Movies & TV / Columns

How Can Disney Fix Star Wars?

September 22, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Rey Daisy Ridley

Star Wars fatigue? Maybe. Disney CEO Bob Iger came out saying that the theatrical release schedule for the Star Wars franchise may have been “a little too much, too fast.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter for its annual THR 100 list, Iger said that he “take[s] the blame” for the timing of the movies’ releases. “You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films,” said Iger.

But is that the only issue these movies are facing?

Critics of the franchise have pointed out that fans were being overwhelmed with the regularly scheduled movies, causing a Star Wars fatigue with audiences.

Looking at previous releases, from 1977 to 2005 there were six Star Wars movies and since 2015 we’ve gotten four releases.

Iger takes the blame in his comments:

“I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re gonna start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re gonna be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.”

Others say Solo: A Star Wars Story suffered greatly from opening so close to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Others say the quality of Jedi kept people away.

Looking at the numbers, Solo opened with $103 million, incredibly soft for a Star Wars movie. It went on to bring in nearly $400 million globally, another low for the saga. To give you a comparison, The Force Awakens made $2 billion worldwide and spin-off Rogue One made $1 billion in 2016. Since Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise in 2012, it has made more than $4.5 billion at the worldwide box office.

Could it be fatigue? Hard to point at just that. Marvel has released 20 movies in the last decade along with a number of TV spin-offs. They certainly don’t look to be suffering, even though everyone seems to say audiences will turn on superhero films anytime now.

What’s the issue with Star Wars and how do you fix it?

article topics :

Disney, Star Wars, Steve Gustafson