Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bob Iger Is Cautious About Predicting 'The Force Awakens' Box Office Earnings

By: Benjamin Hart

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is easily one of the most anticipated films in recent memory. The excitement has continued to build since it was announced in late 2012 and both of it's trailers subsequently broke records as fans clamored to learn everything they could about the film. The ever increasing hype has led many to believe the the seventh installment in the Saga will break many records itself and even take the top spot on the list of highest grossing movies of all time, over topping Avatar(2009). But will all the passion and enthusiasm translate to dollars and cents this December? Some are remaining skeptical. One of those skeptics is none other than Disney CEO Bob Iger.

In a Disney earnings conference call earlier this week, Iger spoke about how lucrative the Star Wars franchise is and what the Walt Disney Company expects to take in from the release of The Force Awakens. While he remains optimistic, he implies that the company is exercising caution when predicting Episode VII's box office performance, sighting the fact that world markets may not be as familiar with Star Wars because it has been 10 years since the release of the last live action Star Wars film. Here's some of what he had to say:

"While the enthusiasm is I think rather apparent we just want to be careful that the world doesn’t get ahead of us too much in terms of the estimates and we've seen them as well. We are making at this point no estimates whatsoever in terms of what we believe the film will do.... we fully expect that the success of this film will reverberate throughout the company not only in 2016 but in the years beyond because we obviously have a rich slate of Star Wars films coming... Let's all continue to anticipate the movie and be optimistic about it, but we have to take a wait-and-see approach in terms of what it will do." 

Iger is most likely referencing a prediction made by a Morgan Stanley analyst a few months back which claimed that The Force Awakens would rake in $1.95 billion at the world wide box office, making it the third highest grossing film ever, And I'm sure he's speaking to those of us fans assuming it will become #1.

While I still personally believe The Force Awakens will do remarkably well at the box office, Iger and Disney's caution should be heeded. Raising our expectations too high could result in a massive disappointment. Let's be realistic as well as optimistic about the future of the Saga. And when all is said and done it really doesn't matter because Star Wars will always be #1 in our book.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly, Seeking Alpha

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