Star Wars: The Force Awakens is descending on planet earth this December 18th.
Fans, old and new, young and old, have been going crazy over the trailer which was released on Monday night, analysing every milli-second of the two-and-a-half-minute-long clip to try and muster anything they can for a story line.
Star Wars has always been known as one of the biggest movie franchises of our time. The first three movies from 1977 to 1983 were what drove the space opera into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon and this continued with the prequel movies spanning from 1999 to 2005. With six movies under the franchise’s belt so far, it’s no surprise that Star Wars is the third-highest grossing movie franchise of all time, falling just behind Marvel and Harry Potter.
Stars Wars and the growing franchise
With the first-ever Star Wars movie bagging six Oscars and breaking box office and science fiction movie records, the path was lit for the future of the franchise. The first trilogy of the Star Wars movies became a catalyst for the other successes within the franchise, spawning a number of spin-off TV shows, comics and video games. Not only that, the Star Wars toy figures have become a universal collectible, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in some instances and probably becoming the best-selling toys of the modern world. Even the soundtrack from the movie has become one of the most universally recognised soundtracks of all time!
With many more movies scheduled for the coming years, it’s fair to say that the franchise is only going to go from strength to strength. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is predicted to become the highest grossing movie of 2015 and some are even saying of all time! Predicted to top the $1 billion box office mark, The Force Awakens will be on track to top Avatar, the current record-holder.
There hasn’t been this much hype surrounding a movie in a long time. OK, we’ll accept that ‘Spectre‘ has created a huge media following, but there is something different about the hype surrounding the new Star Wars movie and the franchise in general. So much so, that as soon as the trailer was released, die-hard fans were pre-ordering cinema tickets for the release day on December 18th, which even made some ticket sellers’ websites crash!
All this hype is setting the Star Wars franchise up for something spectacular. It’s the first movie in the franchise to be released since 2005 which follows the adventures of the cast from the original trilogy in 1983, so there’s no surprise that it’s predicted to top global box offices! It’s also directed by J.J. Abrams, who is known for directing and producing the other sci-fi franchise, Star Trek, driving the anticipation for this Star Wars movie even higher!
Star Wars… The No.1 movie franchise?
The only threatening competitor to the Star Wars franchise is Marvel. Understandably. Harry Potter is currently the world’s second most successful movie franchise. However, all the movies have been made and as there is an extremely slim chance of more books being written; we can safely say that the franchise has seen its peak of success.
However, it’s a different story when it comes to Marvel. Both Marvel and Star Wars have been acquired by Disney for the huge sum of $4 billion each. It’s understandable why Disney thought that these two would be a good investment. Both have multiple movies featured in Mojo’s Box Office list and both have multiple movies in the pipeline.
In fact, Marvel have films planned right up to 2020 and they keep announcing more and more. With Captain America: Civil War coming next year and with multiple Avengers movies in the line-up, Marvel have a solid number of years lined up. The line-up of movies from Marvel is strong, with many even becoming their own franchise (Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy).
The same can be said for Star Wars, too. After The Force Awakens this Christmas, we can expect a movie each year until 2019, including a Hans Solo movie and a stand-alone Star Wars: Rogue One film, plus some potential movies focusing on famous characters from the Star Wars universe!
But can Star Wars defeat Marvel? It all falls down to how great Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be. The fans are optimistic about it with a poll concluding that the movie will be the ‘best yet’ out of the franchise, even trumping the original trilogy! And it is the fans of Star Wars which may catapult the franchise to the top of the game.
With such a steady fan base and there already seeming to be a better and more accepting approach to the new movie than there was to the prequels, there is room for the hype to grow even more. Star Wars has a dedicated and established fan base. Parents will be wanting to experience the new Star Wars with their children, opening up another potential new fan base. Marvel, on the other hand, has not created a fan following spanning over 40 years so do not have this advantage.
If the movie lives up to the hype and expectation and the fans love the movie as much as they did the original trilogy, then Star Wars could go on to become an even more lucrative franchise than it already is. Whether it will overtake Marvel … well, we will just have to wait and see.