Film Residuals: “Star Trek” & More

A unique royalty stream that earns residuals from feature films, including four from the iconic Star Trek franchise.


closing price

Auction Closed

Top Bid: Simon C

Historic royalty income is no indication of future royalty income. Future royalty income is dependent upon future sales and licensing revenue generated by the sound recordings or compositions associated with this listing.

Starting Price: $15,000
Bidding Increment: $150
Closing Price: $61,200
End Date: Sep 08, 2020, 5:05 PM MDT
Dollar Age:

24.49 Years

Last 12 Months' Royalties: $3,210
Investment Term:

Perpetual (See Note Below)


Director's Guild of America

Rights Included:

Directors' Guild Residuals

Interests Included:

Director (World)

First Distribution (paid 30 days from receipt): September 30, 2020
Distribution Frequency:

Varies (See Note Below)

Buyer Fees:

1% of closing price or $500 (whichever is greater)‡§

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This is a rare royalty stream that earns from a long-running popular sci-fi franchise — Star Trek

As the winning bidder, you will collect film residuals (film/TV royalties) generated by a collection of 21 feature films dating from 1976 to 2002. These royalties are led by four of the Star Trek films and also include Beverly Hills Cop III, Along Came a Spider, Crow 2: City of Angels, and many more. 


Royalties for this asset are paid when the studios issue residuals to the Director’s Guild. This means they are not issued on a regular set schedule, but rather on an as-it-happens basis, which creates an irregular distribution schedule and fluctuations. As a result, we are unable to provide growth rate data or IRR calculation on the Financials tab.

Many of the films in this collection were released in the 1990s. They continue to generate residuals from cable TV airings, on-demand streaming, and DVD/VHS sales, and other sources. 

Over the last six calendar years, this asset has generated payments averaging about $3,400/year, with the highest-earning distribution totaling $5,598 in 2018.

The top-earning film is Star Trek: First Contact  with 19% of the last 12 months’ residuals. The highest-earning source type is Pay Television (cable TV airings) with 44% of returns. 


Star Trek is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, sci-fi or otherwise. 

With a massive following of both mainstream fans and cult devotees (called Trekkies), Star Trek is a cultural phenomenon that spans decades.

The franchise began in the 1960s with science fiction TV series Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. Since then, the brand includes the original series, the 90s-era Next Generation and eight other spin-off TV series, 12 feature films, games, figurines, novels, toys, conventions, comics, and much more.

This asset earns from four Star Trek films dating back to 1991 — Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country with the original cast, and three from the Next Generation cast: Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis. Combined, they account for 61% of the residuals collected in the last year. 

Other top-earning films in this collection include: 

Key Drivers

Film Residuals. Royalties, in film and TV, go by the name “residuals” and are paid when a film or program is rebroadcast or distributed. Creatives are typically paid a large upfront fee for a film's theatrical release or a television show's first airing and are then paid residuals for any subsequent airing, including DVD release, broadcast TV syndication, and new media use such as Netflix streaming.

What is being sold?

The residuals included in this auction are collected and distributed by the Director’s Guild of America. The Guild, a collective bargaining organization, negotiates the residual rates with the various motion picture studios, who are required to account to the Guild’s members accordingly.

Like music royalties, film residuals negotiated by the Guild do not depend on the profitability of the film. They are triggered by the subsequent rebroadcasts and uses. Different formulas apply depending on the nature of the film and where it is used.  Residuals can be based on gross receipts, telecasts, or the period of time a film is exhibited.

As the winning bidder, you’ll collect residuals for the films listed here

Note About Investment Term

DGA residuals are not tied to the copyright in a film. They're negotiated by the Guild for their members and continue in perpetuity, passing to each member's successors and assigns.

Note About Payment Frequency

The Directors Guild of America distributes residual checks to its members as the payments are received from the studios. This means they are not issued on a regular set schedule, but rather on an as-it-happens basis, which creates an irregular distribution schedule and fluctuations. The winning bidder will receive all residual payments as they are paid. 

About the Royalty Distributor

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is an entertainment guild that represents the interests of film and television directors and members of the directorial team in the United States motion picture industry and abroad. Founded as the Screen Directors Guild in 1936, the group merged with the Radio and Television Directors Guild in 1960 to become the modern Directors Guild of America — representing over 18,000 members worldwide. 

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