Friday, 18 December 2015

5 Things Star Wars Did To Ensure It Would Crush Its Opening Weekend

Thanks to The Force Awakens, Star Wars is well and truly back. And it feels oh so good. It’s been over 30 years since Star Wars fans truly felt the force reverberate in such an enjoyable, emotional, and enthralling manner. And it’s only the beginning.

Audiences haven’t wasted any time watching The Force Awakens too, and on Thursday it decimated the record for an opening night haul as, according toDeadline, it grossed $60 million in just 5 hours. It’s expected to easily beat Jurassic World’s opening weekend total of $524.4 million, and it should even go on to eclipseAvatar’s $2.7 billion box office total, which is still the record.

Basically, it’s done rather well for itself. But how did the team behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens get the blockbuster behemoth in this position to make so much money? Well, here are 5 reasons why it’s probably going to become the highest grossing film of all time. 

It Kept Its Plot Hidden
Unlike Warner Bros. with Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice - who because of their terrible past 12 months at the box office decided to pretty much show the entire plot in its trailer to prove to fans just how spectacular it will be – Disney and Lucasfilm were able to keep details regarding The Force Awakens to a bare minimum. Yeah, we knew that John Boyega and Daisy Ridley were good, Adam Driver was bad, and most of the old clan were back together. But we didn’t know a lot about the minor characters, were still slightly in the dark about Oscar Issac’s Poe Dameron, and didn’t have a clue what was going on with Luke Skywalker. All of this allowed rumor and speculation regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens to bubble nicely and as its release date moved closer it reached such a rapid boiling point that people have now instantly flocked to see it. 


It Brought Back The Original Cast
Probably the key reason why Star Wars: The Force Awakens has created such hysteria. By bringing Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill back as Han Solo, Leia, and Luke Skywalker, respectively, The Force Awakens was able to appeal to the viewers of the original that fell in love with these characters all the way back in 1977. And that was a whole host of folks. They knew that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan would be extending their stories, and that it would be a nostalgia trip to just to catch-up with each of them. Plus they’d now also be able to introduce their own children to the gang too. But to appeal to a brand-new audience they’d need to introduce some fresh faces to the mix too …


It Introduced A New Generation Of Heroes
The new faces that were chosen were Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver - to name but a few - and they were able to inject a wide-eyed enthusiasm and contagious joy to the series, something that had been severely lacking in George Lucas’ prequels. While there was a risk that these actors – especially the inexperienced Ridley and Boyega – might not live up to the task, J.J. Abrams managed to get this unbridled excitement from the actors up on screen. Plus, he also made sure to populate the galaxy, far, far away with a myriad of creatures and aliens that made the film pop. Just as integral was the decision to change the man who had previously led the franchise too …


They Kept George Lucas At Arm’s Length
Poor George. It will be interesting to see how his legacy is impacted by the rejuvenation of the franchise without him at the helm. While fans are quick to criticise the changes he makes, they forget that he was the one who created them in the first place. But this changing of the guards – from George Lucas to J.J. Abrams – was necessary in order to distance these films from the maligned prequels. Because J.J. Abrams was such a famous fan of the original films, other Star Wars die-hards knew that he was excited and mad for the same reasons as them, and that he’d get right to the heart of what made the first trilogy so beloved. In the process, he’s not only basically made a remake to A New Hope, but he’s also rebooted the series, made a sequel to Return Of The Jedi, and provided an origin story for the new characters too. But his main priority was to make sure the film was fun. And he delivers in droves. Something that Lucas had sadly failed to do with the prequels. 


It Avoided The Summer Blockbuster Glut
Obviously, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was always going to make a huge amount of money. But sometimes the summer season is so chock full that films can’t quite reach their box office potential because of competition. By releasing Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Christmas, Disney and Lucasfilm have avoided this glut of blockbusters and will remain unchallenged throughout most of the festive season. Sure The Hateful Eight is expected to take in a healthy amount, but fans will undoubtedly return time and time again to see The Force Awakens, especially since we now know just how full of action, spectacle, and plot it is. Because of its lack of challengers for the new few weeks, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to exceed Avatar’s $2.7 billion gross, and some have even predicted that it will take in over $3 billion. And if it does, it will be a job exceedingly well done.  

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