormhole's reference. Most likely both. [unsigned]

82 AU is Fine With Me

Changing 82 AU to "2 AU" (easy to do since they just clip the audio of the "eighty") is just as bad a rewrite violation as "Greedo shot first". Although the cloud couldn't "fit" in the solar system since it was as big as the whole solar system (and far larger than the inner solar system), to paraphrase McCoy, "It's a cloud, dammit!" It doesn't have to fit at all. Indeed, a star "entering" the cloud as the cloud approached would have been a magnificent sight.

And maybe it's the terminal geek in me, but "Twelfth power!" should mean something, and a reduction from 82AU to 2AU is a 1681-fold reduction in power output. The thing was supposed to be the ultimate technology possible in this universe -- all knowledge, all that is knowable. Don't kick a good V-ger when it's down just because some other, lesser geek is confused. [unsigned]

In Defense of Stimp

I'm one of those fans who loved this one. One of the best things about ST:TMP is that it refused to give in to the urge to copy Star Wars, which was still a recent movie (1977, two years previous). Rather than making it more action and space-battle oriented, they insisted on a philosophical and deeply thoughtful movie. I was born in the same month that ST:TMP came out, and so I never saw it in the theater, but my parents say it was a wonderful experience to see new ST footage after more than a decade. The reason for the long shuttle ride is simple: we are coming home to a place we've missed, and that deserves a little time and a lingering look. There's a little bit of Kirk's longing in there, and also a little bit of the studio's triumph at finally resurrecting the series NBC killed, and if you ask me, they deserve their moment of "whoopee!". I'll admit that the movie could have stood some cutting to bring it down a bit in time, but it has some of the most important footage I've ever seen in a ST episode or movie, and some of the best visuals. It was also the first time the world heard Jerry Goldsmith's masterful Star Trek theme, which has become as, if not more, recognizable and popular than Alexander Courage's theme, giving a musical "face" to the franchise. Most importantly (to me), Spock's scene in sickbay, grasping Kirk's hand and talking about "this simple feeling", is a massive step in his character's development. All problems aside - goofy outfits, lackluster performance from Stephen Collins, plot partially ripped off from "The Changeling" - it's a movie that no Trek fan should dismiss lightly, filled with issues that are still unanswered today. Kasreyn 01:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Motionless Picture?

Aren't we getting a bit POV there? I don't mind the mention of the fan ribbing, but it shouldn't be in 1st para. Moving. Kasreyn 09:25, 3 April 2006 (UTC)


I copyedited this article several days ago, and when I did I removed the spoiler template. I have since then gone through articles and removed superfulous spoiler templates from them as I explain next, but have now stopped as me and another user revamp the spoiler guidlines. In the meantime however, my rationale for removing the template (and I'm sorry that even for your life you couldn't realize this (I'll AGF that you weren't being tripe with me)) was that the sections header clearly says "Plot Summary"...the spoiler template directly underneath it says, "Plot and/or endings follow". They clearly mean the same thing, and are redundant. I have stopped removing the template for know, but since I had already taken it off before I stopped, I'm not going to watch all of them be restored without my commenting and defending my actions. Am reverting back to my version. If you don't think that Plot details and Plot summary are the same thing....then I suggest you look in a dictionary. Chuck(척뉴넘) 00:07, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

My understanding of the spoiler tag was that it didn't matter what was said above it; a spoiler tag was needed wherever spoilers might be divulged, and that the purpose was to have a standardized warning. With a standardized warning, readers are more likely to recognize the warning and avoid being spoiled. I didn't pay any attention to it saying "Plot Summary" above because I don't think it matters. If my understanding was incorrect, fine. I didn't restore it as some sort of personal attack on you, since I had no idea who had removed it. Nothing in Wikipedia's page on using the spoiler tag says anything about not using it if some of the words in the tag are duplicated in a nearby section heading. Kasreyn 01:05, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, there's actually not much on Wikipedia about the spoiler's specific use, which is why I'm working on a proposal for specific guidelines. Chuck(척뉴넘) 05:47, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Good. Let me know what you come up with, ok? Kasreyn 22:00, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Guidelines or no, this should be a fairly simple exercise. All "spoilers" are "plot summaries", yes. Not all plot summaries are not "spoilers". (For examples of spoiler-free plots, look at 99+% of the entries on IMDB). This node clearly gives away the major plot elements and details the ending, effectively "spoiling" the movie for whoever reads it, and with no reasonable warning. This is an example of too much thought, debate and theory obscuring the blatantly obvious. Better yet, why not simply post a gentle caution to the front page? "Wikipedia, sharing knowledge and ruining cinema."

Citation Schmitation

Someone has sprinkled so many Citation Needed templates in this article, that like houses and hotels in a Monopoly set they are probably close to running out. Is this (the sprinkling) the work of a vandal, or an anti-Trekkie, or is the article really so poor in substance? Darcyj 09:52, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

The tags are a good thing, in my opinion. Usually they spur editors to go find sources. Kasreyn 13:38, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Wow, I just noticed this discussion. I added the templates when I copyedited this article a bit ago. I am a die-hard Star Trek fan, and definately not a vandal. I'm confused as to why you think they're not neccessary. I'm usually against superfulous, ugly, and unneeded templates, but I think this is a good way to get the sourced for some of these things, things which I've never heard before. I also don't understand the part about it lacking substance. The fact that it has citation needed tags doesn't mean that is lacks substance, rather that it lacks sources. Chuck(척뉴넘) 10:28, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I went ahead and added citations for info that was in the ST:TMP "Making Of" book. Please don't ask for page numbers, the book is packed away. :) Krisorey 01:37, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Addendum: Also other sources that existed at the time, such as Starlog, fanzines, newspaper and television interviews, and paperback books have been destroyed with no hope of reprinting. Some information simply becomes lost with time. If I had known, I'd have saved it all. Sometimes, you just have to trust us old people to know our stuff. I strongly encourage the truly skeptical to contact Betty Jo "Bjo" Trimble, the creator of the ultimate trek Fan Club, and writer of the Compendum.

Some sources added

I just made some imaginary sources sources up of appease the "citations needed everywhere crowd". Kidding of coarse. These all exist. However, I did find one to be really gratuitis. "The film's Academy Award nominated score was by Jerry Goldsmith. His theme to the film was later reworked as the theme for the Television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and was also reused in Star Trek V, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis." I don't see why this would need to cite a source since it refers to the films in which Goldsmith's music is used already. [unsigned]

movie and interviews

I used the first source to mean the feature and the supp materials on the dvd. Someone can change them to two different (although same dvd set) sources. [unsigned]

Again with the Phasers

Decker says, "Sir, Enterprise redesign increases phaser power by channeling it through the main engines. When they went into antimatter imbalance, the phasers were automatically cut-off."

What this means to me is that there is some type of phaser power generator, the power then gets channeled through the main warp engines (which are always "on" even if not engaged...since it takes hours or days to restart an engine, we can assume they're always "running"), then out through the phaser emitter.

Decker's comment makes sense to me if the above explanation is correct. If we say the main engines are the "middle" of the process generating a phaser shot, then once that middle piece is inoperable, it's natural to assume the third piece wouldn't work either. Like having an assembly line break down in the middle.

So the above has NOTHING to do with whether or not the phasers work at warp speed. Just that the phaser emitters draw additional power (INCREASING it) through the warp engines.

We can also assume that Starfleet saw how stupid that was. In Star Trek II, with "just the battery" Scotty was able to provide "a few shots" of phaser fire.

It could also be that the engines in a SPECIFIC condition (antimatter imbalance) caused a SPECIFIC failsafe. Something unique about the imbalance perhaps caused a cut-off switch to activate.

Or maybe Decker's been working too hard. [unsigned]

  • It makes sense this way: The phaser power is increased by channelling it through the main engines. Ergo, a weaker phaser is likely possible without the help of the main engines, but probably requires some kind of by-pass to be initiated which would have taken time that they did not have to spare. Chekov would know full well that the phasers at that moment were cut off and would also have known how to set up a bypass to execute Kirk's order. Decker belays the phaser order to stop Chekov from trying to initiate a bypass, an action which would have taken too long (as would an explanation on the spot). In the Wrath of Khan situation, where the Enterprise is down to battery power only and Scotty suggests that he can provide "a few shots" from the phasers, it does not indicate any intervening redesign by Starfleet engineers but rather that the bypass might have been set up for that emergency. Darcyj 22:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

It has been established that Phaser Capacitors exist that store energy ("A few shots, sir.") The phasers are still powered by the Warp Engines. While not "canon" the original "Star Trek game" Star Fleet Battles was written by engineers who thought everything through as if it were a real military project. Contact Steven V. Cole USAF, Amarillo Design Bureau.

Origins of the film - author

I made a simple change to the 4th paragraph in this section that is a bit more descriptive. I changed the reference to the author to read his full name, rather than just his last name. The old version read: "At this point, Foster was shut out of any work on the screenplay, and, despite ongoing problems with the developing script, his input was never solicited." The use of the author's last name is confusing, since he is only otherwise referenced in the info box. Some readers wont connect the dots.."Foster" doesn't necessarily mean squat to a casual reader. Hell, a casual reader wont necessarily know Alan Dean Foster from De'Shaun Foster. I changed the sentence to read the full name, with a link, so that things will read better. FYI - I forgot to log in when I made the change so only my IP appears. --Tbkflav 03:51, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Themes section

This section is (imo) silly and doesn't belong. Conjecture does not belong in wikipedia. Such thoughts are better left to the imagination of those who actually watch the movie and toss the ideas around in their heads. I think the entire section of the article should be removed entirely. Kidshare 20:15, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I have removed that section to talk below. Uncited and as such nothing but original research Halfblue 18:14, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
TMP exhibits numerous themes familiar to viewers of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. One is the notion of Kirk as a destroyer of malevolent machines. Captain Kirk often encountered and destroyed computers which had become too powerful for the humanoids around them. TMP takes a slightly different approach, as V'ger is not actually destroyed.
Another theme is the notion of a being transcending the material plane to become something greater and enter another level of existence, usually represented as a being of light. Creatures such as the Organians, from the original series episode "Errand of Mercy", have this characteristic, as do several beings from The Next Generation. Star Trek almost always portrays this transformation in a positive light, something to which humanity can aspire, with V'ger's transformation here fitting into the mold.
Another prevalent theme in the movie is that of birth and rebirth. The Enterprise’s lengthy transit, though critically derided, is widely perceived by fans to have profound symbolism, akin to sperm fertilising an ovum in human reproduction, just as the ship and its crew travel through V'ger to ultimately conceive a hybrid being.

I hope this qualifies for the discussion page...

How did this movie possibly make $139,000,000? I fell asleep not too far into it (the only movie I ever fell asleep watching, besides that one with the HAL3000). Did people watch it just because they loved the show?

It wasn't a bad movie, it just had alot more concept than drive.

  • Please sign your comments and no, this is not appropriate for this discussion page. Only discussion relating to article content and article improvement are allowed on any Wikipedia article talk page. 23skidoo (talk) 20:19, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


I could have sworn there was once a section on the Novelization, but it doesn't appear to be here anymore. I have created a section on the book, which is undeniably notable due to its authorship, the fact it launched the Pocket Books franchise, and that it added significant elements to the film story. 23skidoo (talk) 20:19, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Differences between directors cut and theatrical cut

Is there is a list anywhere that has the differences between directors cut and theatrical cut? Thank you.

Clofts (talk) 13:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


Should we add information on the background of Illia and her race to make this article stand alone as much as possible if her article is deleted or merged? Alientraveller (talk) 20:38, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't really know how much there needs to be: List of Star Trek races covers most (but it should be mentioned Deltans are completely hairless save for eyebrows and eyelashes, which is where the look came from.) --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 22:00, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Citations to use

Hope you don't have a heart attack seeing all this! :) Looks like Cinefantastique and StarBurst have a lot of coverage (unfortunately, never been able to access StarBurst). Also may be worth searching JSTOR for academic coverage of this film. —Erik (talkcontrib) 23:55, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

There are two books that may be of use: To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek by Athena Andreadis and Life Signs: The Biology of Star Trek by Susan C. Jenkins. They came up when I searched for star trek motion picture, so there may be some specific commentary about the film. The books can be accessed by me; let me know if they are of any use or not. —Erik (talkcontrib) 15:14, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Shaven locks?

So does this mean that the actress kept the hair that was shaved off her head after filming, (like a keepsake) or did she go about bald for a time afterwards? --Malkinann (talk) 12:28, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

The former. --Der Wohltempierte Fuchs (talk) 14:08, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks :) Could you please have a go at rewording it? Mentioning it in conjunction with the hair insurance implies to me that although she initially freaked out about the possibility of her hair not growing back, she kept her bald head after shooting finished. My confusion probably stems from the use of the term "shorn locks" for "wearing your hair short". --Malkinann (talk) 19:14, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Budget and Gross info (infobox)

I have added the full budget for the film ($46m) to the infobox using the 1981 Guiness Book of World Records as the source (which lists it as the most expensive film made up to that time). This figure, unlike the Box Office Mojo figure of $35m, includes the marketing costs for the film (BOM is just the production budget alone). There is also some details about the budget also including pre-production work on the aborted Phase II series, which is relevant to the article. Cited worldwide gross is also added to the infobox, which is appropriate to Wiki's film articles.MassassiUK (talk) 00:13, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Budget and such

It appears the issue, since MassassiUK has admitted that the $35 million figure is incorrect, is whether to have the budget/gross information in the infobox. Correct? --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 02:50, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

As you can quite clearly see from MassassiUK's above comment, the $35m cost (as listed on Box Office Mojo) is correct for the production budget. The overall cost of the film (production, marketing and distribution, as well as costs likely incurred for the Phase II series) are $46m, as specified in the Guinness Book Of World Records. Perhaps you could explain to us exactly are you attempting to do here, David? GoldCoaster (talk) 03:03, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
There is no evidence that the Box Office Mojo figure is correct for the film. It does not specify what costs it is including, whether from the 1979 production or from any of the attempts beforehand. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 03:15, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec) You guys are mixing up cost and budget.. they are completely different things. The budget is how much the producers and studio agreed to pay for the film. There is production budget, marketing budget, etc. The cost is what the film ended up costing. Films routinely go over budget. Again, there is production cost, marketing cost, and so on. So, what figures are we trying to put in the infobox? For the record, I don't consider Guinness or Box Office Mojo to be great sources. --Laser brain (talk) 03:17, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It is totally irrelevant whether you believe BOM or The Guinness Book Of Records to be accurate - Wikipedia isnt about what you consider to be correct, it's about verifiability and both BOM and Guinness are widely considered to be a reliable sources. BOM now only list the actual "production budget" for films (they used to list marketing and distribution budgets separately, but have now discontinued listing this information). Secondly, the budget figure quoted in The Guinness Book Of Records is in a factually accurate, established, reliable publication - and yet David has chosen to revert the information once again by covertly listing it as "clean up". Looking back through the edit history of this article, it appears he has become quite territorial about it. I suggest you leave the budget information in the infobox as it is since it is appropriately sourced - whether you personally agree with it or not. GoldCoaster (talk) 03:39, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Chill, man. If and when this goes to FAC, the sources will be scrutinized. We owe it to the article to use the best available sources. I was merely suggesting that these are not the best sources. --Laser brain (talk) 03:53, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm perfectly chilled, man. GoldCoaster (talk) 04:10, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not covertly running away with anything; if you notice I left the GBoR reference in the article, I simply reworded the poor phrasing. That is cleanup. As to the reliability of Box Office Mojo; where does the site spell out exactly what it means by production budget, in regards to the movie in question? It doesn't. We can have sources that meet the letter of WP:RS but are not good sources to use. For example, VGChartz is a widely quoted source for video game sales figures. But their actual methodology for getting those figures is severely flawed. If Box Office Mojo was the only source for this information, it would be a different situation, but it's not. Right now we have only one only source not around at the time of the movie saying that the budget was $35 million, and a half-dozen sources for the $46 million figure. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 15:00, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Also, logging out to add the information back via IP doesn't make your opinion any stronger. -Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 20:57, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
You may have left the Guinness Book of Records cite in the main article, but you removed the budget and the gross information from the infobox - totally without good reason. It's almost like you are trying to bury the information in an extremely lengthy article. It is not for you to decide if Box Office Mojo's figures are correct, and it is totally irrelevant whether BOM was around when the film was first released. They are a highly respected industry tracking website and a recommended source for Wikipedia film articles. But exactly what are you having a problem understanding here? The STTMP page on BOM clearly states "production budget: $35m". It clearly states it as "production budget", not total overall cost. The production budget is the cost of just making the film, and that figure alone could be used for the infobox because it is from a reliable source. Adding marketing and distribution costs will bring it up to the full $46m figure that Guinness have listed (the Guinness Book actually uses the words "total cost"). That figure could also be used in the infobox. In fact, it might be best if we just listed them both in the infobox, since they are both accurate and well-sourced. MassassiUK (talk) 23:58, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
It is up to us not to put in suspect information; just because a source is considered reliable doesn't mean it can't make mistakes. And when that happens, we use better sources. Considering in all my work looking for sources I have found no other source that lists $35 million at all, I think I have a right to be suspicious of their figures. Let me ask: why are you so militant in running to a random page and adding budget and gross information to an article that you will log out and enforce it with anonymous edits as well? --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 00:21, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
This is not suspect information, just because you are having a hard time understanding it. It makes absolutely perfect sense to me. You can certainly query the information if you wish, but blindly deleting it just because you personally don't agree with it is not acceptable. It has already been explained to you quite clearly why BOM only list $35m as the budget BECAUSE IT IS THE PRODUCTION BUDGET AND NOT THE OVERALL COST. Just because you cant find any alternative sources is not a reason to remove it. BOM is a reliable website that is used widely throughout Wikipedia. Your personal feelings about it don't matter. And just to be clear, I am not interested in making anonymous edits, so mudslinging won't get you anywhere. I am here solely to contribute to the article to make it is as good as it can be. But I also think that perhaps someone needs to remind you that the article is not your own personal property. MassassiUK (talk) 00:37, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
When you and a bunch of anonymous UK IPs from the same building suddenly come out of the blue to continually add the same facts, that's what we call passing the duck test. The fact is that I have multiple books from respected publishers who list the budget as being $46 million; not the cost, but the budget. Per WP:V we should trust these over a website with no attributable author and opaque datakeeping. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:08, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
First off, many good sources use "final budget" or some similar phrase synonymously with "production cost" (after all, all costs do ultimately need to be budgeted for). Second, while Guinness is an acceptable source in certain contexts, it is hardly a high-quality one for well-researched fields such as the Hollywood cinema. There is an excellent published source that addresses the current issue: Lost Illusions: American Cinema in the Shadow of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970–1979, by David A. Cook. This is part of Simon & Schuster's authoritative reference series "History of the American Cinema". To wit: "Star Trek was rushed into production with a $15 million budget, which ultimately rose to $44 million owing to delays and cost overruns when the contracted-for special effects were not delivered" (p. 60). "[It] ultimately earned only $56 million in rentals—enough to inaugurate a series of five sequels, but not to produce much profit for Paramount after deducting marketing costs" (p. 61). As for that "record", see p. 58 for a discussion of Warner Bros.' "$55 million production of Superman" in 1978.
As for the article's structure and the weight given to this matter, the final cost of the film was certainly enormous and widely discussed (see, e.g., the first paragraph of David Denby's review in New York magazine); it does deserve mention in the lead section. I see there's a decent source for the $46 million figure cited in the main text--but it's the DVD. I'm assuming you do have access to those multiple books that also give $46 million; they should be cited in addition to the Cook, and the range of well-founded estimations expressed appropriately in the article.DocKino (talk) 01:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the sources. I removed the mention of cost for now, because I'm not sure "enormous" really works in terms of being descriptive, unless we get a citation for that diction. I've added back another source for the $46 million, which got disjointed due to some of the changes, and I'm still missing another entirely that I'll have to find. As to the Cook book (haha), is the $56 million figure for home video rentals? --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:31, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

If you already accept $46m as a budget, then why are you constantly deleting it? It seems that you're just a little bit too trigger happy with the revert button and you are treating this article as if you owned it. You don't! This isn't even about the budget anymore, this is about you exerting your will over everybody else. The information is adequately sourced and the differences in amount have already been explained to you. If you cannot or will not understand it, then that's your problem. Cost and budget are quite easily seen as the same thing for many people, which may well account for why your books say it. It still doesn't mean BOM (which is a neutral, reliable source) is wrong, nor can you prove it as such. As for WP:DUCK ...pot, kettle, black? Nice try but I don't think so and I can quite happily confirm that there is nobody else in my building. Clearly its just somebody else who doesn't agree with you and is not impressed with your childish, possessive behaviour. But if we're quoting policies, perhaps you need to familiarise yourself with WP:EDITWAR. And perhaps you need to find something else to do with your time rather than coming onto Wikipedia to be counter-productive. MassassiUK (talk) 01:35, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
To DocKino - the budget for Superman also included costs for Superman II which was filmed at the same time, and so this isn't a realistic comparison. And there is no reason not to include Guinness as a valid source, since their whole purpose is essentially fact-checking. Furthermore, the book you quoted gives an almost comparable cost for the film. MassassiUK (talk) 01:40, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The source I quoted says nothing about the $55 million figure including costs for Superman II. Yes, it does confirm that "key scenes" for the sequel were shot during the production of the first film (p. 27); this does not affect the plain statement that Superman was a "$55 million production" nor the "dog that didn't bark" fact that there is not the slightest suggestion that Star Trek's final production cost was a record.DocKino (talk) 01:48, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The Guinness BOR states it, so there is a valid source right there. It doesn't matter if some people give it less creedence than the other book, it is still a reliable, neutral, published source. In the absence of definitive proof that Superman The Movie alone cost $55m, the article should still include the Guinness record citation, but perhaps be worded along the lines of "The GBOR 1981 lists the film as the most expensive ever made up to that time, though according to "Lost Illusions" <book>, Superman's budget was $55m, though this does not explicitly state if costs for Superman 2 which was filmed at the same time are included", etc. Basically, we can't judge for ourselves which source is right but if we have two valid sources for the same information then the article should include both (one stating it was a record, the other providing details that suggest to the contrary) so the reader is aware of all of the facts. Furthermore, the $46m figure should still be included in the main intro to the article because it was an extremely notable aspect of the film. MassassiUK (talk) 02:06, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
First off, you're right that the $46 million should appear in the lead. It does now, and all are agreed.
Next, I'm sorry, but it's you who's short of proof. We have a high-quality source that gives the production cost of Superman as $55 million. We know that during its production, Richard Donner also shot scenes for the sequel. These were not scenes originally intended for Superman, cut during edit, and repurposed, but rather scenes expressly intended for Superman II. In the normal course of events, their costs would be budgeted to Superman II. If you have reason to believe otherwise, what is your evidence? You seem convinced that the $55 million figure for the production cost of Superman "includes" many costs that "really" belong to Superman II. Please show us the source(s) upon which you base this conviction. Please show us a high-quality source that gives a markedly different figure for the "true" production cost of Superman. (By the way, the much-beloved Box Office Mojo also gives $55 million for the "production budget" of Superman.) For the production costs of Star Trek to actually have surpassed those of Superman, about 20 percent of the latter's reported costs must "really" have been for Superman II. That's very, very, unlikely, but it's not impossible--let's go over your sources.
Oh, and by the way, having raised a caveat about putting faith in the Guinness Book of World Records as a source in fields such as this, I'm now delighted to quote from the 1989 edition: "The most expensive film ever made is believed to be Superman, of which the negative cost is estimated by Variety to have been $55 million" (p. 236). Yours, Kal.DocKino (talk) 06:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
That's interesting, because I have the 1989 edition right in front of me (published in December 1988) and it doesn't even mention Superman or Star Trek. In fact, page 236 doesn't even include any film facts at all, its about sport. In the film section however, it lists "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" as the most expensive film made by that time (costing 70 million). (talk) 01:25, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Very interesting. I guess we'll just have to let the people have a look for themselves.DocKino (talk) 20:15, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for including that link Doc, because it also proves the 1981 Guinness citation which I otherwise couldn't find online as evidence. And now that the pissing contest is over, perhaps we can concentrate on clarifying the matter at hand. The facts: the 1981 GBOR lists Star Trek:TMP as the most expensive film completed at that time. The 1982 edition also lists it as the "highest budgeted film" at that time. Later sources list Superman as being more expensive than Star Trek:TMP, but Superman I & II were shot as one production. You will note that the source you quoted says that "the most expensive film ever made is believed to be Superman, of which the negative cost is estimated by Variety to be $55m". The wording of the quote is important and the fact is we will never really know the true cost of Superman because there are no definitive figures for how much Superman I and II cost separately, and being filmed as one production may well have disqualified it from being listed in the earlier editions of Guinness Book Of Records. The $55m figure certainly wasn't attributed to the first film at the time of its release because it was only half of an ongoing production. In the documentaries on the Superman DVD box set, it shows how they were filming scenes from the first and second films on the same days. They only had Hackman and Brando for a set time. Long after the release of the second film in 1980, it would come to light that the total cost of the entire production (both films together) came to just under $110 million, and it would appear that industry sources (including Variety and later Box Office Mojo) have merely split the cost between the two films, because there is no precise way you can calculate each film due to the nature of the dual production (blame the Salkinds for this). As for your assertion that the first film probably cost more than the second, don't be so sure. Richard Donner directed the first film and had already shot over 75% of the second film at the same time before he was fired by the producers and replaced with Richard Lester. When Lester took over, he had to reshoot most of Donner's footage, so basically they almost made the second film twice (Donner has now released his own version of the film featuring the footage that he shot). Factors such as Brando's huge salary do not filter into this equation because his salary covered appearances in both films (he was paid for 12 days work, not per film), as was Hackman's. However the producers cut Brando's footage from the second film and replaced him with Susannah York so that they wouldn't have to pay him a share of the profits again (big lawsuit ensues, etc). Considering the fact they had to shoot the second film over again, I am inclined to believe the second one probably cost more - but I can't prove this any more than you can disprove it. I happily accept that the only way to show some kind of budget for each film separately would be to split the overall cost down the middle, but it would indeed only be an estimate, as Variety stated. Under these circumstances, the 1981 edition of Guinness listing Star Trek as the most expensive film (singular) would therefore be correct at that time. This deserves a mention in the article because it is notable, though it would be appropriate to mention the overall cost that was later attributed to the first two Superman films alongside it so as to put it into context. MassassiUK (talk) 13:27, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Author of novel

I heard a rumour that Alan Dean Foster ghost-wrote the novelization, but was contractually obliged to deny it. Anyone know about this? — PhilHibbs | talk 14:38, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

As it says in the article, Foster definitely didn't write/ghost-write the novel, but I have not found any further elaboration on that point, contractual obligations or no. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 14:41, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


I was asked about this example: "Academy Award–winning director Robert Wise". Some people like to avoid the triple construct "Academy-Award-winning director" by using an en dash in one position only; it's not a solution I like at all, but both alternatives are unsatisfactory. Here, it's hard to reword to avoid the triple item:"director Robert Wise, who has won the Academy Award" is not good, is it. The current solution is OK, IMO, even though it looks a little gawky. Tony (talk) 07:35, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your input, o wise 1a junkie. :) --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 13:21, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Highest ticket sales?

The article currently states, "The Motion Picture had the highest ticket sales of any film in the franchise", with a citation to a subscribers-only article from The Hollywood Reporter. I'm not sure whether this is meant to indicate highest number of tickets sold, highest gross or highest gross adjusted for inflation. If it's meant to be highest gross, that would seem to be incorrect: Box Office Mojo lists Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek IV and the current Star Trek film with higher grosses. (I see that the reliability of Box Office Mojo has been discussed above, but it should be fine for purposes of this discussion.)

What exactly does the Hollywood Reporter source say? Does anyone here have access to the adjusted-for-inflation version of the Box Office Mojo chart? Can the "ticket sales" sentence be worded more clearly? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 00:14, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I've slightly reworded; it's referring to number, not its gross or anything like that. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:17, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that's clearer. I wonder if there's a reliable source for the number of tickets sold for different films, to see if the new film is likely to pass TMP's record? Box Office Mojo doesn't seem to give that information. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:50, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I was actually checking about that... it's made more money, I believe, but haven't seen anything on tickets (I suspect TrekMovie will tell us that if it occurs, though, so I will be sure to append that info if it does indeed.) --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 02:23, 3 June 2009 (UTC)