In what is probably the least surprising news you’ll hear today Star Wars: The Force Awakens has continued to rake in the cash, taking a further £35m at the US box office on New Years Day alone. It now stands at $687m domestic, having already roared past Jurassic World’s $652m and now Titanic’s $658m. Avatar’s #1 spot at $760m now being taken is virtually a given, possibly as soon as Monday.
Worldwide box office records are a different beast. James Cameron’s global double top had seemed somewhat insurmountable and to conquer Pandora ‘The Force Awakens still needs to bring in a further $1.5bn. Industry analysts were pessimistic before the film’s release but it seems the force may have been weak with them, that figure now looking entirely achievable.
Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm at £4bn now seems like it could be the deal of the century; remember, these are box office receipts only. Add in merchandising and licensing and it already looks like a complete steal.
News reports on blockbuster box office numbers are now as ubiquitous as stories on plots, characters and sequels but we’re the audience, not the studio accountants. Yet it’s all good marketing, instilling a sense of missing out on something huge to the casual cinema goer who has yet to see the new installment whilst continuing to show, and keep, the behemoth at the top of the charts. It was multiple viewings by cinema goers that showered Cameron’s films with cash and that’s no doubt what’s happening here also.
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (yep, they’re still sticking with those subtitles) due in than a year on 16 December 2016 and Star Wars Episode VIII hot on it’s heels on May 26 2017, Disney will be keen to keep ‘Wars in the news as much as possible. The MCU has shown the way and Star Wars’ own Cinematic Universe is just being born with designs on being a huge, billion dollar cash machine. Disney no doubt have a very good feeling about all this indeed.