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The Rich Get Richer: Star Wars edition

Star Wars is an incredibly huge and influential movie franchise. With a current six (seven if one chooses to count the animated feature film) movies, a six season cartoon with over 100 episodes in addition to a new cartoon, several novels, comic books, an entire catalog of old material that was once canon, and billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise, it’s impossible to argue that the series is unpopular. Even the director for the new film, J. J. Abrams was largely influenced by Star Wars to become a director. However while it may be popular, it has had its hiccups. The previous three films were not well received by critics or fans and have become somewhat of the black sheep of the franchise. The audience lost its trust in the movies. So it came as a bit of a shock when the IMAX ticket sales numbers came out. The movie, according to IMAX Corp, sold more than $6.5 million in pre-sales, breaking the record for presales. The Avengers, The Hunger Games, and The Dark Knight all had presales in the $1 million dollar range. That this film would break records this much is unbelievable – or so you would think.

Using the rich-get-richer method of thinking, while the exact size of the number is a surprise, it should not be surprising that the film outsold its competitors. Given Star Wars’ 30 year history, it precedes the other three films in terms of cinematic history by more than 25 years. Given this fact and all of its intellectual property, Star Wars has never gone out of style. Its current popularity may be overshadowed by other franchises, but it is a landmark of film and pop culture. Many films, directors, screenwriters, authors, etc. pay homage to Star Wars in their works in a similar fashion to how newer websites will link to older ones. This causes the value of the franchise to increase exponentially as time goes on. This, in addition to the fact that a new trilogy begins once every fifteen years makes the value of seeing this film, this major revival of the franchise, is a huge deal to both Star Wars fans and general moviegoers alike.

Additionally, Disney and Lucasfilm have played very close to the chest with plot details. After three trailers and one TV spot, there is extremely little known about the actual plot. We only know the major players and organizations. Everything else is a mystery. However, every glimpse of the film has stirred excitement for some reason or another, be it the stunning visuals or the mysterious origins of the new characters. Disney and Lucasfilm have managed to spark interest in the films from various parties while telling us almost nothing about the movie. This incredible advertising strategy has pushed the anticipation to incredible levels and moved the film’s commercial success past the “tipping point” to a stable financial equilibrium. With all the new movie has going for it in terms of history and advertising, it is was bound to be a commercial success from the start.



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