Disclaimer: This editorial is the opinion of writer and doesn’t reflect the overall views of this site or its staff.
I have a wager going with a few of my friends as to whether or not Star Wars: The Force Awakens will break the box office record for its opening weekend. The current record holder is Jurassic World. I have been called blasphemous and have been accused of smoking crack, but history and conventional wisdom is on my side. I consider myself to be a huge Star Wars fan, so I do hope I’m wrong about this.
A STAR WARS FILM HASN’T BROKEN THE RECORD SINCE 1978
Although the original trilogy did quite well and A New Hope and Return of the Jedi broke the opening weekend records, a Star Wars film hasn’t done that since.
The Phantom Menace DID NOT break the opening weekend record (neither did Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith) despite the sheer amount of people buying tickets early and standing in line. It didn’t take the crown away from the then current record holder…wait for it….Jurassic Park: The Lost World. If someone had said that Phantom Menace wouldn’t take the box office away from The Lost World, they would have been called blasphemous as well.
We also have to understand that A New Hope broke records solely because it had almost no competition in the ‘blockbuster’ category. It was the 2nd blockbuster EVER, so while it was a great achievement, it should not be considered as precedent in this regard.
THE FORCE IS NOT STRONG WITH MILLENNIALS
Generally, millennials don’t care about Star Wars. There are some exceptions, but as Chris Pratt (star of Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy) once said, Jurassic Park was the Star Wars of his (the millennial) generation.
I personally would never have thought that Jurassic World would come close to beating out The Avengers or even The Dark Knight, but it did. I highly doubt that Star Wars has more box office potential than Tony Stark and his friends among the crucial demographic of millennials.
DECEMBER IS COLDER THAN HOTH WHEN IT COMES TO BOX OFFICE
The film opens in December. The reason this is important is because films that open in the Holiday season almost NEVER do as well as it would have in the summer. The classic anecdote to show this is when Pixar renegotiated its deal with Disney: it demanded that its films be released in the summer instead of Thanksgiving so it could get better box office performance. And their demands paid off, literally.
I’ve taken the liberty of taking a screenshot of the opening weekend box office record breakers from Box Office Mojo. You’ll see two Star Wars movies, but none in the last 30 years. Star Wars fans are among the most passionate in the world. However, there is very little evidence that they are more plentiful than Jurassic Park, Avengers, or Batman fans.