Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker is A 500 Million Dollar Bomb
It is no secret that The Rise of Skywalker was a critical and audience disappointment.
But anyone with eyes, ears, or a good sense of taste could have told you that after spending 15 minutes in the theater with this movie.
To say that this movie is bad is to say that water is wet. It is a sentiment so obvious that it borders on painful to even mention it.
It was bad in so many ways it is difficult to count. Suffice to say that it was boring and awful. I got home that day after seeing the movie to find my dog had gotten sick. I would gladly spend two hours cleaning up dog vomit that subject myself to another viewing of this crime against the franchise I cherish.
But, my thoughts about the movie are for another time.
I’m here to discuss another surprising element.
The idea that a Star Wars movie could be a box office disappointment.
It was only a few years ago that the Star Wars brand was a license to print money. Lucas’ little story about a galaxy far, far away and some forethought with merchandising rights turned Star Wars into a media behemoth. It’s arguably the most well-known franchise ever. There really isn’t anything like it.
The Bond franchise has been around longer, but it doesn’t have near the pop-culture cache. The Harry Potter phenomenon was probably the closest thing to Star Wars, with the books, movies, and theme parks. But it’s having its own issues at the moment with the Fantastic Beasts franchise being a bit of a mess.
But, Star Wars? Star Wars has always been gold.
It defined blockbusters and changed the movie industry.
So how did we end up here?
We’re entering a world where Star Wars movies are disappointing at the box office.
Read the above statement again.
Forbes released a story explaining that The Rise Of Skywalker, despite reaching a billion dollars globally and 500 million in North America, was not hitting its marks.
Now, one must understand that this is a disappointment only by Star Wars standards. Most studios would salivate over a billion-dollar movie.
Scott Mendelson for Forbes writes:
“The film was firing on all cylinders for the first week, with a terrific $29 million first-Monday gross and a $32 million Christmas day haul. It didn’t really start to slow down until its second weekend when it dropped 71% on Friday and 59% for the weekend despite being in full holiday break mode. Absent the first week (and, to a lesser extent, the second week) of holiday play, it would have possibly earned something closer to Captain America: Civil War ($408 million domestic from a $179 million debut in May of 2016). What’s disconcerting, aside from the whole “mediocre reviews and online handwringing over what could have been/should have been” variable, is that the film didn’t play like recent Disney releases. It didn’t stick around like Toy Story 4, Frozen II and even Christopher Robin.”
The lack of staying power is the key thing to look at.
When people love the movie it obviously keeps people go to the theater. Huge movies like the original Star Wars or Titanic make a massive amount of money by staying in the theater for weeks. Those movies, in particular, were known for people seeing the movie multiple times in the theater. Some in the movie industry refer to the movie having “legs” and it keeps making steady money for weeks.
But, instead, we see a massive drop off after the first week like it was your run of the mill generic action movie and not the capstone to one of the world’s most loved franchises.
People heard quickly how awful the moving was and stayed away and those that did see it didn’t return unless they were a masochist.
The movie went in with a built-in audience with recognizability that could only be rivaled by Batman. Ironically, the movie was written by the man who couldn’t make a Batman movie work.
Which is a little surprising if I was a producer and someone suggested Chris Terrio I would go “the guy who couldn’t make a movie about the two biggest comic book characters awesome? Forget him.”
But in Hollywood, you can only fail upwards.
In many ways this was building. The Last Jedi didn’t do nearly the money Disney hoped, as well as insulted the core audience. Solo flopped, and now Lucasfilm is shelving movie ideas. The fans are starting to see what’s happening.
I realize that Disney just treats these like billion-dollar commercials for its theme parks, but in order to make people dream about going to your parks, you have to get them to like your property.
But they are making movies that people don’t want to see multiple times.
Heck, they aren’t making movies people want to see once.
But they don’t see themselves as curators of stories that have moved people since they were kids. To them, they aren’t Luke overcoming the Empire. They aren’t Han and Leia falling in love. They aren’t stories about good and evil and how one boy from a farm saved the galaxy.
To them its just a cash cow to be milked until shrivels and more than likely they will just put it out of its misery after enough people start going to Galaxy’s Edge.
I hope that’s not the case.
Originally published at https://vocal.media.