2015′s Blockbuster Bloodbath – Ep VII Could Be in Trouble; Here’s Why:

The following is a very intriguing guest post by Aaron Christ, enjoy!

-Riley Blanton

The 2015 Star Wars Movie Bubble

by Aaron Christ

With the speed and break-neck velocity that the studios seem to be leaking information through various sources has truly got the nerd fan base up in a roar. From DragonCon to Wizard World in Chicago the topic of interest lately is inevitably Star Wars. It’s in every blog, podcast and celeb interview this side of the hemisphere. Frankly, I’m just waiting for someone to tell me that Ryan Gosling will be the next Skywalker.

Oh, wait…

With all the swirling information and the speculation about a solid release date has me wondering. Will 2015 see the last of the big budget sci-fi movie? Will Ep. VII be another year end blockbuster like it was back in 1998? Possibly.

If you’re a lover of all things geek culture you should be in heaven right now. Hollywood and all their billion dollar studios have you on speed dial. With our insanely loyal fanaticism why not? We have been essentially their cash cow for the last ten years. Heck, if you’re under 20 years old, you don’t even remember what it’s like not to have Hollywood throw $2 billion worth of blockbuster movies at you every summer. I can remember a time when we would be lucky to have a movie that took place in space or didn’t have Adam Sandler in it. Suddenly I’m very nostalgic…

So, how does this fit in with Star Wars Ep VII? Im going to use an analogy. The 2015 movies lineup is a lot like a small car. A small, Prius sized car tightly packed with 20+ million dollar big budget movies. As I’m about to prove with numbers and spreadsheets, Hollywood is about to ramp this car right off the cliff. This year we saw a staggering number of science fiction and fantasy movies all released by mid-July and audiences just went numb by the time August rolled around. And as of the time of writing this 29 movies have been confirmed for a 2015 release.

29 big budget films.

I’ll let that sink in a bit, mmmkay?

And there will be far, far more of that in 2015 — we’re talking Star Wars VII, Avengers 2, and Batman vs. Superman serving as the tip of the iceberg of a giant list of huge-budget remakes and sequels all landing at the same time, most even scheduled before September of that year. Ouch. This also has put a major hurt on smaller budget movies like The Way, Way Back which saw modest numbers and was critically claimed by almost all critics but yet you probably haven’t heard of that one!? See what I mean, its like a giant sand pit sucking all of our dollars out of our pockets every summer. I’m surprised I’m even a functioning human anymore after giving so much of my time and money to catching up on all the latest movies.

Oh, right, Star Wars.

Lucasfilm and Disney will have to be much more weary of the time and placement of the new installment. We had a bit of a break a few weeks ago when the ‘always factual’ Bad Ass digest said that Ep VII was eyeing for a December release. Of all the “he said, she said” nonsense this seems like the one rumor that needs to happen rather than it just be speculative journalism.  If you release when or around The Avengers 2 or Batman vs Superman you run the risk of riding that Prius off the cliff like so many movies that will be released that summer. The term ‘flop’ comes to mind but in this instance a new term is needed – ‘implosion’?

No matter how large your portion of the fan base is Star Wars will have a hard time being the profitable giant it once was when coupled with the woes of having to fend off the other juggernauts of the industry in 2015. Ep VII will need to have its shot around the end of the year when viewers are not burned out by monsters, robots and Robert Downey JR. I know its common though amidst our fan community but our dedicated fan base alone wont net Lucasfilm or Disney the profit they need to continue the franchise past 2015. In 2000, the average budget for a blockbuster was $100 million. Last year it was $185 million. So it’s no surprise that 2015′s blockbuster bloodbath will need to break the $200 million mark and coupled with marketing costs will easily boat $300+ million. Can Star Wars pull a billion dollar cash in? In all seriousness Ep VII will need to make the movie for less than $200 million to make room for the other installments. Anything above that may lend the Lucasfilm a beautifully lens-flared picture but nothing to garner a sequel.

To be honest, as a fan I am optimistic — but if I’m being practical I would have to say most likely not. Lets just hope they can trim the budget enough and still be able to produce an enjoyable enough movie that they can continue to make more.

So, what are your thoughts on the 2015 movie lineup and how do you see Star Wars Ep VII stacking up against the others?

Aaron

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