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‘Star Trek’ — Master of the 47

18 Jul, 2009 By: John Latchem

The stars have aligned for Star Trek, so to speak.

The day Paramount announced its DVD and Blu-ray plans for the film (which hits disc Nov. 17), it was sitting at No. 47 on the all-time domestic box office chart.

But longtime fans will know that 47 is a significant number in the Trek universe and one of the franchise’s most enduring in-jokes.

The joke stems from an old Pomona College math class in which “47” was purported to be the most common random number in nature. The theory was a joke, but it caught on, and a Pomona College graduate named Joe Menosky went on to write for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” where he spread his love of “47” like a plague. It has since spread into other movies and TV shows (a partial list of which can be found on Wikipedia).

And now as a matter of cosmic coincidence, the film sits at this enchanted spot on the box office list. (Though its $252.5 million take is about $3.3 million behind Monsters, Inc., which it may well pass, but still).

It’s enough to really make us question our place in the universe.

OK, maybe not.

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