By the time you read this, The Force will have awakened. Or rather, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ will have made its world premiere before opening to the general public on Friday. The seventh movie in the franchise has already generated a previously unheard-of $50 million in advance ticket sales. But it seems that that isn’t really good enough! According to E! News, J.J. Abrams’ latest needs to make $1.5 BILLION to be considered a success!
“Oh J.J. is terrified,” revealed film icon Steven Spielberg (who is not personally affiliated with ‘Star Wars’). “There’s a lot of pressure on J.J. to start paying Disney back for, you know, the franchise they bought from George Lucas.”
Indeed, three years ago, Disney purchased Lucasfilm LTD for a reported $4.05 billion. Though the House of Mouse has created the current ‘Star Wars Rebels’ cartoon, a line of comics (through another subsidiary, Marvel Comics) and merchandising, I kinda doubt those have even made a “drop in the bucket” to justify the purchase price.
Nope, that “honor” belongs to ‘The Force Awakens’. So, no pressure, J.J.!
Abrams, of course, is perhaps best known these days for rebooting Paramount’s dormant ‘Star Trek’ brand, directing the two most recent films which reinvented the 60s TV show for a new generation. 2009’s ‘Star Trek’ grossed $2.57 million, while 2013’s ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ was less well-received, bringing in $2.28 million. For the record, that’s considerably less than $1.5 billion. By like… a lot.
For his part, Abrams admitted to feeling the pressure:
“You just know that there will be people, no matter what you do, that will have issues with some aspect. You just know there is some number that is being thrown out there that will not be hit. You just know.”
But he understands the passion of the fans and hopes that his latest will appease them:
“It’s not a movie. It’s bigger than all of us. It’s almost a religion for people.”
Well, at church they pass an offering plate. Maybe just to be safe, they could do the same at ‘The Force Awakens’ screenings. I mean… $1.5 billion. Just sayin’.
Actually, that’s probably not necessary. Considering the pre-sales, this ‘Star Wars’ is tracking to come in at $2.7 billion! Now that’s just speculation. Opening weekend will give the best picture as to what studio executives should expect. And even before that, critical reaction should surface, so at least we’ll know whether it’s actually any good or not. (Does it even matter?)
What do you think? Can ‘The Force Awakens’ bring home $1.5 billion? Or are you laughing at what a low figure that is?