Star Trek Into Darkness is a weird movie. The sequel wasn't a summer smash, but audiences and critics were fans. The movie received an 87% on Rottentomatoes, a high cinemascore, and a respectable box-office take. But, if you ask plenty Trek fans, it's no critical darling. The movie was recently named the worst Trek film at a Trek convention, and while I'm not exactly a fan of Into Darkness, to claim it's at the bottom of the Trek barrel is flat out silliness.
But a lot of people genuinely believe that. Trek writer recently had a discussion with fans of the series that spiraled out of control fast. We didn't bring up the incident to Orci at the press day for Ender's Game, but when asked about the strange reaction to Into Darkness, Orci discussed the incident and his take on the film's response:
I overreacted recently. I told one fan to kind of go screw himself. I think I was wrong in two ways. Number one, I was wrong in terms of how the audience is never wrong. That’s how I like to think of it. The audience, even even if they don’t articulate their exact problem, they are never wrong. If an audience doesn’t like a movie, they are right. They’re the audience.
Number two, I am a fan. I know from long ago that the folk who complain about these movies are, frankly, a small minority. And so, you can’t get 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and then pretend like you’ve messed it all up. I don’t want to ever say, “Hey! We won! Hooray! We’re the kings!” But when you are talking about fandom, I know this because I’m a fan; the vocal minority does not always represent the majority. That’s not to dismiss them. I want to hear from the vocal minority because that’s actually me. I’m one of those guys who would complain about stuff from the very beginning.
So even though I am aware of statistically, and I just know this is a fact, that the people who really came after me, who I yelled at wrongly, represent 3% to 6% of the audience. Nonetheless, I really value their opinion. I really value their opinion. So I want to hear what they have to say. I don’t want to dismiss it. And yet, I know that it’s only 6% of the audience.
I want to hear what they have to say. I also overreacted because it’s just not the reaction of most of the audience. Like I said, you can’t get 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and pretend that everyone hates the movie. They just don’t.
Some film journalists often forget the divide between general moviegoers and feverish Trek fans, and that split couldn't have been made more obvious by Star Trek Into Darkness. It poses an interesting question: would you rather have 87% percent of a critical community and a mass moviegoing audience endorse your work or be embraced by a small percentage of the property's fanbase?
Ender's Game is now in theaters.