On the face of it, the numbers look good. The opening weekend is $175 million.
Now that is pretty impressive.
For anyone but Star Wars.
J.J. Abrams first outing had an opening weekend of nearly $250 million. Now that was kind of a special occasion of a movie. It had been ten years since the last Star Wars movie and Lucas had sworn he wasn’t making another one. And for once he was telling the truth.
The utterly detested Last Jedi’s opening of $220 million, is probably a better baseline for how well a Star Wars movie should be doing.
Disney has enough, more than enough, muscle that it can demand that theaters pack a middling performer onto a lot more screens than it would normally rate. And the numbers speak for themselves.
This is from Vox Day:
“Compare and contrast the per theater performance of the most recent excrescence with three other films:
- Avengers Endgame: $25,534 3-day avg, 43% decline from D1 to D3
- The Force Awakens: $19,994 3-day avg, 49% decline
- The Last Jedi: $17,328.67, 3-day avg, 51% decline
- The Rise of Skywalker: $13,278 3-day avg, 58% decline
In other words, despite Episode 9 opening to barely half of the Avengers finale, its audience is dropping off more rapidly. This points to a domestic box office that will be less than three-quarters of its predecessor, or around $450 million.“
For a film that has probably topped $600 million (if all of its costs were added up). It is seriously underperforming. Remember those raw numbers we see are the gross intake.
The first big chunk is from the theaters themselves. When The Last Jedi came out theaters were groaning in agony over all of the extra money they had to fork over to Disney, if they were going to show this film. I’m not hearing any complaints about that this time around, which means both sides knew that Mickey the Great and Terrible was in no position to make demands like that.
In summary: this film is not only making less money per screen it is making even less money per ticket holder, when Disney adds up the net total.
Foreign Box Office will look more impressive on the face of it, (even with bad numbers in China). But those numbers are a lot less impressive when you look at how much money ends up getting lost in currency conversion, in addition to foreign taxes and various extra-legal levies (aka: bribes) that have to be paid.
The real money remains in merchandising and this entire series of films has long since been a flop in that market. The reason for that is well known, kids still aren’t interested.
As I’ve said before, Star Wars was a little boy’s fantasy. You either wanted to be the space-cowboy smuggler or the starwizard-samurai or the mysterious galactic bounty hunter in the iron mask.
The one thing little boys don’t want to be is a girl.