Disney Executive Wary Of Box Office Expectations For Star Wars: The Force Awakens


It may already be setting records of its own thanks to a $50 million haul in pre-ticket sales, but perhaps after The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was deemed a disappointment by analysts only yesterday, Disney has attempted to temper the staggering amount of expectation orbiting around next month’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Cast one eye over the House of Mouse’s expansive marketing campaign for the film, not to mention the wave of excitement flooding just about every corner of the Internet, and you could be fooled into thinking that The Force Awakens is almost above reproach. However, discussing the matter with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s Studio Chairman Alan Horn cooled talk of J.J. Abrams’ sequel breaking records upon release.


For Horn, that really comes down to the film’s release window. December is typically the month reserved for early Oscar contenders and niche dramas, whereas the box office juggernauts such as Jurassic World and Age of Ultron are released during the thick of the summer.

“It’s natural for people to want to view this and compare this to a summer blockbuster, but films in December don’t have the same historical release patterns as summer films. In December it’s rare to see a big debut. People are shopping, they’re traveling, they also know that their kids are going to be on vacation in a week and they’re going to all go see movies together.”

Of course, it’s understandable that Horn wants to temper expectations for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s fair to say that Disney has a sure-fire hit on its hands based on the ticket pre-sales, though the executive is wary of hype and excitement getting out of hand, which could lead to damning reports of an “underwhelming” opening weekend if, heavens forbid, The Force Awakens fails to shoot past Jurassic World‘s record-breaking haul of $208 million.

One way or the other, we’ll find out very soon indeed, and it’s worth keeping in mind that James Cameron’s Avatar – which still stands as the absolute box office king with $2.7 billion – originally released in December back in 2009.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will open on December 18 – only then will we know if Disney’s prized asset can enter the box office pantheon.