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Star Wars Prequels Movies The Almighty Buck Entertainment

'Star Wars' Franchise Crosses $4 Billion, Eclipsing Disney's Lucasfilm Price (hollywoodreporter.com) 187

Combined, Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Force Awakens have surpassed $4.06 billion in ticket sales at the worldwide box office. That's more than what Disney paid to buy George Lucas' Star Wars franchise. From the Hollywood Reporter: While an interesting benchmark, it doesn't, of course, account for the hundreds of millions spent to produce and market the trio of films, or the fact that Disney splits box-office grosses with theater owners. Conversely, Disney has minted additional money from lucrative ancillary revenue streams, merchandising sales and theme park attractions. Opening in North America on Dec. 15, The Last Jedi zoomed past the $900 million mark on Thursday, finishing the day with $934.2 million globally, including $464.6 million domestically and $469.6 internationally (it doesn't land in China until Jan. 5). The sequel to The Force Awakens was directed by Rian Johnson, and has dominated the Christmas corridor. The Last Jedi will jump the $1 billion mark over New Year's weekend on its way to becoming the top-grossing 2017 release, eclipsing the $1.264 billion earned by fellow Disney title Beauty and the Beast. In December 2015, filmmaker J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens shattered numerous records on its way to grossing $2.068 billion globally, including an all-time best $936.7 million in North America, not accounting for inflation.
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'Star Wars' Franchise Crosses $4 Billion, Eclipsing Disney's Lucasfilm Price

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2017 @09:33PM (#55831923)

    "We can film whatever we want, slap Star Wars on it and rake in the cash."

    • it won't last forever. Eventually the mediocrity will catch up to them and folks just won't care. Did you see all those ads they did encoraging parents to share star wars with their kids? That was desperation. The product couldn't stand on it's own without nostalgia. When those kids grow up in 10 years and are movie going teenagers their remember star wars as that funny little movie dad liked.
      • by mlyle ( 148697 )

        The product isn't bad. I've enjoyed the movies, and I was never a Star Wars dork growing up.

        And believe me, for my 8 and 6 year old, and the kids in their class, they are anything but "that funny little movie dad liked." Ditto for their older cousins.

      • Oh, c'mon! You think the occasional stinker (even if this was, I don't know, the numbers speak more loudly than the critics) is going to cause a panic in the boardroom? I doubt the new tax bill eliminated those deductions...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 )

        I thnk of tihs movie as the "Batman vs. Superman" step.

        I won't be paying for the next movie unless my friends see it first and are raving about it.

        This was a terrible movie.

        Bad pacing, editing, meaningless storylines, change to a craptastic universe (where every choice you make is wrong), bad writing.

        The acting was decent.
        The look and feel was good.

        It reminds me of the DCU and the Kelven Star Trek lines.

        It destroys a ton of existing extended universe canon and even effectively destroys a fair amount of "mov

        • It destroys a ton of existing extended universe canon and even effectively destroys a fair amount of "movie only" canon.

          Are you talking about The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi? Because it was The Force Awakens that destroyed the EU.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Saturday December 30, 2017 @12:39AM (#55832587) Journal
        But some General and Vice Admiral got to lecture the audience and cast.
        The really bad casino people and freedom for the "horses".
        Can an entire franchise be supported by more and more virtue signalling?
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          How quickly you forget the original trilogy. It's always been the evil faceless Storm Troopers, the cute and native Ewoks struggling against the technologically advanced invaders, the immortal bounty hunter and slave owner getting their just rewards...

          Anyway, those scenes served an important purpose. They set up the last film, the new rebellion made up of the oppressed who can see the injustice around them.

        • But some General and Vice Admiral got to lecture the audience and cast.

          As opposed to a puppet?

          The really bad casino people and freedom for the "horses".

          Yeah the whole casino sequence sucked. It really was the weakest bit of the film by far.

          Can an entire franchise be supported by more and more virtue signalling?

          Oh looks like you're virtue signalling to the anti-SJW crowd about how you hate all the right things. Does the reflected virtue fillyou with warmth?

      • Explain Transformers, then.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Apparently. I loved the original trilogy back when, but all this new, ahem, "stuff" leaves me entirely cold. No soul left, just bad storytelling, generic "Star Wars" decor and CGI demos. No, thanks.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Oh, there was some bad storytelling back in the original trilogy.

        "A New Hope" was apparently a total mess in the rough cut; some radical and brilliant editing that cut out Lucas's flat-footed exposition and created the quick pacing we remember that film for. Lucas was largely absent from the second installment and returned to deliver a disappointing Return of the Jedi.

        Lucas has tried to blame the bad rough cut of New Hope on his first editor and take credit for the changes in the final theatrical cut, but

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Well, back then the Star Wars universe was fresh and that compensated for a lot and, as you say, editing saved a lot. I do agree that The Return of the Jedi fell short, I just did not know that George "Fuckup" Lucas was the reason. I had wondered why Episodes 4 and 5 were not affected so much by his lack of talent, but your explanation fixes that. Thanks!

          Now, the universe is not fresh anymore at all and the new trilogy just copies earlier stuff and does handover to younger actors.

          • by hey! ( 33014 )

            This is the problem with franchises. It's the promise of the same thing over and over again that brings fans back, but you can't really have the same experience over and over again. What you have to do is open up new facets of the story, the way the Battlestar Galactica reboot did, but even that you can't do that indefinitely.

            The problem isn't the universe, the problem is not having anything to add to it. I feel this way about steampunk novels. Using the standard tropes simplifies the writer's job, and

            • by gweihir ( 88907 )

              I completely agree. On the book-side, it is not just steampunk, it affects every genre. Initially, even one of the "generic" ones may be fun, but after 2-3 you have seen it all and they become boring. Authors with original ideas and the talent to use them well are rare. And, unfortunately, authors with original ideas almost always seem to do significantly worse commercially that those producing generic re-hashes. Case in point: The Star Wars franchise seems to do very well commercially. Oh, well. At least w

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      It really isn't true you can turn anything into a hit with marketing and branding. I think the truth is more like this: with a powerful brand, any reasonably solid installment is guaranteed to be a hit. That's why Disney wanted this brand.

      But solid isn't the same as perfect. Anything as complex as a movie is bound to have plenty of flaws you can latch onto. When Disney bought this brand they didn't put it into the hands of complete hacks, they put smart people on it, and the mistakes are the kinds of m

  • Makes me wonder if Disney will reduce the amount of cash they put in from now on, while taking the profits from the next couple of movies.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    i bet all that money has evaporated somewhere to show a loss on the balance sheet seeing as Harry Potter, order of the phoenix took $612m across all formats but apparantly made a $167m loss

    http://deadline.com/2010/07/studio-shame-even-harry-potter-pic-loses-money-because-of-warner-bros-phony-baloney-accounting-51886/

  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @09:52PM (#55832013)
    I'm 50 years old. In 1977 I saw Star Wars in the theatre 13 times ("Star Wars" NOT "A New Hope").

    I bought the comics. I had the toys. I read "Splinter of the Mind's Eye." I loved everything Star Wars.

    Nevertheless.

    People need to get over themselves. These movies are not the second coming of Christ. They are *never* going to be able to live up to fanboy expectations, so let those expectations go. See the movies, have a good time, enjoy the light sabers and the Falcon but stop getting so worked up about a 2.5 hours of popcorn fun.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      There was a whole universe of non-Lucas Star Wars that was what made it enjoyable to me. They shit all over the intricately woven story spanning dozens of authors that had been wrought over the 15ish years that Lucas had sat idle before crafting another film, and between him and now Disney, have managed to shit all over those stories such that a fictional schism is the only way to resolve it, much like with the TOS vs TNG trekkies, those who were into the FASA/Starfleet Battles Klingons and assorted races,

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        but for whatever reason, people seem to prefer to sheeple around the biggest assholes creative works, rather than banding together and forging their own

        Because I have a life. I have a family. Kids. A job. I loved Star Wars as a kid, and enjoy it as an adult, but it's just some movies - Not a hokey religion.

        Every year I go to a Star Wars movie and enjoy AT-ATs and Chewbacca and X-Wings and everything else and then I go back to my life. I few months later I buy the Blu-Ray and my kids enjoy it agai

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There was a whole universe of non-Lucas Star Wars that was what made it enjoyable to me. They shit all over the intricately woven story spanning dozens of authors that had been wrought over the 15ish years that Lucas had sat idle before crafting another film, and between him and now Disney, have managed to shit all over those stories such that a fictional schism is the only way to resolve it, much like with the TOS vs TNG trekkies, those who were into the FASA/Starfleet Battles Klingons and assorted races, versus those who followed TNG and company when they changed them into an almost unrecognizable race.

        For hardcore fans both of these events were slaps in the face. As I have said previously, the only real way to work around it is to boycott both universes and collaborate on new sci-fi universes owned and controlled by the fans, with restrictions/gentlemen's agreements on who does what with which characters, and on what are acceptable worldchanging events to weave into storylines. The potential is there, but for whatever reason, people seem to prefer to sheeple around the biggest assholes creative works, rather than banding together and forging their own, even if they will band together and forge derivative works of other's proprietary works to the same degree of effort.

        Wow.

        You seem to take make-believe stories a bit too seriously.

        Did you actually stuff "real way" into that fantastical rant? For some reason, I don't think reality intrudes too deeply into your life.

      • Don't feel bad. The new movies also shit over the old movies, their choices, their ethics, and their fundamental character traits.

        So they are not just attacking the books. (Disney pretty much just handwaved all that canon out of existence anyway.).

        Won't be getting more of my money.

        • Let's be honest here. The originals had bad dialogue and average acting. Yeah the effects were ground breaking at the time but the story itself isn't original either.

          • The originals had Lucas' vision, and his ex Wife and some awesome editors to save it.

            As lucas filmed it, it was a clunky piece of crap- but it was a diamond in the rough and as a group they made it something special.

            The originals had the type of flaws every film has. Films are not reality. People rarely talk in reality like they do in films (not as quick witted for one thing- no second takes in real life either).

            I agree entirely- the originals had bad dialogue and the acting was average. But there was c

      • They shit all over the intricately woven story spanning dozens of authors that had been wrought over the 15ish years

        OMFG you precious entitled snowflake.

        You can still enjoy all those stories.

        The Expanded Universe was *never* the same level of canon as the films, and it would've been an idiotic decision on their part to be slavishly beholden to decades of EU stories. Do you actually think Lucas would've let new story ideas be rigidly boxed in by the EU if he had made these new films instead of Disney? Are y

        • by bongey ( 974911 ) on Saturday December 30, 2017 @02:07AM (#55832779)
          Kathleen Kennedy's goal is to make 'The Force Is Female" , https://cdn1.thr.com/sites/def... [thr.com] make all future men in Star Wars weak and have Mary Sue females throughout the movies. Come on Luke Skywalker gets his ass beat by a girl who just a week later didn't even know what the force existed. Oh and she can lift more than Yoda with the force. So she is basically the most powerful Jedi after about a week.
        • and it would've been an idiotic decision on their part to be slavishly beholden to decades of EU stories.

          Really? I realize that the EU stories were getting to the point of where the actors were currently aging too, but they still could have kept a lot of EU, declared the last few years of EU as non-cannon, and have kept most of it. I think that would have been a wonderful decision because then hardcore fans would have loved it all the more.

          • they still could have kept a lot of EU

            They can if they want to, EU is available to writers as a resource.

            According to Lucasfilm senior editor Jennifer Heddle, the Expanded Universe now exists as a non-canon resource for Star Wars authors, who may use any Expanded Universe subject in a new canon work, subject to approval by the Lucasfilm Story Group. In the event an Expanded Universe subject is referenced in a new canon work, that subject becomes official canon once again.

            (Same link as above)

            I would love to

    • It wasn't the plot that got me, it was the really bad (tactics/physics/etc) space battles. Star Wars practically defined impressive space battles. The latest one was... horrible. In ways avoided by earlier movies. Everything was done in 2D with spaceships effected by gravity. Dramatic concluding explosion with no forewarning that changed the in universe physics. The way that the bombs were released (in terms of the interior of the ship) made no sense.

      Also, some of the "jokes" they threw into the dialo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But that doesn't make these good movies.

  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @10:40PM (#55832191)

    The Last Jedi apparently died in Return of the Jedi.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      These Disney Star Wars films are so focus group tested they've lost anything that made them special. Just like the recent Marvel movies, so incredibly tuned to maximize revenue across the widest cross section of people, they've become ... boring.

      • No, not like the recent marvel films.

        More in common with Kelvin star trek and DCU movies.

        Marvel is very popular with the fans with consistently high audience ratings on all RT, MC, IMDB, and CinemaScore.

        And, it's also pretty good to excellent with critics.

        The critical ratings (and delay of ratings) for DCU movies and the critical ratings for the last jedi have me deeply suspicious that with a 500+ million dollar marketing revenue and the carrot of early access to the movie (and hence Youtube revenue) that t

        • I would guess that the Marvel movies do well with the fans that still go to see them, as everyone else has tuned them out by now. They've got the formula finely tuned now - the people who were bored by them stopped going years ago, leaving just the hardcore fanbase.

          With Disney's plan to crank out Star Wars movies at a rate of 1 per year, perhaps the Star Wars franchise will suffer the same fate. As long as they can crank out safe, derivative Star Wars movies for less than they'll bring in from their dedic

    • The Last Jedi apparently died in Return of the Jedi.

      I was watching Return of the Jedi with my six year old last night, and something that stuck out to me was when Yoda declared Luke the last Jedi. So if you take the phrase "the last Jedi" as a title then the movie title The Last Jedi works as a way to say "Luke Skywalkers Movie."

  • If the recent movies have left you dissatisfied go check out some of the novels from the expanded universe. The new movies may ignore them, but they still exist. Some of them are absolutely fantastic. Maybe some day we'll see them made into films. We can hope at least.
    • The Admiral Thrawn books by Zahn were simply spectacular.

    • If the recent movies have left you dissatisfied go check out some of the novels from the expanded universe.

      There were a few stinkers in the Expanded Universe, but I really enjoyed the majority of the novels.

  • or the fact that Disney splits box-office grosses with theater owners.

    How many times have I read that the reason for the very high food prices is that the theaters don't get keep revenue from the ticket sales? Is this not true? Have we been lied to and the reason the food prices are so high is simply that people will pay the absurd prices?

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      The revenue split is complicated. Studios take something like 90% of tickets sales for the first week, 80% for the second, etc. (I don't know the actual numbers, but it's something like this). I've been told that it averages out to something like a 50/50 split most of the time, but Disney has leveraged their position to force theaters to agree to something closer to a 60/40 split in some cases.

      This is one of the criticisms of the Disney/Fox merger, incidentally. It would give Disney control of roughly 40
      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
        Also the theater gets to take their operating costs, the "House Nut" (their term, go google it), from the gross receipts before the split is calculated. So the studio gets a cut of the net profits, not total ticket sales.
      • That deal isn't as good as it seems.

        The day after christmas, with a parking lot full of cars, the 8pm showing of TLJ was practically empty.

        Essentially Disney puts the movie in so many theaters that everyone who wants to see it, sees it the first few days.

        This movie has zero reviewing potential among half the audience (they hate it), zero reviewing potential among another quarter to a third of the audience (they are casual and just don't care), and apparently 3-4 reviewings among youtube reviewers and 1-3 v

        • by pots ( 5047349 )
          Yeah the big blockbusters aren't the real money-makers for theaters, as I understand it. Because of the week-by-week nature of the revenue split, it's the sleeper hits that do really well for them. I've been told that There's Something About Mary saved a lot of franchises, thanks to its longevity.

          I keep saying "I'm told" or "I've heard" - I'm getting all of this from a hazy memory of a conversation that I had with a friend of mine who worked as a projectionist. I'm just hedging in case someone comes alon
    • or the fact that Disney splits box-office grosses with theater owners.

      How many times have I read that the reason for the very high food prices is that the theaters don't get keep revenue from the ticket sales? Is this not true? Have we been lied to and the reason the food prices are so high is simply that people will pay the absurd prices?

      As an example, Regal Cinemas: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/e... [sec.gov]
      Admissions (ticket sales) was $1,454M while Film Rental was $785M. So out of ticket sales, they kept slightly less than half. Concessions was "only" $553M. But the whole business, after all the expenses, made $175M. On $2,158M total revenues that's just 8%. So, yes, theatres turn a profit but at 8% they aren't exactly fleecing viewers with absurd prices.

  • Of Course, the fact that they have ABC to pitch SW in just about every show and segment doesn't hurt....
  • The key message of the last movie was the violent young white man learned the lessons of the brave older white women in the end. He was enlightened.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Star Wars is only relevant because it's Star Wars. That's it. It's middling at best.

    How much longer will we deny the fact that Empire is all there is? I didn't want to admit it to myself. History has proven Empire wasn't so much part of an excellent *series* as it was part of excellent resurgence in cinema of the late 70s early 80s, which gave us stone cold classics like Empire, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner, E.T.

    Bottom line: I have felt completely gipped leaving the theatre after episodes 1,2,3

    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      Bottom line: I have felt completely gipped leaving the theatre after episodes 1,2,3,6,7,8.

      I didn't. Oh, wait, that's because I never watched any of them. When Episode 1 came out, I waited, saw what people were saying about it, then didn't go. Most of what I know about Episode 1, I learned from that Weird Al song. No Jar Jar, no annoying little kid, no recycled "it's yet another death star all over again" plots, no SJW bullshit. I've heard that 2 and 3 weren't as bad as 1, but I'll pass.

      I still like the original trilogy, but mostly the first movie, which is rough but fun. And I don't go out of m

  • I imagine there will be a huge splash and a instant halt with the modern take on interesting movies meshed with modern visual and audio noise that tires easily

    I just cant stand any modern action movie, its just an assult of noise on every sense the medium allows, and there's nothing to take away form it other than how shit the local cinema's sound system is along with low FPS flickery blury shit video

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This rumor that has been spread online about A New Hope being some disaster, that was only saved by Marcia Lucas coming to the rescue and re-editing into a classic film is FALSE.

    As Lucas was shooting the film in England and Tunisia, an assembly edit was done by an editor. Lucas didn't get to see it, as he was shooting every day and seeing only dailies at night. That was typical of film making in those days, as the film had to go to a lab and be processed before it could be seen or cut. When shooting was

  • Cigarettes are also popular, bring a lot of money to their creators, but it does not mean that they are good.

    I did not see this particular Star War movie, but i doubt that it is a cinematographic art. Frankly, I think it is a set of dorky cliches for kind of naive children and adults.

    I may be wrong, but it is my impression.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A new meme for snowflakes is born as the franchise dies

  • Repeat what Mark Hamill said.... A good movie isn't one because of it's content but rather from it's box office profits.

    God has blessed that man. In the future he is going to make millions for a days work just by being a force Ghost.

  • Disney has minted additional money from lucrative ancillary revenue streams

    Disney is a huge toy company that uses really expensive movies to promote their stuff. The Porg creature is a good example, how much money they are going to make from this character alone.

  • While an interesting benchmark, it doesn't, of course, account for the hundreds of millions spent to produce and market the trio of films, or the fact that Disney splits box-office grosses with theater owners.

    In other words, nebulously defined value passes arbitrary round figure; no actual story here.

  • I always thought that George Lucas should have asked for a couple billion more. Why did he sell so low?
  • The Last Jedi sucked. It really sucked bad in every way. The entire mythos has been ruined. All the characters I cared about have been ruined. And the new feminist crapfest has not come up with anything compelling.

    I have watched every Star Wars, in theaters, since the first Star Wars in 1977. I doubt I will every watch another. I don't care what happens any more.

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