Star Wars

Star Wars Is Making Zillions of Dollars. Here's How.


The new Star Wars movie already has obliterated numerous Tinseltown high marks. After taking down Jurassic World's record-setting opening weekend, the new installment of the space-based franchise has grossed $600 million domestically and $1 billion globally in record time. Now comes the news that the movie has propelled the domestic box office to its greatest revenues ever in 2015, topping $11 billion for the first time.

What Jedi mind trick is the franchise pulling on the movie-going public to get them to pull out their wallets again and again? Reason TV breaks it down in the video below.

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    1. NERDS with low standards for storytelling.

      1. Storytelling? Hollywood movies are 50% CGI, 30% music, and 20% carryover from whatever previous film they’re a sequel of. The only movies that contain a “story” are coming from Pixar.

        1. Pixar told great stories, but somehow left it out of the latest dinosaur flick resulting in its only box office failure. I blame Disney.

        2. *Puts on fedora*

          You need to watch more mumblecore.

          1. Where do “dorks” fit into all this?

            1. Where do “dorks” fit into all this?

              is something a spaz would say.

              1. Shit it, dweeb!

  1. “new installment of the space-based franchise has grossed $600 million domestically and $1 billion globally in record time.”

    The horror! Think of how this will contribute to income inequality!!

    /progs who are not too busy enjoying the movie

    1. Since, technically, it won’t make a profit until 2150, not much.

  2. Only because it is literally the greatest story ever told figuratively.

    1. Hey! I started trolling first. Get the fuck off of my turf!

      1. I demand you two fight in the style of Jets vs Sharks.

        *snappy beat starts*

        1. Thank you for not suggesting Jets vs. Bills. That’s our TV game today (yawn)

          1. And almost as girly.

  3. What Jedi mind trick is the franchise pulling on the movie-going public to get them to pull out their wallets again and again?

    Maybe it’s something like “We swear, there’s no George-Lucas-written dialogue in the new one.”

    1. My guess would be inflation.

    2. The dialogue was clunky as hell in the new movie. At least Lucas dialogue as the refinement of being hilariously bad.

      1. These aren’t the Freuds you’re looking for.

  4. Instead of dollars, I would like to see ticket sales, for a more apples to appkes comparison.

  5. At least it wasn’t directed by Michael Bay.

    1. Michael Bay is a national treasure. You monster!

      1. Last night a friend told me that National Treasure was his favorite movie.

    2. Michael Bay is a technically brilliant filmmaker who knows exactly where to put the camera.

      1. I have always admitted that Bay has excellent taste in hot women. It’s his saving grace To bad he has no taste in anything else.

    3. At least your face is as dumb as a butt.

      1. Eh, I’ve heard better.

        1. But not in a Michael Bay film.

          1. I fingered his mom in the theater during Transformers.

    4. The Rock is more entertaining than any movie JJ Abrams has ever made. And that’s a fact.

      1. That is sadly and hilariously true. Though the Star Trek reboot (the first one only) was perfectly fun.

        1. As long as you weren’t a trek fan and had no investment in the characters or the universe its set in then ya, it was fun.

          Like all things Abrams his movies are visually impressive but plot is relegated to being the thing that ties explosions together and leads to the next special effect. Likewise character development is too dull for the average movie goer so he leave it out.

    5. It might have been more original if it had been directed by Michael Bay, just saying

      1. Actually I was sort of semi-enjoying the movie until that horribly drawn-out last scene, which served as a highlighter of all of the badness that I had been ignoring up until that point.

        1. I was *laughing* at that point.

          She’s standing 20 feet from him with the lightsaber held out as if to say ‘fetch boy!’ and it stretches on cutting from closeup of here making ‘I’m a little constipated’ faces to his what’s going on here? looks.

          And the walking beforehand. You’d think this was LOTR, all the unnecessary walking she does. You’ve got a spaceship dear girl. Fly around and use those sensors. Then, when you’ve found Luke, land *nearby* and pop out – let Chewbacca go park it.

      2. Well, that’s probably true. Incoherent and seizure inducing also.

  6. “Star Wars Is Making Zillions of Dollars. Here’s How.”


    The millenial/buzzfeed-esque-headline manages to combine 2 equally awful rhetorical styles

    1 – “kindergarden-teacher didactic“… a youthful desire to pretentiously attempt to explain ‘how the world works’, as though readers have spent the majority of their lives with their fingers up their nose.

    I get this from my 10 yr old niece a lot. Mention something she has some piece of information about, and she’ll announce her gems of insight as though she was Magellan returning from a circumnavigation of the globe. “uh, just so you know… indians came from asia. Like, most people don’t know that.”

    2 – “valley girl/old-woman gossip” – often the actual subject which they’re trying to “educate” you about is something petty, stupid, and pointless… stuff that TMZ or Weekly World News don’t think “has enough meat on the bones”. They’re just talking TO TALK. Because, OMG did you hear?

    Case in point = this piece doesn’t even seem to understand the number cited. That $11bn is not “Star Wars”. That’s the ENTIRE domestic film industry in 2015. Whoop de do.

    Similarly = Doritos makes more money than Rap Music . Like, just so you know.

    1. ” the ENTIRE domestic film industry in 2015′

      *correction. The domestic box-office receipts are just 1 source of revenue the film industry generates.

      Domestic box (@$11bn) is up only marginally from 2010 (@10bn), (global box office is now $21bn, up from about $16bn in 2010) DVD / Home video is another $20bn, and slowly declining… as services/licensing (netflix et al) grows in the low double digits, … and so on. and like any consumer-product, it grows at a fairly predictable rate of 2-3% pricing growth + maybe ~5% actual organic sales growth, expansion of new channels/markets.

      I would wager that the new Star Wars reboot will not exceed the first 3 films in terms of its sales-relative to the industry, or other basic metrics. Unlike then, there’s a half-dozen other options competing for kids’ time now.

      along those lines, i think its far more interesting that a video game has made about as much money as Star Wars so far this year…with far less traditional promotion or exposure.

  7. It would have been even better if they told the true story of how Sith Lord Jar Jar Binks lead a rag tag group of Imperial Star Destroyers on the quest to find the 13th Colony named Earth and successfully rebuilds the Empire as its greatest Emperor!!!! Jar Jar the Great!!!!

    1. It’s getting to the point where, if you want a good story, you read the books and see the movies to understand the canon, and then you look for a good fanfic.

  8. I has a sad. This is the final season of Myth Busters.

    1. It hadnt already ended? Huh.

  9. By far, the best movie I’ve seen since 1980. Well done JJ.

    1. Better than the original RoboCop? I’ll buy a dozen copies of The Force Awakens on Blu Ray if that’s the case. (But it almost certainly isn’t.)

  10. “The good things in the flick were really, really good. Go, buy popcorn, summon up your inner seven year old, go see your old friends and make new ones. Turn off your brain. Have fun. It is good.”

    “The bad things in this film were really, really bad. They were unimaginative, unbelievable, undramatic, and awkwardly shoehorned into the plot. So go to the movie and get your nerdrage on.”…..ze-button/

    1. Now, I do not mind the trope of the martial maiden who can fight as well as a man, not if there is some science fiction-ish fig leaf to cover the inherent improbability. Without that figleaf, seeing the short, slender frail wail on her muggers is as improbable as seeing a cheerleader deck a halfback with one punch of her slim-wristed little female hand.

      1. Then she turns out to be:

        an ace pilot who can outfly trained fighter pilots.
        And she knows more about the engineering details of the Millennium Falcon than Han Solo.
        And she is a crack shot even though she seems not to know where the safety on a handgun is.
        And she saves Exhench one more time, using her knowledge of the mechanisms of an unfamiliar ship.
        Then it turns out she has force powers like a Jedi, including visions of the future and past. She can resist mind-to-mind combat with Big Bad Sith, and even read his mind in the process. But, unlike Luke, she needs no training: she can do advanced mind-control techniques without a single lesson or even being told that such things are possible.
        Hence, she can escape from the innermost dungeon of a Sith Lord fortress unaided.
        And she can lightsaber fight without training against a man taller and stronger and trained in the art.

        1. Good points. That stuff bothered me too.

        2. And you don’t think all that was intentionally done to set up the explanations in the next two movies?

          It was just something they did, without any thought?

          Tellya what, If we get to the end of the trilogy without every single one of those points being addressed, I’ll publically apologize, and condemn the franchise forever.

          *shakes head in disbelief*

          1. You make a fair point; I have not yet seen the movie myself, but I wondered if it would turn out that Rey had already been trained, and got klonked on the head, or something, like Jason Bourne.

            1. She’s a replicant, and doesn’t know it.

            2. Very likely.

              As in one scene you see that someone drops her off on TattooJakku and then flies away in a silver spaceship.


              She’ll end up being a hidden princess or something glurgy like that. Probably related to Ren & Stimpy. Or the *snurk* PrimeCommanderCypherRageFirst Controller’s daughter.


              1. Well, maybe not – in that scene she’s explicitly a child and has been marking the days she’s been there on a metal board.

          2. And you don’t think all that was intentionally done to set up the explanations in the next two movies?

            Industrial strength midichlorians because Luke fucked Leia? Like an improved “Hapsburg lip”…

        3. Just repeat to yourself: “It’s just a movie, I should really just relax”.

          1. Now that is some quality Sci-F viewing, lemme tell you.

            1. I actually said that to myself while watching TFA, too. Star Wars is legendary for the impossible and improbable plot twists so I just resolved to just take in the latest iteration of The Monomyth without looking too closely.

              1. No, no its not.

                And they certainly weren’t a string of competently done scenes that are connected by the laziest of all plot devices – ‘conveniently’ (though I will admit that ‘conveniently’ does pop up in a couple of places, its not completely absent). Hell the damn movie ends on a blatant Deus Mechanicus.

                That’s the major weakness of the whole thing. The bit that keeps popping up and ruining the rest.


        4. And I think her eyes are different colors – both shades of violet.

  11. IIRC, the lead actress was paid the relatively paltry sum of $450K to do the film, with a percentage after it crested the billion dollar mark. So I’m happy for her that it did.

    By comparison Ford got something like $37 million plus an immediate percentage.

    Though it was still a good deal for her, being that she’s now a recognizable face that can demand money for parts, and she’ll be making bank off the next film(s).

    1. Yes.

      Because there are a hundred actresses that could have played Rey. Which is something people keep forgetting. You’re not paid based on the value of your work, you’re paid based on the marginal cost of hiring someone else.

      “Prior to her casting in Episode VII, Ridley was relatively unknown, only making small appearances in British television shows, such as Casualty, Youngers, Silent Witness, Toast of London, and Mr Selfridge, as well as in two short films, Lifesaver and Blue Season. Her credits also include an appearance in the music video for the rapper Wiley’s song “Lights On.” Besides Episode VII, Ridley appeared in the film Scrawl. “

      Prior to this film she was basically a nobody. And while I’m not a fan of how they wrote the character – she did a good job in the role and will, deservedly, be able to command a larger paycheck.

      There’s only one Harrison Ford. And hiring someone else to play Han Solo would have been the worst possible alternative.

      1. Star Wars has a history of turning nobodies into wealthy actors.

        1. I can’t think of anyone who benefited as much as he did though. Alec Guinness was a great, successful actor but he considered the franchise a low point.

          1. Hammil likely would have – if not for the car wreck that put his career on hold at a critical point.

            But still, SW was Ford’s starmaking role, but he likely would have been big anyway. He had the looks and stage personality to be a leading man right from the start.

  12. There was a Calvin and Hobbes strip years ago where they talked about how Grandpa takes the funny pages awfully seriously. I can’t believe how seriously everyone is talking a glorified cartoon.

    1. But…you’re taking Calvin and Hobbes seriously…


      2. One of my favorite C&H has Hobbes observing how people show their individuality by who they advertise on their clothing. I always thought that was funny because I make a point of not being a walking billboard.

        1. Bill Watterson is a weird guy, but he sure was good at Calvin and Hobbes.

          1. Don’t know anything about Watterson, but I own several of his books.

        2. Let me guess – you also don’t even own a TV?

          1. Keep guessing.

      3. Seriously, the best comic strip ever!

    2. At least nobody has said “raped my childhood” yet.

      1. I’m going to plagiarize that.

  13. Like some others here, I grew up with Star Wars. Ep IV really was cool because amazing FX, and a fun adventure story. No technobabble (like later with ST:TNG), and not ever loving cynicism of the late 60s, early 70s. Then Ep V and I was just old enough (11) that I could tell that it was not only fun, but a good movie. I loved Ep VI, but not because it was a great movie (fucking Ewoks vs 501ST Legion?, and did the group actually plan to have Leia, Chewie and Luke captured, just to get out in the desert to the pit of Karkoum?)but when Anakin picked up the Emperor and threw him down the shaft, one of my favorite movie moments. I still get goose bumps.
    But then the prequels. We go from “No Luke. I am your father.” To “I warn you not to underestimate my powers!” And of course “NOOOOOOOOOOO!”

    So frankly I don’t care about the weaknesses of TFA.(and believe me I do have the same reservations regarding Rey and a truly weak villain). It wasn’t fucking Jar Jar or “Roger Roger”.

  14. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting “The Force Awakens” down, not at all. Finnaly went to see it, and it was entertaining. I wouldn’t bother going to the theatre to see it again, would probably watch it on regular broadcast TV, except we dropped cable and just use streaming video now (wasn’t worth $80/month to watch Animal Planet and Dr. Who). My 9-year old daughter on the other hand, about 2/3 of the way through, was saying “is it over yet?”

    That said, I’d probably be more excited by a second season of the remake of “Uchuu Senkan Yamato” than another Star Wars movie (FYI: if you aren’t familiar with “Space Battleship Yamato”, the original 1974 version of the series was edited and dubbed for the US market as “Starblazers”. The 2012 remake was a faithful updating that shows just how nuanced a good space opera really *can* be.)

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