Business of ‘Star Trek’: Franchise celebrates 50th anniversary

Global Business

Business of 'Star Trek' Franchise celebrates 50th anniversary

In 2016, the science fiction phenomenon “Star Trek” celebrates its 50th anniversary. What started as a struggling TV show, is now an iconic franchise worth billions of dollars.

CCTV America’s May Lee has more on the business of “Star Trek.” Follow May Lee on Twitter @mayleetv

The Starship Enterprise continues to boldly go where no one has gone before.

“Star Trek Beyond,” the franchise’s 13th feature film, has so far pulled in nearly $90 million globally. It opens in China Sept. 2., and Paramount Pictures is already working on a 14th movie.

The story of “Star Trek’s” success is itself a phenomenon. In 1966, the first television series barely got on the air and would have lasted just two seasons if not for the efforts of rabid fans to keep it going for a third.

Since then, “Star Trek” has turned into one of the most successful entertainment franchises the world over. There are TV shows, movies, books and merchandise, which has brought a great deal of revenue to Paramount Pictures.

“They’ve admitted, the don’t like to admit to it, but they’ve admitted to about $10 billion,” Richard Arnold, “Star Trek” consultant, said. 

Another revenue stream that’s grown exponentially is the “Star Trek” conventions, where die-hard Trekkies celebrate their fandom.

“It’s big business, it’s big bucks, it’s big tax money for when you have a convention in your town,” Larry Nemecek, “Star Trek” author and archivist, said.

This year’s Star Trek Las Vegas Convention will celebrate the 50th anniversary. Tickets sold out immediately for the five-day event.

‘Star Trek Beyond’ star John Cho discusses the franchise

For more on “Star Trek’s” legacy, CCTV America’s May Lee spoke to John Cho, who plays Hikaru Sulu in the “Star Trek” reboot, about being a part of the iconic franchise and Hollywood’s views on Asian American actors.