With post-production of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens entering it’s final editing phase, director J.J. Abrams’ continuation of the incredibly popular sci-fi series recently found another reason to smile. If Comic-Con was indication enough, fans are foaming at the mouths to catch a glimpse of franchise favourites like Han, Luke and Chewie on the big screen this December.
I’m among them—and plan on openly shedding a few manly tears once those big, yellow letters start rolling down the screen.
Anyway, a more obvious sign of bubbling anticipation was the film’s record-setting second trailer, which accrued over 30 million(!?) hits in just over 24 hours. That’s the most viewed YouTube trailer in one day, folks. Needless to say, Disney‘s acquisition of LucasArts from the franchise’s creator for just North of $4 billion is set to reap insane long-term financial benefits for Mickey Mouse and co.
Exactly how insane, you ask?
The Wall Street Verdict
Early industry estimates have calculated the film is set to pull in over $2.2 billion, a box office return that would place Star Wars VII behind only James Cameron’s Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time.
Maybe J.J. can finally afford some contact lenses.
Why the Film will Break the Box Office
While this estimate is from just one Wall Street analyst, the film is expected to take full advantage of new viewing formats like IMAX, 3D and ULTRA AVX. George Lucas’ forgettable prequel trilogy attempted to harness the power of CGI over the course of its 6-year run, but no comparison can be made to the advanced viewing technologies of today.
This presents some irony, as J.J. Abrams and his production team have made every effort to let the viewing public know that practical—not computer generated—effects will be used to tell this chapter of the galaxy far, far away.
Even more promising is the casting of original trilogy alumni. With seasoned actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher returning to reprise their roles as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, respectively, fans have more reason to be excited than in 1999 when The Phantom Menace hit theaters.
Everyone loves Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, but nothing beats the original.
As a bonus, Jar Jar Binks is yet to make a cameo in any of the film’s theatrical trailers to date.
It’s all about the Merchandising
Couple this foresight with the release of Star Wars Battlefront on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC a month before the film’s release (November 17th in North America) and Star Wars mania is set to hit earth harder than the Death Star‘s “Superlaser.”
Please excuse that nerdgasm.
All Hale Disney…?
With plans for an anthology trilogy to release instalments in the years between each episodic film, Disney should be swimmin’ in the Benjamins for a LONG time to come. Add the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Frozen to the mix and a pattern starts to emerge.
Basically, Disney could own half of Hollywood before this decade’s end.
(Submit witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)