‘Wakanda Forever’ reigns supreme at Thanksgiving box office as ‘Strange World’ flops, ‘Divergent’ scores
It was the first time in eight years that a new Star Wars franchise failed to surpass $100 million at the box office.
“It’s an embarrassment,” said Ron Yankovich, president of box office tracker Hollywood.com.
It was another embarrassment for Disney/Marvel.
And in a surprise to even themselves, the Mouse House and Universal (as well as the R-rated film “Divergent”), it seems the Mouse has been working on a movie for some time now that has now finally hit the small screen.
“The Force Awakens” was the latest in a line of films about a galactic war between good and evil that began with the first Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977.
The newest film in that trilogy, “The Last Jedi,” won five Oscar nominations — best picture, original song, sound editing, foreign language film, editing and visual effects. It was not only the most recent Star Wars movie to be nominated for best picture but also the first since 2009 that the film earned an Oscar nod.
And while “The Last Jedi” still managed to garner a $250 million domestic box office and a $1.15 billion global gross, it remains to be seen if its opening and worldwide gross can be matched by the next film in the series.
After all, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was released about an eight-week time bomb in the minds of many fans, who had just been expecting to see the character of Rey die at the close of the film.
And while Star Wars is one of the few franchises that is not a product of the mass market, Disney and Lucasfilm are taking the same approach as its competitor Universal Studios had with “Jurassic World” — to go wide before making a big theatrical run.
“Universal was late to the party and their choice for a ‘Jurassic World,'” said Yankovich. “They thought they were going to play it out with the same cast and the same amount of money, and then they got in trouble and had to drop.”
And it looks like the Mouse House also will be a victim of its own success.
“Disney/Marvel is an unstoppable force and the last three films in their Marvel Cinematic Universe have been phenomenal, but this one is