With Star Wars: The Last Jedi all set to be one of the year’s biggest films at the box office, you’d think that theaters are more than eager to get their hands on it, hoping to attract massive audiences with the latest chapter in the Skywalker saga. And while that’s probably the case for most, a number of them are actually refusing to screen it, and here’s why.
A new report from The Wall Street Journal tells us that Disney is forcing theaters to agree to outrageous terms if they want to have The Last Jedi play in their establishment. For one, the studio is demanding 65% revenue from ticket sales (compared to the usual 55-60%), which is quite high, and is making the theaters screen Rian Johnson’s pic in their largest auditorium for at least a month – compared to the usual two weeks. If anyone fails to meet these criteria, they’ll need to pay Disney a 5% penalty fee.
Truthfully, most theaters will probably begrudgingly comply with these terms because, well, it’s Star Wars. The name says it all. But smaller, independently owned establishments, who may only have one or two screens, are already stating their intention of not carrying The Last Jedi due to these ridiculous demands.
Granted, this probably won’t hurt the film’s box office numbers too much, and we imagine Disney likely won’t even care at the end of the day given how small these theaters are. Still, it’s interesting to hear about the studio’s strict terms for what’s no doubt their most precious property and if you plan on seeing the pic at an independent establishment, you’d be wise to check if they’re even screening it first.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will blast into (most) theaters on December 15th. Word is Rian Johnson and Co. have rustled up a cliffhanger ending, too – not unlike Empire – which ought to leave Star Wars fans on edge right up until the launch of Episode IX in 2019.