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Star Wars Prequels Movies The Almighty Buck

Star Wars Pulls In $1 Billion At Record Speed (reuters.com) 467

New submitter henrydan798 writes to note that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has set a new record for ticket sales, becoming the fastest movie ever to earn a billion dollars at the till. As the L.A. Times reports, The latest installment in the "Star Wars" franchise grossed an estimated $153.5 million in the U.S. and Canada in its second weekend, beating the lower end of analyst expectations of $140 million. This drives the J.J. Abrams-directed picture to a to-date domestic gross of $544.5 million. "The Force Awakens," which cost an estimated $200 million to produce, debuted last weekend to record domestic ticket sales of $248 million. It also grossed $281 million overseas for a global total of $529 million, topping the previous worldwide debut benchmark set in June by "Jurassic World" ($525 million). This week, with an international estimated gross of $546 million to date, the film became the fastest to surpass $1 billion globally. Were any of those dollars yours? If so, do you think they were well spent?
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Star Wars Pulls In $1 Billion At Record Speed

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  • Not my money, yet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:08AM (#51194031)
    Congratulations on the successful marketing! And still, I'm in no rush to see this movie. I'll wait until I can rent a BluRay in my local video store, to watch it at home, where already for significant time the image and audio quality is more pleasant than in most public theaters, not to mention the comfort of having control over volume, play/pause etc., and the absent mob of other people.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I saw it at the cinema in Tokyo, it was a much better experience than UK cinemas thati generally don't bother with any more. It's worth seeing at the cinema, it's that good, but only if you can find a cinema that doesn't suck.

    • "at home, where already for significant time the image and audio quality is more pleasant than in most public theaters,"

      What are 'most public theaters' like where you live? I saw the trailer in a local theater and the deep rumbles made me shake in my seat. Can you do that at home?

      And good for you that you can afford it. For me it's a matter of economy. A home theater that can compete with a cinema would cost me in the upper four digits (EUR), to be depreciated over 6 years. On top of that the bluray discs t

    • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @06:01AM (#51194351)

      The best way I can find to explain how I felt after thinking about the film was that it has been "autotuned".

      It feels right and great (at least the first half) while you are in the theatre.

      But it doesn't feel right later when you start thinking about it.

      Some people will be satisfied with the feeling of the first half and not too bothered by the retread of a retread of a retread of a second half but unless the next film is better this is not going to be very rewatchable.

      You don't want to see it as I saw it- through less than new 3-d glasses which had a kind of haze around the edge near the frame that couldn't be cleaned with waiters walking back and forth in front of you-- stopping twice to tell us the bar was closing soon.

      I started to feel like "Get the "F" off of me and out of my view-line!"

      Bottom line is- I feel this movie is a designed corporate film where young people who lack experience and training beat people with years of experience and training ( Sounds like Star Trek already right?) and it tosses out 30 years of canon and 50% reboots the series.

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        I saw it twice. Neither were my plan - I was with family for Christmas, and that's what the family did. I had some things that I like after the first viewing, and some that bothered me. After the second viewing, the things that I had liked before I liked even more, and the things I hadn't liked still bugged me.

        Personally, I felt it restored canon and tossed out the canon-breaking of the prequels. Aka, you won't hear a word of "midichlorians" or anything like that in this film.

    • ..but... but... the spoilers!

      Watch once on the opening night to avoid being spoilered. Then watch it again at leisure.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:27AM (#51194097)

    The new film was (a) far better than the train wreck of the prior three, (b) essentially identical to the first (1977) Star Wars plot, (c) decently acted, and (d) a mediocre movie, but one that felt better than it really was in comparison to the horrors of the prequels. It worked on a nostalgic level: it felt like the Star Wars universe again, and it didn't totally fuck it up. It didn't so well work on the level of being original or even fully making sense within its own universe.

    Mixed bag. Not as horrible as the naysayers claim, but not as awesomely great as the fanboys claim.

    • The film is 50% nostalgia and 50% new 'content'.

      While watching it, I felt it paralleled a new hope a little too much. I guessed it was trying to keep the 'fans' happy.

      After watching it, I took a look at few reviews (I was trying to avoid spoilers before); many pointed out that it's difficult to rate the film on its own. It's clearly there to provide a transition from the old to the new. As such it could be forgiven for its heavy use of nostalgia, but only if Star Wars VIII really is something new and am
      • by Dins ( 2538550 )

        After watching it, I took a look at few reviews (I was trying to avoid spoilers before); many pointed out that it's difficult to rate the film on its own. It's clearly there to provide a transition from the old to the new. As such it could be forgiven for its heavy use of nostalgia, but only if Star Wars VIII really is something new and amazing.

        This. I'm giving them a pass on this one as long as the next one breaks some new ground. I'm hoping that's the plan; bring everyone back into the fold with a nostalgic re-make of the original movie, then start branching off in new directions from there.

        If the next one opens with the Rebels on some remote planet hiding from the First Order who are frantically searching for them, I'm done...

    • The prequels were good movies. The introduced a big and rich world, a large backstory, and they were very epic. Sure the actual story and acting were a bit weak, but the setting and art direction were very creative and interesting.

      This movie has nothing but fanservice for the die-hard fans of the 1977 movie. They even ruined their own evil character 30 minutes into the movie by revealing things way too early.

    • by jader3rd ( 2222716 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @12:12PM (#51195975)

      It didn't so well work on the level of being original or even fully making sense within its own universe.

      Isn't funny how the Force Awakens is able to make us think of the good points of the prequels.

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:30AM (#51194105) Homepage Journal

    But does the viewer?

  • by MDMurphy ( 208495 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:37AM (#51194149)

    No doubt the film was popular. How to get all those people in and out a a record pace? Squeeze the theaters by requiring them to show the film on the largest screens for a long period of time, pushing out any other movies. The Hateful Eight was to be shown in a special 70mm roadshow presentation. The problem though was that it could only be shown on smaller secondary screens. Disney required their new movie to show on the largest ones, or else not show the movie at all, on any screen.

    So while their film is popular, it's not just the marketing hype that got it the numbers. A bit of strong arm tactics to push aside other movies seems to have contributed.

    • I saw it on a regular screen, and the theater had the regular number of big screens for the major films. All the big budget films were available on 3d IMAX.

      Maybe the place you saw it just has poor planning?

      • No poor planning. Well after they'd scheduled things, had special lenses delivered for the presentation, Disney gave them new rules, which included only showing their new film on the largest screen at the theater. This doesn't mean Disney's movie couldn't be shown on smaller screens, just that the largest one was reserved for theirs.
        The same thing happened in Hollywood, forcing the movie out of the Cinerama Dome, with the threat of pulling the movie from all of the chain's theaters if it didn't play there

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:50AM (#51194185)

    Mild spoiler warning.

    Of course it made a billion dollars, it's a decent Star Wars movie. They could have made a great Star Wars movie if they didn't just remake A New Hope. Of course that would also risk a bomb that would kill ticket sales for the further installments.

    Better to shoot for mediocrity and guarantee billions than to shoot for greatness and risk the cash cow. Hopefully the next non-Abrams director will be willing to make a new movie.

  • Ouch! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Evtim ( 1022085 )

    Don't want to sound....whatever.....put any qualifier that comes to mind here....but I am done with cinema going in general and Star Wars in particular!!

    I see now that the whole idea of what movie and movie going is, has changed. It is a much larger "consumer experience" that involves merchandizing, social media, a plethora of buttons being pushed cleverly on kids and their parents, social engineering, social media, stiffing political correctness.......and the quality of the actual film is not significant a

    • Forgot to expand that part....so the message to the new generation is that if you are born proper (jedi) no training or effort is needed to master anything. The girl in the movie did not require any mentoring and in a few hours learned how to beat a Sith and knew better the Millennium Falcon than Han Solo! This drivel is a very poor and damaging attempt of PC girl-power shit. Listen, idiots, the female lead of all time and space is Ellen Ripley! We have done it many years ago, why is everyone hailing TFA fo

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Being born special is a common trope in fantasy. Harry Potter, Neo, Anakin and then Luke... Many comics go that way too. Last son of Krypton, mutants, billionaires... It's not supposed to be a life lesson.

        Anyway, Finn managed to come from being abducted and brainwashed as a child to bring a hero. He made a good role model for kids.

    • I see now that the whole idea of what movie and movie going is, has changed. It is a much larger "consumer experience" that involves merchandizing, social media, a plethora of buttons being pushed cleverly on kids and their parents, social engineering, social media, stiffing political correctness.......and the quality of the actual film is not significant anymore! It is a product, not a movie!

      Lucas practically invented the it's a product not a movie school of movie-making! Google Star Wars lunchbox. What about the Star Wars expanded universe media? It's all part of the merchandising. If somebody invented Facebook in the 70s, I'm sure your BBS will be spammed by Star Wars promos in glorious green.

    • Don't know about you but when I'm dragged to the theater I always bring earplugs. You hear the movie fine and cut out the noise of everyone around you. I hated sitting through the ads but didn't pay attention (because they're ads) so I didn't know what they were about. Someone I was with said it spoiled who was a good guy and who was a bad guy in the movie.

      Anyway I'm usually just talking with people during all that crap and just pay attention when the movie is on. Normally I check those sites that t

  • People wonder why we get so little new movies. This is the reason. Because they make money.

    Their marketing departments understand something that e.g. banks also understand: getting new customers is hard. They also now understand how they can use social marketing to up the hype.

    I expect to see more repackeged material with Newer/Faster/Better on it. Oh well, as long as the massses are happy, who cares. At least Disney now has a bit more money to invest copyright laws.

  • Not a movie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @05:53AM (#51194335) Homepage Journal

    Star Wars is not a movie anymore. It is a heavily marketed brand. It can't even qualify for the label "science fiction", compared to the truly good SF movies around. Heck, Interstellar is a lot better than that, even with the hole(s) in the plot and the "Amurrica yeah!" spirit. I mean - I'm an adult. You'd literally have to drag me to a Star Wars movie, kicking and screaming.

    • Re:Not a movie (Score:5, Interesting)

      by umafuckit ( 2980809 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @06:54AM (#51194503)
      It was always like this. I remember being deluged Star Wars toys in the 80s too. Nothing has changed. The original movies also weren't much good. I liked them as a kid and watched them when the came on at Christmas but now I find them utterly unwatchable. This isn't the case for everything I watched as a kid. e.g. Back To The Future is still fun.
    • I found the perfect phrase to sum up Interstellar: "The least realistic black hole since The Black Hole."

    • Star Wars was never intended to be hard SF. It's pure space opera. The spaceships and robots serve only to create a setting for a reasonably epic story, the technology is not the focus. The characters are.

    • by halivar ( 535827 )

      Star Wars is not a movie anymore. It is a heavily marketed brand.

      Huh? My childhood's Star Wars-themed bedroom seems to indicate that you simply didn't notice that Star Wars has always been a heavily marketed brand.

  • Only 1, 2 and 3. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by X10 ( 186866 )

    I watched Star Wars 1, 2 and 3 when they came out. When they released 4, 5 and 6 and called them "1, 2 and 3", I decided these couldn't be worthwhile. No way I'm going to see this new film, created by Disney.

  • by luismontbau ( 2694229 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @07:07AM (#51194547)
    Not trying to sound like Jay Sherman, but if we keep going to bad movies, they will keep making them... I read all the reviews first, and went confident I was going to see an entertaining movie. I do not go to see a movie called 'Star Wars' hoping to it to be a philosophical experience, but man, it sucked big time... My main complaints: 1.) It is almost identical to the first movie. Desert planet? Check. Young, force-sensitive user that's unware of it? Check. Stranded, cute robot with a secret message to deliver? Check. Escape from said planet trying to deliver message? Check. Han Solo and Chewbacca conning the wrong guys? Check. 2.) The bad guys suck. In the first movie, Darth Vader intimidates. He is strong, powerful, and no one messes with him. Kylo Ren? A weak crybaby that is hit SEVERAL TIMES by a stormtrooper that never held a lightsaber before!!! And he is prone to tantrums. Even worse, when he removes his helmet, he looks like an idiot. I have the perfect Sith name for him: Darth Dumbo. You're welcome, Disney! 3.) The Emperor is replaced by Gollum. Enough said. 4.) Can someone explain to me why the zero-calories version of the Empire bother building a planet-sized weapon, and have thousands of armed soldiers, if they are going to leave the most vulnerable part of their humongous weapon completely unattended? Not a single guard? Han Solo & Co. just waltz in, plant bombs and there it goes! These guys are the galactic equivalent of the Dodo. I was 8 when I watched the first movie. I should have know better than to go to this kind of movie at my current age.
    • I thought it was good, simply because I was entertained by it. But I agree with all of your comments. In the end I just couldn't believe this was the best story they could come up with. A re-make of EP IV.

    • if they are going to leave the most vulnerable part of their humongous weapon completely unattended? Not a single guard? Han Solo & Co. just waltz in, plant bombs and there it goes!

      I thought about that too, then I realized it kind of fits most of our current security practice, too. They had a planet-wide shield to keep things out, and behind it was plenty of insecurity. How many companies today rely on a single firewall? How many companies are running without a firewall? And for that matter, our own critical infrastructure is woefully understaffed. In California, we have prisons with guard towers that are empty. Why put people in prison if there aren't enough guards to keep them there

    • by Yunzil ( 181064 )

      but man, it sucked big time

      Wow, look at how wrong you are.

      Kylo Ren? A weak crybaby

      That wooshing noise you heard was the entire point of Kylo Ren's character sailing over your head.

      that is hit SEVERAL TIMES by a stormtrooper that never held a lightsaber before!!! ...While bleeding out from having been shot in the abdomen by a weapon that can blow several stormtroopers through the air. Seriously, did you even watch the movie, or were you distracted by scribbling notes about things that bothered you?

    • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @12:20PM (#51196021)

      Same here. The movie is chock full of unforgivable plot holes. From what i can remember right now...

      ...... SPOILERS AHEAD ......

      So, Luke is missing. For no apparent reason. But somehow there's a map to his location. Conveniently split in two halfs. Which everyone is aware of, again, for no apparent reason. And one is withheld by no other than R2D2?

      Finn, raised as a soldier his whole life, suddenly grows a conscience and quits after slaughtering a village. Doesn't stop him from killing a shitload of his old mates afterwards. Isn't he a bit too self aware?

      Poe Dameron pulls a resurrection that would make Jesus jealous. Zero explanations provided. ...same as the magical appearance of Chewy and Han Solo on the Millennium Falcon, which is now literally in the middle of nowhere. That one was cringe worthy. ...but not as much as Luke's lightsaber showing up in the exact saloon our heroes visit. Out of all the saloons in the galaxy.

      Kylo Ren: worst villain ever. One minute an incredible badass who can stop a blaster shot without even looking at it, the second he's been beaten up by a janitor with zero sword experience.

      An Rey. From scavenger extraordinary to master of the force in literally a little over 30 minutes. The "you will release me" scene was just too much.

      What exactly the Resistance was resisting to all these years?

      Why do Rey an Leia hug at the end? Did they even meet before that?

      Man, i could go on all day. The movie is a treat to the eyes and Harrison Ford just shines on it. The rest? You've seen it all on EP IV. With better writing, i might add.

    • I haven't seen it yet. That said, everything about Kylo Ren suggests he's a dark joke at the expense of Star Wars fans themselves. He (apparently, spoiler if this is true) kills his father (aka George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars and thus the father of all Star Wars fans) upset that Solo/Lucas is in favor of one side of the force (the lightweight version of Star Wars epitomied by the prequels) when he himself pines for Darth Vader and the myth he represents (aka the darker, "original", Star Wars where H

    • They learnt the lesson. They had two guards for the secret entrance to the nuclear reactor. They didn't stop the attack, so point in posting the dumb guards.
    • by c ( 8461 )

      A weak crybaby that is hit SEVERAL TIMES by a stormtrooper that never held a lightsaber before!!!

      What?!? Thye showed a stormtrooper actually hit a target? Star Wars is ruined! Damn you, JJ Abrams, damn you to hell!

  • But only because I don't have a 3D setup at home. Over 6 months I will just torrent the DVD.

  • I wonder if it actually made a profit [wikipedia.org], though. :S
  • I agree the best episodes were 4-6. 1-3 were pretty bad. Bad story telling, bad acting (Ewan McGregor did ok). I didn't think episode 7 was bad. I enjoyed it. Where I differ from many people is I take the position that it is not my story. I just listen to it. If I didn't take that road, then I would've left during Wolverine when they claimed hydrochlorothiazide slows your heart rate. If they make episode 8 a film about Jesus, then fine, but I'm not buying it. I take no loss when it comes to my memo

  • When all is said and done, they'll only have a few hundred million $ loss.

  • This movie is exactly a reproduction of the original ANH. From a protogonist in a dusty planet dressed in rags who is unaware of his/her potential, to evil man in mask, distant more evil villain, climatic X wing fighters making bombing run...

    Having said that, this one leverages on the fan base, its speculation about possible connections between the characters. Back in the 1970s no one asked "Who is Luke Skywalker?" or speculated he could be related by blood to super villains. Despite being hinted at as Da

  • It was an extended trailer for the next movies. They barely managed to introduce all the characters.
    It's the beginning of a long lived Disney(tm) franchise.

    While Lucas went batshit insane with episodes 1-3, and shouldn't be allowed to write a script ever again, all of his movies at least had memorable scenes. It appears JJ Abrams can't do that, I don't remember any specific scene after seeing episode 7. None. And that goes for the other film by him that i tried to see, the Star Trek reboot a couple years ag

  • Wait, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @07:54AM (#51194693)

    I thought piracy was supposed to be killing the creative industries?

    • It is. By the industry's own accounts they would have paid back the USA's national debt with this movie had it not been for piracy.

  • Luke had daddy issues, which was the plot of episodes IV-VI. The big disappointment here is that Ford did difficult daddy better in Cowboys and Aliens than in this film. Basically a throw away.
  • The next one should be directed by Whedon and be call Scruffy the Vampire Slayer, with vampires of course. People would still go see it.
  • where I took my son and we paid $20+tax for two tickets and another for popcorn and drinks, I said fuck it no more of this BS. Got a large screen tv and a media players and never looked back. Just hit the pawn shops a few weeks after a movie comes out and then get it for $4 actually now don't even care I just free load when I can with torrents. I gto 800+ dvd's to got plenty of re-watch material.

  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @12:03PM (#51195909)

    Is it a movie to be seen on theaters? Absolutely.

    Now, is it a good movie? So... no. Not by a long stretch, i might add. Looks great, Harrison Ford is fantastic and it is loaded with iconic scenes... but man, the script is a poor rehash of EP IV, and ridden with glaring plot holes as well.

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