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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    Default Prequel trilogy more profitable than sequel trilogy

    I always thought the prequel trilogy was better but I'm shocked to find out that it was more profitable as well. Link is below. Here is a taste...
    "The Disney trilogy ($720 million) cost more than double the Prequel trilogy ($345 million). The Hobbit trilogy cost around $650-700 million while Lord of the Rings cost around $300-$350 million, and they both earned almost identical cumulative global grosses ($2.931 billion in 2012, 2013 and 2014 versus $2.96 billion in 2001, 2002 and 2003). The Disney Star Wars trilogy earned $4.475 billion on a combined budget of around $720 million while the Prequel Star Wars trilogy earned (not counting reissues) $2.437 billion on a combined $345 million budget. That Disney’s sequel trilogy was almost as profitable as the prequel trilogy, despite ballooning budgets and a massive increase in tentpole competition, makes Disney’s first batch of Star Wars movies an unmitigated commercial success."
    Sounds like a four billion dollars well spent...when you factor in merch with the original and prequel characters that sell better

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottme.../#39eac40c6276
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  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    That's kinda heartwarming.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    That's kinda heartwarming.
    Brings a tear to your eye.
    "The Marvel EIC Chair has a certain curse that goes along with it: it tends to drive people insane, and ultimately, out of the business altogether. It is the notorious last stop for many staffers, as once you've sat in The Big Chair, your pariah status is usually locked in." Christopher Priest

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    I think it’s also a bit fascinating because it kind of shows that for all the fear that Lucas had of Disney being the slave-driver motivated purely by profit, it might arguably have been *doubly* justified from the perspective that he’s better at making a profit than they are.

    Of course, in hindsight, a lot of this is predictable as a result of some of the over-reaction people had against the prequels: Lucas's desire to have as many new designs, new worlds, new lore, and even to an extent the much lamented politics and kid-appeal characters were wrongly identified as problem by Generation X geeks, instead of the simpler answer that his execution wasn’t quite as good as it could have been.

    I mean, all that stuff, plus his pushing LFL to be revolutionary in tech again, are all actually pretty ingenious profit-making and franchise cultivating decisions. He sometimes gets mocked for trying to make films for kids or for trying to make audience-pleasing films... but he’s the guy who made Star Wars a mega-franchise, rebuilt the merchandising game in his own image, and I’d say he’d a prime example of how understanding audience expectations is a *good thing.*
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  5. #5
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I think it’s also a bit fascinating because it kind of shows that for all the fear that Lucas had of Disney being the slave-driver motivated purely by profit, it might arguably have been *doubly* justified from the perspective that he’s better at making a profit than they are.

    Of course, in hindsight, a lot of this is predictable as a result of some of the over-reaction people had against the prequels: Lucas's desire to have as many new designs, new worlds, new lore, and even to an extent the much lamented politics and kid-appeal characters were wrongly identified as problem by Generation X geeks, instead of the simpler answer that his execution wasn’t quite as good as it could have been.

    I mean, all that stuff, plus his pushing LFL to be revolutionary in tech again, are all actually pretty ingenious profit-making and franchise cultivating decisions. He sometimes gets mocked for trying to make films for kids or for trying to make audience-pleasing films... but he’s the guy who made Star Wars a mega-franchise, rebuilt the merchandising game in his own image, and I’d say he’d a prime example of how understanding audience expectations is a *good thing.*
    Wait a second....Disney paid 4 billion for Star Wars. The movies made 4.475 billion but Disney doesn't get to keep that all to themselves. The theaters and other folks still have to get their cut from that as well. So....did Disney lose money on Star Wars? Usually the merch would fill in the gap but the Disney Trilogy had a lot of trouble in that area.
    "The Marvel EIC Chair has a certain curse that goes along with it: it tends to drive people insane, and ultimately, out of the business altogether. It is the notorious last stop for many staffers, as once you've sat in The Big Chair, your pariah status is usually locked in." Christopher Priest

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony W View Post
    Wait a second....Disney paid 4 billion for Star Wars. The movies made 4.475 billion but Disney doesn't get to keep that all to themselves. The theaters and other folks still have to get their cut from that as well. So....did Disney lose money on Star Wars? Usually the merch would fill in the gap but the Disney Trilogy had a lot of trouble in that area.
    Since they still own the IP and are still collecting money on it and *did* use The Mandalorian to successfully sell Disney + and we’re seeing Galaxy’s Edge get overall good buzz and visiting, I think the question is a bit too simple to say for certain right now.

    They were in effect making a $4 Billion investment, with the outright profit from the purchase being some years in the future regardless. They also did see an increase in investment from stock owners from this and similar moves like with the MCU.

    I think thye’d still argue the move was correct and has made their company healthier and more profitable on the long run... but there’s certainly some question as to whether or not they reached/will reach the profitability-point they expected, or that they were on track for before TLJ’s release.

    On a holistic level, I think that the biggest issues they had were not managing to maintain merchandising strength due to a creatively conservative approach in terms of iconography and merchandise produced... and managing to fumble the films a bit in the back half, through a weird combination of wanting to be artistic and cut-throat profitable at the same time, and just being overwhelmed in their goals and tasks.

    I mean, I can see why marketing groups would firmly believe that cookie-cutter and copy-cat iconography and toy designs from the Original Trilogy would be “safer,” as would trying to treat the Expanded Universe as more restricted and limited than it was under Lucas for “quality control purposes.” On the surface of it, there’s limited risk to just producing TIE fighter and X-Wing toys that are only marginally different from the original versions, or telling cartoon makers and book writers they can’t be too ambitious, lest they step on the films’ toes, or to license the IP to a video game company that was ostensibly guaranteed to make profitable games in EA...

    But that also means they ignored how much Lucas had embraced Star Wars as a “toyetic” franchise during the Prequel Trilogy that flooded the marketplace with so many fun and unique new toy designs that kids *had* to snap them up, how much LucasArts managed to produce wide-ranging and successful games, and how much ambitious and out-there EU material helped as well. And of course, it didn’t help that they trusted the more banal leadership of EA for a bit too long in the early days, or that they ultimately embraced a more stagnant, unexciting and somewhat regressive Philosophy for the Sequel Trilogy... even when trying to be bold.

    I really do think that TLJ does play a part in the stagnation of the brand, even though it was trying to be bold and new. At the same time it was ostensibly being crazy and unconventional with Luke and other elements, it was also reorienting the ST around Kylo Ren instead fo Finn as a male lead, and arguably even instead of Rey... while also reorienting Kylo so that he wasn’t a merch-machine villain with a cool design but instead a brooding pseudo-Byronic Hero in a bland suit reeling of white male privilige at the worst possible time.

    I mean, we all know that The Rise of Skywalker is basically just a remake of ROTJ that’s sloppy and trying to ape Avengers: Endgame... but TLJ isn’t any less of a remake of ESB and ROTJ that’s trying to be hipster cool and having a Vince Russo-esque belief that a “Shocking swerve” alone is substantial enough to grow the story - it’s basically ESB with ROTJ’s throne room scene, but a cancerously bland yet toxic “romance” in place of Han and Leia’s romance, a less interesting and more condescending story for its diverse cast-members, and a weird belief that declaring the Sequel Trilogy’s main character unaffiliated with the main family story is supposed to excite people.

    Solo was a mess of BTS issues with a dubious main appeal based on a character who’s actor was probably more popular than he was.

    But I think I could quantify that interest, investment, and fanbase sizes for Kylo, Finn, and Rey all decreased substantially after TLJ’s take on them - and in that order too, since I think that Kylo only lost fans of him as a great villain, while Finn fans mostly got insulted and repelled and Rey fans were forced to accept weak writing for her and an abusive relationship in order to support the TLJ trajectory for her. And all of that happened in exchange for trying to make a two-dimensional character in Kylo stand at the heart of the story and to try and give Luke a “more mature”/pretentious ending to his story than ROTJ did, and to no benefit for Rey.

    Like, to be blunt, as bad as AOTC was and as uneven as the PT was overall for Anakin and co., no one ever had a problem selling Post-PT material focused on Anakin, the Clone Wars, and the entire setting.

    Good luck trying to sell new stories with a Rey who pines after her abusive boyfriend in Kylo, in a Galaxy that’s just retreading the Original Trilogy with not much else on top of it. Finn’s now got the Force, but was rather sternly banished from both the character he was designed to complement in Rey, and from the central spotlight as well. Ben/Kylo’s got a hatedom as large as his fanbase because hers a love him or hate him Diet Anakin. And Poe’s story was so schizophrenic the films the lives couldn’t decide whether he was a mature Wedge Antilles-type of character or a Han Solo rip-off.

    ...And all this while Palpatine wins and effectively makes the OT heroes his suckers.
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  7. #7
    God Save The Queen! Mia's Avatar
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    This is why I stopped posting here:
    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Rey fans were forced to accept weak writing for her and an abusive relationship in order to support the TLJ trajectory for her. And all of that happened in exchange for trying to make a two-dimensional character in Kylo stand at the heart of the story and to try and give Luke a “more mature”/pretentious ending to his story than ROTJ did, and to no benefit for Rey.

    Good luck trying to sell new stories with a Rey who pines after her abusive boyfriend in Kylo, in a Galaxy that’s just retreading the Original Trilogy with not much else on top of it.
    .
    Incredible. Are really are such a sore loser and that mad that your pet character/stand in didn’t get top billing that you’re making stuff up? This sounds almost as bad as the ‘Reylo’s’ who cry that Ren was treated unfairly because he died.

    Does this really look to you like an abused woman:


    Last edited by Mia; 06-29-2020 at 02:04 PM.
    • “I’m tired of worshiping other people’s gods.” –Maeve (WW)
    • “A man with no humility, is a man with no pride at all”. -Mike Prince (Billions)
    • “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

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    God Save The Queen! Mia's Avatar
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    And this....:


    Last edited by Mia; 06-29-2020 at 02:03 PM.
    • “I’m tired of worshiping other people’s gods.” –Maeve (WW)
    • “A man with no humility, is a man with no pride at all”. -Mike Prince (Billions)
    • “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

  9. #9
    God Save The Queen! Mia's Avatar
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    And this.....





    And FYI. I am a long time Rey fan and my respect for her has only increased with each film. From how she has grown, matured and evolved as a person and a human being. And I know that I am not the only person or fan who has had this sentiment. Only people who are 'disappointed' by her are ones who preferred that she remain an insecure scavenger looking for her self worth in others. As opposed to the strong, self accepting woman who is ready for duty.

    It just boggles my mind to no end the behaviour of some fans. If you didn't like the films or the fact that your man-crush Finn wasn't the lead is one thing. But you lose all credibility when you start making up criticisms that are not based in fact. It just boggles my mind that haters of the ST can't critique what's on screen as opposed to the fact that their personal fan fiction wasn't produced.
    Last edited by Mia; 06-29-2020 at 02:03 PM.
    • “I’m tired of worshiping other people’s gods.” –Maeve (WW)
    • “A man with no humility, is a man with no pride at all”. -Mike Prince (Billions)
    • “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

  10. #10
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    I was a Finn fan in the lead up to TFA. I’d say his fandom significantly diminished after TFA came out and viewers saw his actual role in the new movies.

    Many groups I was in talking about him got cut, because folks checked out once the bait-and-switch was revealed.

    His TFA toy not selling, while viewers talking more about the stormtrooper who beat him as an ensemble dark horse, did not help.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mia View Post
    This is why I stopped posting here:


    Incredible. Are really are such a sore loser and that mad that your pet character/stand in didn’t get top billing that you’re making stuff up? This sounds almost as bad as the ‘Reylo’s’ who cry that Ren was treated unfairly because he died.

    Does this really look to you like an abused woman:


    Presentations doesn’t change substance: Rey got tortured, violated, manipulated and tortured again, then the Force declared she had a destined romance with her torturer, violator, and manipulator, then she was depicted healing him and leaving him healthy within shooting distance of good people, and then got killed so that he perform necromancy and get kissed.

    Abused women aren’t weak. Being a victim doesn’t make you weak. But it can’t be denied Rey was a victim, even as she was also a warrior and champion...

    ...and more importantly for the argument of this thread, she was sadly badly written, unambitiously sidelines for much of TLJ to focus on Kylo, and then forced to share a spotlight with him when he was never developed sufficiently for that role, and in fact acted more as a liability to her character arc and focus.

    Yeah, I’m a Finn fan. But I was a Kylo fan when he was a villain and treated as such, and as a former Jacen Solo fan who’s seen the kind of work Adam Driver can do, there’s nothing about the concept of Ben Solo that repels me.

    Where they screwed up was in the execution. And they screwed up on everybody, and it reflected in their box office and profitability.

    Kylo/Ben *could* have been an amaze balls protagonist and male lead, and his relationship with Rey didn’t need to be abusive, or a liability towards her as a character. They could have told a story with the same skill they told Finn’s and since Kylo has a more immediately marketable concept, it almost certainly would have greatly increased the profitability and success of the ST. Instead, the most marketable part of him is still the masked and cowled TFA version, and because they didn’t address what happened in TFA, Rey took a hit and receded, without this Ben Solo getting going unlit the last five minutes of his screentime, and in a monosyllabic performance with a characterization untethered and I fueled by Kylo’s character arc.

    Rey lost a film of development more out of apathy and inaction than she did out of the toxic relationship with Kylo, but that toxic relationship screwed up the potential of Rey and Kylo together. You actually take on their issues and build something relatable, understandable, and complicated between them, instead of just insisting it’s their while sacrificing Rey’s backbone and enforcing a hypocritical double-standard, you’ll have great $#!+ to work with. And you could do all that, show some ambition and creativity with Finn, and make bank off him as well; he didn’t need the romance with Rey, or necessarily to be her primary companion (even if he still worked better than Kylo wound up doing).

    And all that’s before pointing out that Luke’s story is its own issue, even as great as Hamill is, since it not only drove many fans away but also kind fo killed interest for his inter-trilogy period. (Though I would add here that Luke’s TLJ story isn’t *supposed* to provide much fuel for the franchise outside of TLJ; critic-bait performances are almost inherently niche by their nature.)

    Yeah, all three ST films made over a $Billion at the box office. But the difference between quality writing and characterization from TFA to TLJ?

    $700 million, and lost in-roads with the female and non-white demographic*, with minimal pick-up in young Gen-Zers as Marvel scoops them up entirely as a merchandise and rewatch group. Following up on TLJ’s decisions cost another $250 Million.

    *(Seriously, as good as Daisy Ridley is, and as good as *all the actors* and directors were here, and in spit elf how a dark romance with an actor of Adam Driver's caliber could be... not only did the entire audience share shrink for each succeeding film, but there’s a 10% drop in the female demographic for opening night - most of it after TLJ.)

    The Sequel Trilogy started as an utter monster of a series, with insane legs that crushed records at the box office. It ended more comparable to the Transformers movies - profitable, but pedestrian compared to its beginnings.
    Last edited by godisawesome; 06-29-2020 at 09:21 PM.
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  12. #12
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    The big thing to consider between the ST and the PT and even the OT is that marketing budgets are higher than even in the 2010s. Marketing budgets are usually not fully included in the listed budgets we see, so it must in practise be even more expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The big thing to consider between the ST and the PT and even the OT is that marketing budgets are higher than even in the 2010s. Marketing budgets are usually not fully included in the listed budgets we see, so it must in practise be even more expensive.
    There’s other elements to add as well, like the growth of the home movie market and the fall of movie theaters, even beyond what it was in the PT days, or how the OT began the merchandise craze and how the PT was just constructed better for merchandise in terms of toys.
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  14. #14
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    Star Wars earned $503 million worldwide
    including $307 million domestic,
    on an $11 million budget
    45.7x rate of return


    The Empire Strikes Back earned “just” $209 million domestic
    $400 million worldwide
    budget that ballooned from $11 million to $33 million
    12.1x its eventual budget.


    Return of the Jedi was the first Star Wars movie to open wide, earning a record-crushing $41 million over its Wed-Mon Memorial Day frame in 1983 on the way to a $252 million domestic
    $122 million overseas for a $375 million global cume
    on a $33 million budget.
    an 11.3x return

    spending $115 million on a tentpole like Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace
    The Phantom Menace legged out from a $64 million Fri-Sun/$105 million Wed-Sun domestic debut to $431 million
    6.7x weekend-to-final multiplier
    Episode One also earned $924 million worldwide
    The Phantom Menace would earn 8x its production budget


    Attack of the Clones... ($317.5 million domestic and $974.5 million worldwide on a $125 million budget) ??? ....Episode II on its way to $402 million domestic and $821 million worldwide
    on a $130 million budget.
    Attack of the Clones would earn $80 million over the Fri-Sun portion of its $110 million Thurs-Sun debut,
    earning “just” $302 million domestic in its initial domestic release (not counting that $8 million-grossing IMAX reissue)
    and $645 million worldwide
    on now almost frugal $115 million budget
    a 5.6x return on their investment for Attack of the Clones


    Revenge of the Sith would break records for a midnight preview ($16 million) on its way to becoming the first movie to earn $50 million in a single day
    earn $380 million domestic (tops for the year)
    and $868 million worldwide
    7.55 rate-of-return
    on its $115 million budget.


    Disney not purchased Lucasfilm in late 2012 for $4 billion,


    Star Wars Episode VII ....opening and nab ..... $937 million
    earning $2.068 billion worldwide
    earned 8.44x
    its $245 million budget


    The Force Awakens
    .... $220 million domestic debut.
    $620 million domestic
    and $1.33 billion worldwide.
    6.65x
    its $200 million budget

    The Rise of Skywalker,
    ...$1.074 billion worldwide
    costing $275 million,
    3.9x profit.
    ?

    average rate of return of 7.06x for the prequels and 6.215x for the sequel trilogy. ...original trilogy earned around $1.2 billion on a combined budget of around $77 million, for an average 16.5x
    ?

    Simple break down please!

    Not that it reflects quality (it does not)
    But I am curious do we have a more clear comparison list of total box-office gross (accounting for inflation) for each film in the franchise.

    Also numbers for R1 and Solo?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Güicho; 08-30-2020 at 06:12 AM.

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