Blastr has this bit from Variety, about Credit Suisse’s prejected revenue on the new Star Wars film, set for release in 2015: $1 Billion.
This assessment is possibly accurate, though it’s terribly obnoxious when one thinks how gleeful Disney executives must be at such news. Few film properties are more bankable than Star Wars, and few directors more likely to inspire confident sci-fi pop-fare than J.J. Abrams, who will direct the next installment. We can say that, because we pretty much know what J.J. Abrams will make before he makes it (thoughts on that here).
But Disney would be wise to caution against a guaranteed payday. Disney has learned the hard way: even when you know, you never know. They obviously thought that The Lone Ranger was going to be a smash (Johnny Depp! Gore Verbinski!). Behold, Lone Ranger was a box-office failure. And it isn’t Disney’s first or biggest in recent years. The giant producers of rote-entertainment need a good fail every now and then, and audiences should not reward weak studio druck just because it’s summer. (For the record, I think audiences are generally more discerning than they get credit for).
Disney is all about branding. They have a strategy based on franchise, and they will brush off Lone Ranger’s losses and smile their way into the future with two of the most powerful film franchises alive. I’ve always assumed this is why Disney bought Marvel and Star Wars: to guard against an aging Johnny Depp’s decreasing bankability as quirky Pirate/Indian cliche.
With Star Wars VII Avengers 2 both timed for a 2015 release, I feel safe in my own projection: In 2015, Disney is going to have a pretty decent year. And for good measure, that same summer will see the return of Jack Sparrow. Sigh.